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Impacts of climate variability on wetland salinization in the North American prairies
Year:
2014
Authors :
Nachshon, Uri
;
.
Volume :
18
Co-Authors:
Nachshon, U., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Ireson, A., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Van Der Kamp, G., Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Davies, S.R., Imperial College London, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, United Kingdom
Wheater, H.S., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Facilitators :
From page:
1251
To page:
1263
(
Total pages:
13
)
Abstract:
The glaciated plains of the North American continent, also known as the "prairies", are a complex hydrological system characterized by hummocky terrain, where wetlands, containing seasonal or semi-permanent ponds, occupy the numerous topographic depressions. The prairie subsoil and many of its water bodies contain high salt concentrations, in particular sulfate salts, which are continuously cycled within the closed drainage basins. The period between 2000 and 2012 was characterized by an unusual degree of climatic variability, including severe floods and droughts, and this had a marked effect on the spatial distribution, water levels and chemical composition of wetland ponds. Understanding the geochemical and hydrological processes under changing environmental conditions is needed in order to better understand the risk and mitigate the impacts of future soil and water salinization.

Here we explore salt dynamics in the prairies using field observations from St. Denis, Saskatchewan, taken mostly over the last 20 years. Measurements include meteorological data, soil moisture, soil salinity, groundwater levels and pond water volume, salinity, and chemical composition. The record includes periods of exceptional snow (1997, 2007) and periods of exception rainfall (2010, 2012), both of which resulted in unusually high pond water levels. Measurements indicated that severe pond salinization only occurred in response to extreme summer rainfall. It is hypothesized that since rainfall water infiltrates through the soil towards the depressions, while snowmelt water flows mainly as surface water over frozen soils, they have markedly different impacts on salt transport and pond salinization. Whilst this hypothesis is consistent with our conceptual understanding of the system, it needs to be tested further at a range of field sites in the prairies.© Author(s) 2014.CC Attribution 3.0 License.
Note:
Related Files :
groundwater
meteorology
rain
Salinization
Wetlands
Show More
Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.5194/hess-18-1251-2014
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
21702
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
16/04/2018 23:46
You may also be interested in
Scientific Publication
Impacts of climate variability on wetland salinization in the North American prairies
18
Nachshon, U., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Ireson, A., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Van Der Kamp, G., Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Davies, S.R., Imperial College London, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, United Kingdom
Wheater, H.S., School of Environment and Sustainability and the Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5, Canada
Impacts of climate variability on wetland salinization in the North American prairies
The glaciated plains of the North American continent, also known as the "prairies", are a complex hydrological system characterized by hummocky terrain, where wetlands, containing seasonal or semi-permanent ponds, occupy the numerous topographic depressions. The prairie subsoil and many of its water bodies contain high salt concentrations, in particular sulfate salts, which are continuously cycled within the closed drainage basins. The period between 2000 and 2012 was characterized by an unusual degree of climatic variability, including severe floods and droughts, and this had a marked effect on the spatial distribution, water levels and chemical composition of wetland ponds. Understanding the geochemical and hydrological processes under changing environmental conditions is needed in order to better understand the risk and mitigate the impacts of future soil and water salinization.

Here we explore salt dynamics in the prairies using field observations from St. Denis, Saskatchewan, taken mostly over the last 20 years. Measurements include meteorological data, soil moisture, soil salinity, groundwater levels and pond water volume, salinity, and chemical composition. The record includes periods of exceptional snow (1997, 2007) and periods of exception rainfall (2010, 2012), both of which resulted in unusually high pond water levels. Measurements indicated that severe pond salinization only occurred in response to extreme summer rainfall. It is hypothesized that since rainfall water infiltrates through the soil towards the depressions, while snowmelt water flows mainly as surface water over frozen soils, they have markedly different impacts on salt transport and pond salinization. Whilst this hypothesis is consistent with our conceptual understanding of the system, it needs to be tested further at a range of field sites in the prairies.© Author(s) 2014.CC Attribution 3.0 License.
Scientific Publication
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