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Soil-water chemistry relationships and characterization of the physical environment : intermittent permafrost… Walmsley, Mark E 1973

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SOIL-WATER CHEMISTRY RELATIONSHIPS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT - INTERMITTENT PERMAFROST ZONE, MACKENZIE VALLEY, N.W.T. by MARK E. WALMSLEY B. Sc. U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE i n t h e Department of Soil Science We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA JANUARY, 1973  ii.  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the l i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study.  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission f o r  e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f the Department o f S o i l S c i e n c e or by h i s representatives.  I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f  t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission.  Head, Department o f S o i l Science The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Columbia  iii  ABSTRACT A d i s c u s s i o n i s presented t o i l l u s t r a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p s among landform, s o i l , v e g e t a t i o n and water chemistry i n t h e i n t e r m i t t e n t permafrost zone o f t h e Mackenzie V a l l e y , Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s .  Two  study areas were examined i n t h i s r e g i o n , one i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f Wrigley and the other i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f F o r t Simpson, N.W.T. A catenary sequence o f s o i l s and v e g e t a t i o n o c c u r r i n g as a t r a n s e c t on f i v e d i s t i n c t i v e landforms were examined i n the Wrigley a r e a .  The t r a n s e c t  extended from 1170 m above sea l e v e l downslope to 500 m above sea l e v e l . The f i v e landforms were: an a l p i n e meadow, an area o f stone s t r i p e and stone r i n g formation, a c o l l u v i a l s l o p e , a c o a l e s c i n g f a n and an area o f polygonal bog f o r m a t i o n .  Information on chemical water q u a l i t y i s pre-  sented f o r each o f these areas f o r t h e parameters pH, Og, Ca, Mg, Na, K, C l , F and NO^.  Chemical water q u a l i t y presented f o r the F o r t Simpson  study area allows f o r t h e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t types o f o r g a n i c t e r r a i n based on t h e d i s s o l v e d load o f t h e s a t u r a t e d o r g a n i c m a t e r i a l s . The polygonal bog landform i n i t i a l l y examined i n t h e Wrigley area formed one o f t h e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d types o f o r g a n i c t e r r a i n .  The r e s u l t s  are d i s c u s s e d with r e f e r e n c e t o o r g a n i c t e r r a i n morphology and the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f permafrost i n the study a r e a .  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  The author wishes t o thank Dr. L.M. L a v k u l i c h , A s s o c i a t e P r o f e s s o r , Department o f S o i l S c i e n c e f o r h i s guidance, c r i t i c i s m and suggestions p e r t a i n i n g t o t h i s t h e s i s .  Thanks a r e a l s o extended  to Mr. C. Broersma f o r h i s a s s i s t a n c e i n t h e l a b o r a t o r y , Mrs. Beth Loughran  f o r d r a f t i n g t h e f i g u r e s , and a l l o t h e r f e l l o w students and  t e c h n i c i a n s i n t h e l a b o r a t o r y who helped during v a r i o u s stages o f t h e project. S p e c i a l thanks i s extended t o t h e author's w i f e , Noreen, f o r her understanding and help d u r i n g t h e graduate  program.  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1 LANDFORM - SOIL - VEGETATION - WATER CHEMISTRY RELATIONSHIPS; WRIGLEY AREA, N.W.T.: I. MORPHOLOGY, CLASSIFICATION AND SITE DESCRIPTION ABSTRACT  6  INTRODUCTION SOIL SITES  . . . . .  7  . . . . . . . . . . .  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  • 11  . . . . .  16  APPENDIX REFERENCES  31 . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  34  CHAPTER 2 LANDFORM - SOIL - VEGETATION - WATER CHEMISTRY RELATIONSHIPS; WRIGLEY AREA, N.W.T.: CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL, AND MINERALOGICAL DETERMINATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS ABSTRACT  • • • • • • • • » » « • • • • • » • * • • * • < » • . 3/  INTRODUCTION  . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .  MATERIAL AND METHODS RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  38 39  . . . . . .  Physical and Chemical Analyses of Soils  . . 42 . . . . . . . .  42  Mineralogical Analyses . . . . . .  . • 52  Water Chemical Analyses  • • 54  CONCLUSION REFERENCES  . . . . . . . .  57 59  vi  Page CHAPTER 3 IN SITU MEASUREMENT OF DISSOLVED MATERIALS AS AN INDICATOR OF ORGANIC TERRAIN TYPE ABSTRACT .  . . .  63  INTRODUCTION  64  MATERIAL AND METHODS  66  A n a l y t i c a l Methods  . . . . . . . . . .  Field Application . . .  . .  . . . . . . . . . .  66 70  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION . .  72  REFERENCES  84  SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  86  vii  LIST OF TABLES Table  Page  CHAPTER 1 1.  S e l e c t e d C l i m a t i c Data o f t h e W r i g l e y A r e a  9  CHAPTER 2 1.  Some S e l e c t e d Chemical o f Sampled S o i l s  2.  X-Ray I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f M i n e r a l s P r e s e n t i n  and P h y s i c a l P r o p e r t i e s  the Clay F r a c t i o n 3.  R e s u l t s o f Water Chemical  . Analysis . . . , , . „ . . . .  . 43 53 55  CHAPTER 3 1. S e l e c t e d Chemical P r o p e r t i e s o f Two O r g a n i c S o i l s . . . 7 1 2. Chemical C o m p o s i t i o n o f Some R i v e r Waters i n t h e Watson Lake A r e a , Yukon T e r r i t o r y . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3 3. I n S i t u Measurement o f S e l e c t e d P a r a m e t e r s A s s o c i a t e d With Organic T e r r a i n Types . . . . . . . . . 7 9  viii  LIST OF FIGURES Figure  Page  CHAPTER 1 1.  Geographic Location of Study Area  8  2.  Physiographic Relationships of Study S i t e s , Cap Mountain  17  3.  Oblique Photograph of Study Area; Cap Mountain in the Background  18  4.  Alpine Meadow Area  . . . . .  5.  Stone Stripe and Stone Ring Area  6.  Cross-Sectional P r o f i l e Through Stone Stripe  20 21  Area, I l l u s t r a t i n g Sampling Sites  23  7.  Colluvial Slope Area  25  8.  Coalescing Fan Area  27  9. Polygonal Bog Area CHAPTER 2  . . . . . . . . .  . . . .  Schematic Representation of a Toposequence of Soils and the Relationships to the Landform Units in the Wrigley Area, N.W.T. . ......  1.  29  46  CHAPTER 3 1. 2. 3. 4.  i  Schematic Diagram of a Dominantly Organic Landscape  75  Bog Area Surrounded by Peat Plateau . . . . . . . . . .  76  Oblique Photograph of P a r t i a l l y Burnt Peat Plateau Area  77  Fen Area, I l l u s t r a t i n g Ground Water Flow Along Network of Drainage Lines  78  5.  Cryic Fibrisol S o i l , Frozen at 30 cm . . . . . . . . .  81  6.  Cryic Mesisol S o i l ; Frozen at 25 cm . . . . . . . . . .  82  ix  LIST OF APPENDICES Appendix  Page  CHAPTER 1 1.  L i s t o f Common and S c i e n t i f i c Names f o r V e g e t a t i v e Species  31  1  INTRODUCTION  H i s t o r i c a l l y , land has been defined as the solid part of the earth's surface as distinguished from the sea and has been recognized as being composed of different types in terms of quality and location. The concept that there are different types of land in relation to quality or more s p e c i f i c a l l y productivity, has led investigators to derive various techniques for the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of land.  Land c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  schemes, the arrangement of land units into various categories based on the properties of the land or i t s s u i t a b i l i t y for some particular purpose, have taken several different forms during the evolution of this concept but generally have been firmly rooted in the geological, pedological and climatological sciences.  Various investigators have attempted to integrate  the botanical sciences into land c l a s s i f i c a t i o n schemes with varying degrees of success.  In order to f a c i l i t a t e a knowledge of the i n t e r -  relationships between various landscape parts in terms of natural features such as f i e l d s , h i l l s , forests and water that distinguish one part of the earth's surface from another part, an understanding of the environment is required.  In the last few years, investigators have realized that  environment can not be t o t a l l y understood, for example, by only such factors as radiant energy and chemical compounds, but must include a description of the form and structure of the landscape.  In a genetic  sense landform, including surface form and geologic substratum, determines the landscape.  It is strongly influential and shapes the structure and  function of t e r r e s t r i a l and aquatic ecosystems.  Landform controls the  2  m i c r o c l i m a t e and s e l e c t s the p l a n t s and animals t h a t can s u r v i v e there. In t u r n , the b i o t i c communities determine the kinds o f s o i l s t h a t form i n t h e s u r f i c i a l m a t e r i a l s on t h e landform.  D e r i v a t i v e from landform i s  v e g e t a t i o n and when landform and v e g e t a t i o n i n t e r a c t a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o i l i s developed.  In r e l a t i o n , m a t e r i a l d i s s o l v e d i n the water a s s o c i a t e d  with t h e p a r t i c u l a r landform o r environment i s a f u n c t i o n o f the g e o l o g i c substratum and i n t e g r a t e s t h e e f f e c t s o f c l i m a t e , v e g e t a t i o n and pedogenic processes on the landform.  Vegetation, s o i l s and water chemistry  are t h e r e f o r e u s e f u l as i n d i c a t o r s o f p a r t i c u l a r environments.  The  manner and degree expressed by each o f these parameters w i l l determine the e x t e n t t o which one o r combination o f these f a c t o r s w i l l e x h i b i t c o n t r o l and hence d e f i n e the ecosystem.  In t h i s manner, each parameter i s  a f u n c t i o n o f s e v e r a l others and as a r e s u l t i s a measurable i n d i c a t o r o f the environment.  For example, though v e g e t a t i o n i n f l u e n c e s landform by  c o n t r o l l i n g r a t e s o f e r o s i o n , and s o i l i n f l u e n c e s v e g e t a t i o n through t h e development o f m a t e r i a l s u i t a b l e f o r r o o t i n g , the degree o f both i s r e f l e c t e d by the d i s s o l v e d chemical l o a d i n the subsequent waters. With the above i n mind, s t u d i e s were conducted to i l l u s t r a t e the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between these parameters i n a p a r t i c u l a r geographic area and c l i m a t i c regime. The area i n question i s l o c a t e d w i t h i n t h e northern p a r t o f the I n t e r i o r P l a i n s c o n t a i n i n g the Mackenzie P l a i n , east of the Mackenzie Mountains.  C l i m a t i c a l l y , the study area i s north o f the  summer l i m i t o f permafrost and has a c l i m a t e t h a t i s c o n s i d e r e d s u b a r c t i c , t y p i f i e d by c o o l , short summers with temperatures  above 10°C. The long,  c o l d winters have l e d t o c o n s i d e r a b l e i c e buildup i n p a r t s o f the area.  3  Characteristic of this portion of Canada, extensive areas of organic terrain are common throughout this region. Two study areas were examined in this region. Wrigley, N.W.T. and another at Fort Simpson, N.W.T. Wrigley.  One at  upriver from  Both hamlets are situated on the banks of the Mackenzie River.  Chapters 1 and 2 describe a catenary sequence of landform and soil patterns established at the Wrigley study site where a total of five landforms were defined.  An intensive examination of each landform  included the sampling of soil material for subsequent physical and chemical analysis and a description of the land in terms of r e l i e f , drainage, elevation and soil parent materials.  The characteristic  vegetative species of each site were also described.  Water chemical  parameters were also examined by in situ techniques as well as laboratory analysis for waters associated with some of the defined landforms. Since muskeg or organic terrain is extensive in this region, an understanding of this particular terrain type is important in terms of land use implications.  A particular expression of muskeg, the poly-  gonal bog landform, formed one of the landforms discussed in the Wrigley study area.  As a result of t h i s , Chapter 3 describes a study conducted  in the Fort Simpson area directed toward the elucidation of the various terrain types associated with land defined broadly as organic terrain. Water chemical,pedological and vegetative parameters were used to distinguish two quite distinct types of landforms; the bog and the fen. The i n i t i a l parameter mentioned, water chemistry, is indicated as being an extremely useful tool in defining these landforms.  This is no doubt  caused by the fact that water is present in very large quantities in  4  t h i s environment, f r e q u e n t l y composing as much as 90% o f the t o t a l volume o f o r g a n i c s o i l s developed i n t h i s a r e a . The r e s u l t s demonstrate t h a t v a r i o u s water chemical  parameters  can be used as i n d i c a t o r s o f p a r t i c u l a r t e r r a i n types i n t h e i n t e r m i t t e n t permafrost zone o f the Boreal F o r e s t as s o i l and v e g e t a t i o n have.  Just  as s o i l s a r e a f u n c t i o n o f p a r t i c u l a r environmental f a c t o r s , so i s t h e chemical composition o f water, namely c l i m a t e , geology, v e g e t a t i o n and time.  topography,  Since the chemical composition o f water i s a l s o  a f u n c t i o n o f p e d o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s , t h i s , i n combination with the other environmental f a c t o r s mentioned above, i n d i c a t e s t h a t water c h e m i s t r y i s perhaps a means o f i n t e g r a t i n g environmental e f f e c t s on the l a n d .  5  CHAPTER  1  LANDFORM - SOIL - VEGETATION - WATER CHEMISTRY RELATIONSHIPS; WRIGLEY AREA, N.W.T.: I . MORPHOLOGY, CLASSIFICATION AND SITE DESCRIPTION.  6  ABSTRACT  Five landforms occurring in the intermittent permafrost region of the Mackenzie Valley are described.  The five landforms,  consisting of d i s t i n c t s o i l and vegetative characteristics occur on a transect from the 1170 m ASL (above sea level) position at the summit of Cap Mountain, Wrigley area, N.W.T. to approximately 500 m ASL at the base of the slope. the Organic order.  Two s o i l s meet the requirements of  Dark surface mineral horizons qualified one of  the groups of s o i l s as belonging to the Alpine supgroup.  An area  of stone stripe and stone ring formation was encountered at approximately 1000 m ASL and an extensive area of lichen covered polygonal bogs occurred at approximately 500 m ASL.  The s o i l s are described  in relation to environmental factors and the processes of cryoturbation causing intermittent horizons are discussed.  7  INTRODUCTION  Although i t is often reported that there is a dearth of knowledge with respect to northern development especially concerning environmental factors, much information is available regarding environmental factors in the Boreal Forest regions of Canada [RobertsPichette, 1972].  Much of this information, however, is indirect for  much of northern Canada as i t is often extrapolated from areas not directly within the areas of concern, e.g. the Mackenzie Valley.  In  this l i g h t , a study was conducted to i l l u s t r a t e the relationships between s o i l , vegetation, landform and water chemistry in the i n t e r mittent permafrost region of the Mackenzie Valley by means of a transect from the 1170 m ASL of Cap Mountain, to the 500 m ASL position at the base of the mountain. The study area is located within the northern part of the Interior Plains containing the Mackenzie P l a i n , east of the Mackenzie Mountains (Figure 1).  C l i m a t i c a l l y , the study area i s north of the  summer l i m i t of permafrost [Brown, 1970].  The area has a climate that  is considered subarctic [Brandon, 1965], typified by cool, short summers with temperatures above 10°C.  The long, cold winters have led to con-  siderable ice buildup in some of the different terrain types in the Wrigley area.  Table 1 presents a summary of the climatic parameters.  A ten year average is given for the mean maximum and minimum temperatures whereas a twenty-five year average is given for the remaining parameters. The geology of the area has been documented by the publications of  Figure 1. Geographic location of study area, Wrigley N.W.T.  Table 1.  S e l e c t e d c l i m a t i c data o f t h e Wrigley area  TEMPERATURE  PRECIPITATION  m  (°o  Month  Mean I''iaximum  Mean Minimum  Maximum  Minimum  No. of days with f r e e z i n g temperature  Total  'Wo. of days w i t h 0.01 or more  Snowfal  J anuary  -27.0  -34.8  -  9-9  5.1  31  1.95  10.9  19-5  February  -20.2  -29. S  -  7.U  -43.1  28  1.25  8.6  12.5  March  -11.3  -23.1  3.3  -36 .-7  • 31  0.98  7.6  10.0  April  3.2  9-9  13.3  -23.0  27  1.52  6.8  13.5  0.6  23.7  7.0  11+  2.30  7.0  1+.8  - 0.3  1  3.60  9-1 .  0.0  0.3  5.03  10.7  0.0  1.6  I+.78  9.3  O.C  May June  13.6  7.1  28.7 •  July  20.6  9.6  30.8  August  22.5  7.0  28.3  Septembe:r  20.2  0.3  20.3  6.0  10  3.32  8.1+  3.5  October  11.3  5.8  12.6  -18.6  28  2.70  9.2  20.3  -35-2  30  2.12  10.7  22.5  h  31  2.10  9-3  20.0  -  November  0.9  -22.2  -  Dec ember  -21.3  -26.3  -10.8  1.8  1.8  -  l.i  -1+2.  10  Craig [1965], Hume [1954], Stott [1960] and Douglas and Norris [I960], The entire lowland area has been covered by a continuous mantle of glacial and post-glacial deposits.  Extensive areas of organic terrain are common  throughout this region [Lavkulich, 1970; 1971; 1972). The study area is located on the south-east slope of Cap Mountain, a dominant physiographic feature of the landscape in the Wrigley area.  Geographically, the transect extended from a semi-flat alpine  meadow area at the top of Cap Mountain (1170 m ASL) to an area of stone stripe and stone ring formation at approximately 1000 m ASL which further extended into a rocky area consisting mainly of broken rock fragments and colluvium at 800 m ASL.  From this area, the transect extended to the  foot of the slope which consisted of an extensive area of coalescing fans, dissected in certain locations by erosional drainage channels flowing down the mountain slope.  The coalescing fan area located between 700 and  550 m ASL, gently extended into a small forest of stunted Picea mariana which abruptly merged with an area o f . l i c h e n covered polygonal bogs at approximately 500 m ASL (see Appendix for l i s t of common and s c i e n t i f i c names for vegetative species described in the t e x t ) . For each of the five landforms outlined above, a description of the dominant s o i l s was recorded as well as a complete l i s t of the vegetation present.  Chapter 2 presents physical and chemical data in an  attempt to i l l u s t r a t e the relationship between terrain type ( i . e . landform and s o i l s ) and water chemistry.  11  SOIL SITES The pedons were examined i n the f i e l d using standard techniques.  Bulk samples were taken o f each major h o r i z o n and returned  to the l a b o r a t o r y f o r p r o c e s s i n g and a n a l y s e s .  Depths and h o r i z o n a t i o n s  are those recorded i n the f i e l d d e s c r i p t i o n . I.  A l p i n e Meadow Area; C r y i c Mesisol T h i s very p o o r l y d r a i n e d s o i l occurs on a 2% s l o p e .  r e g o l i t h i s a c a l c a r e o u s g l a c i a l t i l l and l o e s s mixture.  The  Bedrock i n  the area i s dominantly sandstone and q u a r t z i t e .  II.  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Of  0-11  0ml  11-23  0m2  23+  Description  Dark.brown (10 YR 4/3, moist);pH  3.0  Dark brown (7.5 YR 3/2, moist); pH 4.3 Very dark g r a y i s h brown (10 YR m o i s t ) ; pH 4.3  3/2  Stone S t r i p e Area; A l p i n e E u t r i c B r u n i s o l These moderately well d r a i n e d s o i l s occur on 10% to 15%  slopes on g e n t l y undulating c o l l u v i a l fans.  The r e g o l i t h i s a  mixture o f calcareous loamy g l a c i a l t i l l and c o l l u v i u m .  Each o f the  f o u r sample s i t e s on t h i s landform i s d e s c r i b e d c o n s e c u t i v e l y below (see F i g u r e 3).  12  Site 1  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Ah  0-3  Black(5 Y 2/2, moist; 7.5 YR 3/2 dry); sandy clay; weak granular structure; very t u r f y ; pH 5 . 1 ; clear smooth boundary.  Bml  3-23  Brown (10 YR 5/3, moist); clay loam; moderate fine subangular blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 6 . 3 ; gradual irregular boundary.  Bm2  23-38  Grayish brown (10 YR 5/2, moist); clay loam; moderate coarse blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 5.6; gradual wavy boundary.  Bm3  38-48  Grayish brown(2.5 Y5/2, moist); clay loam; moderate very coarse subangular blocky breaking to moderate fine subangular blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 5.9; gradual wavy boundary.  C  48+  Description  Dark brown (10 YR 3/3, moist); clay loam; coarse subangular blocky structure; f i r m ; pH 6 . 8 ; clear wavy boundary.  Site 2 Horizon  Depth (cm)  Description  Ah  0-4  Dark reddish brown (5 YR 2/2, moist); sandy clay loam; weak granular structure; t u r f y ; pH 5.9; clear wavy boundary.  0b  4-12  Dark brown (7.5 YR 3/2, moist); pH 6.4; gradual irregular boundary.  Bml  12-22  Brown (10 YR 5/3, moist); clay loam; moderate fine subangular blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 6 . 3 ; clear smooth boundary.  13  Bm2  C  12-22  47+  Brown (10 YR 5/3, moist); clay loam; moderate coarse subangular blocky structure; firm; pH 5.8; gradual wavy boundary. Olive gray (5 Y 5/2 moist); clay loam; moderate fine subangular blocky structure; firm; pH 7 . 1 ; abrupt, smooth boundary.  Site 3 Horizon  Depth (cm)  Description  Ah  0-10  Grayish brown (2.5 Y 5/2, moist); clay loam; weak granular structure; turfy; pH 5.6; clear smooth boundary.  Bml  10-20  Grayish brown (2.5 Y 5/2, moist); clay; moderate fine subangular blocky structure firm; pH 5.8; gradual irregular boundary.  Bm2  20-29  Grayish brown (2.5 Y 5/2, moist); clay loam; moderate coarse blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 5.8; gradual wavy boundary.  C  29+  Olive brown (2.5 Y 4/4, moist); clay loam; coarse subangular blocky structure; f i r m ; pH 6.2; clear wavy boundary.  Site 4  1  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Ah  0-3  Dark reddish brown (5 YR 3/2, moist); sandy clay loam; weak granular structure; t u r f y ; pH 4 . 7 ; clear smooth boundary.  Bml  3-13  Dark brown (10 YR 3/3, moist); clay loam; weak fine blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 5 . 1 ; gradual wavy boundary.  Description  14  Bm2  Ill.  13-23  Dark grayish brown (10 YR 4/2, moist); clay loam; moderate medium blocky structure; f r i a b l e ; pH 5.2; gradual wavy boundary.  23+  Grayish brown (10 YR 5/2, moist); clay loam; fine subangular blocky structure; firm; pH 6.4; clear wavy boundary.  Colluvial Slope Area; Lithic Alpine Eutric Brunisol This moderately well drained soil occurs on a 25% to 38% slope  of the undulating colluvial stripe area. colluvial  slope east and down slope of the stone  The underlying regolith is a mixture of coarse textured  material and calcareous loamy glacial t i l l overlying non-  calcareous, shale bedrock.  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Description  LFH  2-0  Dark Brown (7.5 YR 3/2, moist); pH 6.4.  Ah  0-4  Very dark brown (10 YR 2/2, moist); sandy loam; weak granular structure; pH 6.2; clear smooth boundary.  Ahb  4-6  Very dark grayish brown (10 YR 3/2, moist); sandy clay loam; weak granular structure; pH 6.2; gradual wavy boundary.  Bm  6-16  Grayish brown (2.5 YR 5/2, moist); clay loam; moderate fine subangular blocky structure;friable; pH 6.8; gradual irregular boundary.  16-24  24+  Grayish brown (2.5 Y 5/2, moist); clay loam; coarse subangular blocky structure; firm; pH 6.6; clear wavy boundary. non-calcareous shale bedrock  15  IV.  Coalescing Fan Area; Orthic Gleysol This poorly drained soil occurs on a 7% slope of the gently  undulating coalescing fan south of the stone stripe area.  The regolith  consists of a mixture of c o l l u v i a l and a l l u v i a l material composed of shattered noncalcareous shale bedrock.  V.  Horizon  Depth (cm)  LFH  20-0  Bg  0-11  BC  11-19  C  19+  Description  Very dark brown (10 YR 2/2, moist); pH 5.9 Brown (10 YR 5/3, moist); sandy loam; fine subangular blocky structure; s l i g h t l y s t i c k y ; pH 6.4; diffuse irregular boundary. Reddish brown (5 YR 4/3, moist); loamy sand; structureless; nonsticky; pH 6.6; diffuse irregular boundary. Dark reddish gray (5 YR 4/2, moist); loamy sand; structurless; nonsticky; pH 6.4; diffuse irregular boundary.  Polygonal Bog Area; Cryic Fibrisol This very poorly drained s o i l occurs on nearly level land with  slopes of 0% to 2%. The regolith is composed of sphagnum moss species at different stages of decomposition, frozen at 35 cm.  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Description  Ofl  0-20  Dark brown (7.5 YR 4/4, moist); pH 2.6  0f2  20-35  Dark brown (7.5 YR 4/2, moist); pH 2.5  Ofz  35+  Same as above but frozen.  16  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION  The study area is schematically presented in Figure 2 and an oblique photograph of the area is given in Figure 3. The entire transect is i l l u s t r a t e d , beginning at the top of Cap Mountain at the alpine meadow area down through the stone stripe area and c o l l u v i a l slope area into the coalescing fan unit and f i n a l l y into the area of polygonal bog formation.  Due to the remoteness of the area, no data  was available regarding s o i l temperatures or a i r movement patterns, From s i t e observations, i t i s believed that windswept conditions prevail on the sites at the summit of the mountain as well as on the slope. This has the effect of causing the s o i l to freeze early in the f a l l at these sites and warm f a i r l y rapidly in the spring.  As a result this  area was l o c a l l y more arid than the other s i t e s , with s o i l temperatures closely paralleling a i r temperature patterns.  The coalescing fan area  at the base of the slope is believed to be less windswept and covered by a considerable depth of snow in winter, as indicated by numerous examples of krummholz vegetation.  This has the effect of causing the  mean s o i l temperatures to be higher during the winter months than the corresponding a i r temperature.  Depending on the duration of the snow-  pack in this area, the mean s o i l temperatures w i l l remain lower than mean a i r temperatures during the spring months.  Similar to the areas  at the top of the mountain, the polygonal bog area is considered to be generally windswept with the exception that large d r i f t s of snow w i l l accumulate within the scattered clumps of trees dotting the landscape  Figure 2, Physiographic relationships of study sites, Cap Mountain.  18  Figure 3:  Oblique photograph of study area; Cap Mountain i n the background.  19  in this area.  As mentioned above, this w i l l result in a rapid cool-  ing of the ground as winter approaches and subsequently a rapid warming during the spring.  The presence of a thick, insulating mat of  organic material on this landform coupled with these climatic characteristics is considered condusive for polygonal ground formation [Britton, 1957]. The alpine meadow unit located at the top of Cap Mountain consisted mainly of a very poorly drained area surrounding a small alpine lake (tarn). Figure 4 i l l u s t r a t e s the area.  The organic material,  frozen at approximately 30 cm was dissected by drainage lines forming a polygonal pattern, resultant from the windswept and locally arid nature of this area.  An organic soil  has developed in this environ-  ment with the dominant soil in the area being c l a s s i f i e d as a Cryic Mesisol [1970].  according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification Ecologically, the area was typified by a well developed shrub  layer consisting of Betula glandulosa, Salix spp., Salix reticulata and Potentilla fruticosa.  The predominant species in the rich herb  layer were Dryas s p . , Lupinus arcticus, Anemone parviflora, Pedicularis kanei, Saxifraga bronchial i s , Aconitum columbianum and Arnica sp. Feathermosses (Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi and Pti1iurn crista-castrensis) and 1ichens (Cetraria cuculata and Alectoria o.ctocruka) were abundant. The stone stripe and stone ring area, occurring downslope from the alpine meadow area, generally had slopes ranging from ten to fifteen percent (Figure 5). An Ah horizon had developed in this environment formed from the accumulation and decomposition of shrubs and  20  Figure 4;  A l p i n e meadow area.  21  Figure 5:  Stone stripe and stone ring area.  22  herbs.  The soils from the four sampling sites described for this area  were c l a s s i f i e d as Alpine Eutric Brunisols.  Due to the v a r i a b i l i t y  present in the developed s o i l s in this area, a cross-sectional p r o f i l e through a stone ring is presented in Figure 6.  Ground frost had caused  a large amount of mixing and convoluting of the s o i l horizons.  Figure  6 i l l u s t r a t e s two areas in the solum where organic material has been incorporated into the p r o f i l e , described as Ob horizons.  Both of these  areas are located on either side of the stone r i n g , indicating a downward as well as inward movement of material under the stone ring area with a subsequent upward movement of coarser material.  Inspection of  the s o i l s developed in this area indicated some differences in the morphology of the soils developed under the stone rings and the s o i l s developed under the depressions between the stone rings.  The Ah horizon  developed under the stone ring had a low organic matter content compared with the Ah horizons developed in the areas between the stone rings. Such a situation is indicative of both a more intensive biological a c t i v i t y in the area between the stone rings as well as greater cryoturbation under the stone ring area, causing a considerable movement of mineral material into this zone.  An indication of the depth to which  the most extensive amount of cryoturbation may be effective is given by the location of the Bml horizon.  Just as the depth of the Ob horizons  were approximately 5 to 10 cm below the surface of the depressions between the stone rings, the Bml horizon was at approximately the same depth.  This suggests a depth of approximately 15 cm for the maximum  zone of extensive cryoturbation.  Site I 20-|  Site 2  Site  Site  3  4  Stone  Stripe  co  300 HORIZONTAL  DISTANCE  (cm)  Figure 6. Cross-sectional profile through stone stripe area, illustrating sampling sites.  24  The dominant vegetation on the stone rings and the stone stripes which run parallel to the slope was somewhat different in comparison to the meadow unit discussed previously.  In this area  Vaccinium sp. was dominant whereas Betula glandulosa was dominant in the meadow unit.  The stone stripes and stone rings had abundant Dryas  sp. and generally the same herbs as the lush meadow unit but with less ground coverage. On much steeper terrain (25 to 30%) downslope from the stone ring area, the third unit of study occurred.  This area consisted  mainly of coarse textured c o l l u v i a l material and was generally rocky or stony at the surface (Figure 7). With the exception of extensive cryoturbic processes, the s o i l developed on this landform is similar to that of the stone stripe area.  An Ah horizon had also developed and the s o i l was c l a s s i f i e d as  a Lythic Alpine Eutric Brunisol.  Continual downslope movement of  shattered bedrock and unconsolidated material in this environment has altered the p r o f i l e in a certain manner.  The presence of a buried  Ah horizon (Ahb) is indicative of the large amount of downslope movement typical of this area.  Such gravitational processes have also  resulted in shallow profile development in comparison to the s o i l s developed in the stone stripe area. Ecologically, the rocky units were dry areas which were being invaded by Dryas s p . , Lupinus arcticus, Oxytropis Maydelliana, Saxifraga bronchial i s , Polytrichum juniperinum, Cetraria cuculata and Cetraria t i l e s i i .  25  Figure 7:  C o l l u v i a l slope area,  At the foot of the slope, approximately the 800 m l e v e l , the coalescing fan landform occurs.  Pedologically, the area was character-  ized by Orthic Gleysol soils in the more depressional areas and by organic s o i l s , developed on the hummocks of the slightly undulating topography.  Geomorphically, the area consisted of large coalescing  colluvial fans extending from the base of the mountain (Figure 8). The slope of the land varied from 5% to 10% and in aerial extent ranged from approximately 8 to 10 km in length and 1 to 2 km in width.  As a  result of the finely bedded red shale bedrock of the slope area, the material is under constant movement during the summer and f a l l months. The finely broken shale material, being f l a t and non-cohesive, offers l i t t l e resistance to gravitational forces.  Physical and chemical  weathering of the shale material has produced a finer texture for the developed soils in comparison to the soils developed in the rocky unit upslope from this area.  Shale material is known to weather quickly and  completely to material of clay size.  As a result, the area is quite  unstable in terms of engineering uses such as road or pipeline construction. The dominant vegetation of this area was visually striking as a result of the vast expanse of krummholz trees and low shrub vegetation.  The author believes this area is to be inundated with a  large amount of snow during the winter months, blowing off from the nearby mountains and slopes.  Consequently, the trees in the area were  extremely stunted or krummholtz in nature, caused by the weight of the deep snow.  Dominantly, the vegetation consisted of scattered,  27  Figure 8:  Coalescing fan area.  28  krummholz Picea glauca with a s h r u b . l a y e r c o n s i s t i n g o f Betula g l a n d u l o s a , Vaccinium sp., S a l i x r e t i c u l a t a , S a l i x spp., Rhododendron Vaccinium v i t i s - i d a e a and A r c t o s t a p h y l o s rubra.  lapponicum,  T y p i c a l herbs were  Dryas sp., T o f i e l d i a sp., Lupinus a r c t i c u s , and P e d i c u l a r i s kanei. feathermosses  The  Hylocomiurn splendens, Dicranum sp., Tomenthypnum n i t e n s  and Dicranum undulatum were abundant, with the l i c h e n s C l a d i n a a r b u s c u l a and C e t r a r i a c u c u l a t a present. Extending east from the c o a l e s c i n g fan area d e s c r i b e d above was a small f o r e s t o f stunted P i c e a mariana which a b r u p t l y bordered on an e x t e n s i v e l i c h e n covered bog or peat polygon [ T a r n o c a i , 1970] area. T h i s type o f t e r r a i n had polygonal cracks o u t l i n e d i n the bogs with polygons 15-20 m i n diameter.  These were o u t l i n e d by f i s s u r e s o f  v a r i a b l e width (1-3 m) and sunk about 0.5 m below the surrounding terrain.  An a e r i a l view o f the polygonal bog i s presented i n Figure 9.  These hummocky s u r f a c e d bogs had C r y i c F i b r i s o l s as the dominant s o i l s . These s o i l s c o n s i s t e d o f 30 cm o f b l a c k , moderately decomposed o r g a n i c matter over raw undecomposed sphagnum d e r i v e d peat with i c e a t 35 cm. V e g e t a t i v e l y , the area was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a shrub l a y e r o f l e s s than 1 m i n height.  The s p e c i e s c o n s i s t e d o f Betula g l a n d u l o s a ,  Ledum decumbens, Andromeda p o l i f o l i a , Vaccinium v i t i s - i d a e a , and Rubus chamaemorus. The dominant sphagna was Sphagnum fuscum w h i l e approximately 80% o f the ground was covered by l i c h e n s p e c i e s c o n s i s t i n g o f C l a d i n a a l p e s t r u s , C e t r a r i a c u c u l a t a , C l a d i n a r a n g i f e r i n a and Cladina m i t i s . In summary, the f i v e landforms d e s c r i b e d appeared  distinctly  d i f f e r e n t p e d o l o g i c a l l y as well as e c o l o g i c a l l y but when considered c o l l e c t i v e l y were component ecosystems forming a p a r t o f the major  29  Figure 9 :  Polygonal bog area.  30  ecosystem characteristic of this part of the Boreal Forest region of Canada [Rowe, 1959].  Gross climatic regimes dominate the characteris-  t i c s of the physical environment in this region.  The cold  temperatures associated with each of the f i v e landforms caused not only a limited biological breakdown of organic matter but also increased the physical weathering of rock material due to intense freeze and thaw cycles.  Soil formation on mineral sites was shallow and highly retarded  by mixing of soil horizons as a result of cryoturbation.  The subangular  blocky structures and f r i a b l e consistencies reflected the high permeability and low clay mineral contents of these s o i l s i l l u s t r a t i n g the low level of chemical weathering.  Organic matter had accumulated  to variable depths at certain locations in this region and tended to modify the effect of climate.  The organic material accumulated in the  alpine meadow study area was at a higher stage of decomposition than was the organic material located on the polygon bog study area.  The  elevation of the sites and the distribution of snow has affected the distribution of permafrost and the types of vegatative species. of these factors has contributed to a higher degree of biological a c t i v i t y at the alpine meadow s i t e .  i  Each  31  APPENDIX  Common Names  Scientific Names  Trees Black spruce  Picea mariana  White spruce  Picea glauca  Shrubs Moorwart  Andromeda p o l i f o i i a  Kinnickinnick  Arctostaphylos rubra  Bog birch  Betula glandulosa  Arctic labrador tea  Ledum decumbens  Shrubby cinquefoil  Potentilla fruticosa  Purple rhododendron  Rhododendron lapponicum  Baked appleberry  Rubus chamaemorus  Willow  Salix reticulata Salix spp. Vaccinium vitis-idaea  Cowberry  Vaccinium sp.  Herbs Monkshood  Aconitum columbianum  Anemone  Anemone parviflora  32  S c i e n t i f i c Names  Common Names Arnica  A r n i c a sp.  Dryas  Dryas sp.  Arctic lupine  Lupinus a r c t i c u s  Locoweed  Oxytropis maydel1iana  Louse wort  P e d i c u l a r i s kanei  Spotted  Saxifraga bronchial i s  saxifrage  Tofieldia  T o f i e l d i a sp.  Sphagna Sphagnum  Sphagnum fuscum  Mosses Wavy dicranum  Dicranum undulatum  Ribbed bog moss  Dicranum sp.  Feather moss  Hylocomium splendens  Schrebers moss  Pleurozium s c h r e b e r i  H a i r cap moss  Pti1iurn c r i s t a - c a s t r e n s i s  i  L i v e r wort  Polytrichum  juniperinurn  Tomenthypnum n i t e n s  Lichens Reindeer mosses  Alectoria  octocruka  Cetraria cuculata  33  Common Names Reindeer mosses  S c i e n t i f i c Names Cetraria t i l e s i i Cladina alpestrus Cladina arbuscula Cladina mitis Cladina rangiferina  34  REFERENCES  1.  BRANDON, L.V. 1965. Groundwater hydrology and water supply in the D i s t r i c t of Mackenzie, Yukon Territory and adjoining parts of B r i t i s h Columbia.  Rept. No. 25; Paper 64-39, Geo!. Surv.  Canada, Ottawa.  2.  BRITTON, M.E. 1957. Vegetation of the a r c t i c tundra.  In H.P.  Hansen, ed. Arctic biology, Oregon State Univ. Press., pp. 67-130.  3.  BROWN, R.J.E. 1970. Permafrost in Canada - i t s influence on northern development.  4.  Univ. of Toronto Press.  CANADA SOIL SURVEY COMMITTEE. 1970. The system of s o i l c l a s s i f i cation for Canada. Can. Dept. Agr., Ottawa, Ontario.  5.  CRAIG, B.G. 1965. Glacial Lake McConnell and the s u r f i c i a l geology of parts of the Slave River and Redstone River map areas, D i s t r i c t of Mackenzie.  B u l l . 122, Geol. Surv. of Canada,  Ottawa. i 6.  DOUGLAS, R.J.W. and A.W. MORRIS. 1960. Horn River map area, Northwest Territories. Paper 59-11, Geol. Surv. of Canada, Ottawa.  35  HUME, G.S. 1954. The lower Mackenzie River area, Northwest Territories and Yukon. Memoir 273, Geol. Surv. of Canada, Ottawa.  LAVKULICH, L.M. 1970, 1971, 1972. Arctic Land Use Research (ALUR). Reports on north of 60.  Dept. of Indian and Northern  A f f a i r s , Ottawa.  ROBERTS-RICHETTE, R. 1972. Annotated bibliography of permafrost vegetation - w i l d l i f e - landform relationships.  Forest  Management Inst. Rept. FMR-X-43, Ottawa.  ROWE, J . S . 1959.  Forest regions of Canada, Canada Dept. of  Northern Affairs and Natural Resources. For. Br. B u l l . No. 123.  STOTT, D.F. 1960. Cretaceous rocks in the region of Liard River, Northwest Territories.  B u l l . 63. Geol. Surv. of Canada,  Ottawa.  TARNOCAI, C. 1970. Classification of peat landforms in Manitoba Canada Agr., Winnipeg.  36  C H A P T E R  2  LANDFORM - SOIL - VEGETATION - WATER CHEMISTRY RELATIONSHIPS; WRIGLEY AREA, N.W.T.: I I . CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL AND MINERALOGICAL DETERMINATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS  37  ABSTRACT A d i s c u s s i o n i s presented on t h e r e s u l t s o f s e l e c t e d c h e m i c a l , p h y s i c a l and m i n e r a l o g i c a l analyses c a r r i e d o u t on s o i l samples c o l l e c t e d from catenary sequences from f i v e landforms i n the i n t e r m i t t e n t permaf r o s t r e g i o n o f the Mackenzie V a l l e y , N.W.T. The f i v e landforms a r e an a l p i n e meadow, an area o f stone s t r i p e and stone r i n g f o r m a t i o n , a c o l l u v i a l s l o p e , a c o a l e s c i n g f a n and an area o f polygonal bog f o r m a t i o n . Information on chemical water q u a l i t y i s a l s o presented f o r each o f these areas f o r t h e parameters pH, G^, Ca, Mg, Na, K, C l , F and NOg. R e l a t i o n ships a r e d i s c u s s e d i n terms o f the environmental c o n t r o l s t h a t occur on t h e f i v e landforms.  An attempt i s made t o show the r e l a t i o n s h i p s  between the f o u r parameters; landform, s o i l , v e g e t a t i o n , and water chemistry.  A l s o , an i n d i c a t i o n i s given o f the u s e f u l n e s s o f t h i s data  as environmental i n d i c a t o r s f o r t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f p a r t i c u l a r t e r r a i n types.  38  INTRODUCTION  The r e s u l t s o f c h e m i c a l , p h y s i c a l and m i n e r a l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n s performed on s o i l s from f i v e d i s t i n c t l a n d f o r m s o c c u r r i n g on a t r a n s e c t down a mountain s l o p e i n t h e Mackenzie V a l l e y ,  •Presented. classified.  In  N.W.T. a r e  Chapter 1 o f t h e study t h e s o i l s were d e s c r i b e d and R e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e d i s c u s s e d between w a t e r c h e m i c a l d a t a  and v a r i o u s p e d o l o g i c and g e o l o g i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e l a n d f o r m s .  39  MATERIAL AND METHODS  Laboratory analysis of the sampled soils was performed on the less than 2 mm material.  P a r t i c l e size analysis was accomplished by  treatment of the sample with H2O2 for removal of organic matter followed' by hydrometer analysis as described by Day [1950]. Organic matter was estimated by determination of total carbon with a Leco induction furnace and carbon analyzer [ A l l i s o n , ejt al_.; 1965]. Total nitrogen was determined by semi-micro Kjeldahl methods [Bremner, 1965]. Cation exchange capacity and exchangeable cations were determined by neutral, normal NH^OAc leaching, followed by semi-micro Kjeldahl determination of absorbed ammonium and atomic absorption spectrophotometric procedures for exchangeable cations, as developed in the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of Soil Science laboratory. The determination of pH was carried out on 1:1 mineral material: water and 1:2 mineral material: 0.01 M CaCl s l u r r i e s . Due to 2  their high moisture holding capacity, 1:2 organic material: water and 1:4 organic material: 0.01 M CaClg slurries were used for the organic soils. Free iron and aluminum were extracted by the ammonium oxalate procedure of McKeague and Day [1966]. Analysis of water samples was performed both in situ and in the laboratory.  The parameters pH and dissolved oxygen were  40  determined  i n s i t u a t the s i t e while NO^, F and Cl were analyzed w i t h i n  a few hours a t the f i e l d camp with the a i d o f s p e c i f i c i o n e l e c t r o d e s . Samples were taken a t the s i t e i n p l a s t i c b o t t l e s and d e l i v e r e d t o the l a b o r a t o r y where a n a l y s i s f o r Na, Ca, Mg and K was performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry  procedures.  The s p e c i f i c i o n e l e c t r o d e s  employed were s o l i d s t a t e Cl and F e l e c t r o d e s and a l i q u i d j u n c t i o n NOg ion e l e c t r o d e .  A s i n g l e j u n c t i o n r e f e r e n c e e l e c t r o d e (Orion Model  90-01; Orion Research Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts)  was used with the  N0^ i o n e l e c t r o d e with s a t u r a t e d KCl as the f i l l i n g s o l u t i o n . A double j u n c t i o n (Orion Model 90-02) r e f e r e n c e e l e c t r o d e was used with the c h l o r i d e e l e c t r o d e to minimize the l i q u i d j u n c t i o n p o t e n t i a l and avoid sample contamination.  The F i o n e l e c t r o d e i s a combination  type,  having a b u i l t i n r e f e r e n c e e l e c t r o d e , using s a t u r a t e d KCl as the r e f e r e n c e s o l u t i o n . A combination  pH e l e c t r o d e employing s a t u r a t e d  KCl as the r e f e r e n c e f i l l i n g s o l u t i o n was used f o r the measurement o f hydrogen i o n a c t i v i t y .  D i s s o l v e d oxygen was determined with a Y.S.I.  Model 54 oxygen meter (Yellow Springs Instrument Co. Inc., Yellow S p r i n g s , Ohio).  This meter i n c o n j u n c t i o n with an oxygen e l e c t r o d e  i s capable o f determining the d i s s o l v e d oxygen c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f l i q u i d s w i t h i n the range o f 0.0 t o 20.0 ppm [Walmsley and L a v k u l i c h , 1973]. S o i l samples c o l l e c t e d f o r c l a y mineral i d e n t i f i c a t i o n were a i r - d r i e d , crushed and f r a c t i o n a t e d by s i e v i n g and c e n t r i f u g e techniques. The c l a y s i z e d m a t e r i a l (< 2um) was separated using a l a b o r a t o r y model s u p e r c e n t r i f u g e (Sharpies Co., P h i l a d e l p h i a , Pa.) f o l l o w i n g the procedure o u t l i n e d by Jackson [1956].  The c l a y s i z e separates were then  t r e a t e d to make the f o l l o w i n g p a r a l l e l o r i e n t e d s l i d e s :  Mg-saturated,  41  Mg-saturated and g l y c o l s o l v a t e d , K-saturated, K-saturated and heated to 300C, and K-saturated and heated to 500C f o l l o w i n g the procedure outl i n e d by Jackson  [1956].  The p a r a l l e l o r i e n t e d c l a y mineral s l i d e s were s u b j e c t e d to Ni f i l t e r e d CuKa r a d i a t i o n using a P h i l l i p s X-ray d i f f r a c t o m e t e r . The r e s u l t a n t d i f f r a c t o g r a m s were i n t e r p r e t e d a c c o r d i n g to standard methods [Jackson, 1964; W h i t t i g , 1965] and the r e l a t i v e q u a n t i t i e s o f each c l a y mineral present were expressed as a f u n c t i o n o f peak i n t e n s i t y and peak a r e a .  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Physical and Chemical Analyses of Soils To f a c i l i t a t e a knowledge of the interrelationships between various landscape parts, an understanding of the environment is required.  Environment can not be totally understood by only such factors  as radiant energy and chemical and physical composition but must also include a description of the form and structure of the landscape.  In a  genetic sense, landform, including surface form and geologic substratum, determines the landscape.  It in conjunction with elevation, is strongly  influential and shapes the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.  Landform and elevation control the micro-climate  within a climatic region and select the plants and animals that can survive there.  In turn, the biotic communities determine the kinds of  s o i l s that form in the s u r f i c i a l materials on the landform.  Derivative  from landform is vegetation and when landform and vegetation interact, a characteristic soil profile is developed.  Chemical water quality  in relation, is a function of the geologic substratum and integrates the effect of climate, vegetation and pedogenic processes on the landform.  Vegetation, soils and chemical water quality are therefore useful  as indicators of particular environments rather than as definers of i t . The manner and degree expressed by each of these parameters w i l l determine the extent to which one or a combination of these factors w i l l exhibit control and hence define the ecosystem.  In this manner,  each parameter is a function of several others and as a result is a  43  Some Selected Chemical  Site  Alpine Meadow Area Stone Stripe Area Site 1  Of 0ml 0m2  Depth (cm)  ..Coarse Fragments (X)  Sand  Silt  Clay  (X)  (X)  (X)  0-11 11-23 23+  N  OM  C/N  H0 2  PH  Exchangeable Cations CaCl,  Ca  Mg  Na  K CEC  ——(me/100 g)— 0.68 69.1 58.3 1.78 44.0 14.2 1.72 42.0 12.0  3.9 5.1 5.1  3.0 4.3 4.3  8.81 8.13 15.21 8.44 12.50 7.81  Oxalate Extractable Fe Al  (%)  (X)  1.96 1.55 126.22 1.89 0.38 99.45 1.95 0.29 82.87  Ah Bml Bm2 Bm3 C  0-3 3-23 23-30 38-48 48+  24.7 36.1 4.7 21.3 30.8  44.4 39.0 32.4 29.2 33.2  15.2 32.4 27.3 29.8 30.9  40.4 28.6 40.3 41.0 35.9  0.46 14.4 0.14 3.4 0.08 1.9 0.09 1.9 0.08 0.3  18.0 13.8 13.7 12.2 16.4  5.6 6.6 6.2 6.5 7.3  5.1 6.3 5.6 5.9 6.8  12.88 5.00 13.13 15.00 15.00  6.88 6.06 6.44 7.88 8.06  8.75 0.63 0.69 0.69 0.63  0.34 0.29 0.24 0.22 0.18  40.16 29.89 27.47 29.25 25.17  0.20 0.19 0.17 0.19  0.20 0.19 0.18 0.14  Ah Ob Bml Bm2 C  0-4 4-12 12-22 22-47 47+  10.7  48.7  25.5  25.8  29.8 1.0 24.2  37.9 41.2 28.8  32.9 27.2 35.9  29.2 31.6 35.3  0.80 19.2 0.70 18.1 0.17 3.8 0.08 1.8 0.08 0.5  13.7 14.9 12.9 13.0 25.4  6.4 '6.9 7.0 6.6 7.7  5.9 6.4 6.3 5.8 7.1  46.88 33.75 18.13 13.75 15.00  4.13 5.00 4.75 5.50 7.06  3.13 1.25 0.63 0.63 0.56  0.48 0.17 0.16 0.19 0.13  58.45 52.78 31.29 0.17 26.32 0.18 26.57 0.24  0.20 0.18 0.12  Site 3  Ah Bml Bm2 C  0-10 10-20 20-21 29+  13.4 20.2 18.2 19.8  32.2 25.5. 23.4 35.6  35.5 29.5 32.5 28.0  32.3 45.0 44.1 36.4  0.13 0.07 0.07 0.08  11.6 15.1 13.7 12.0  5,6 5.8 5.8 6.2  13.13 14.38 13.75 15.00  6.06 8.94 9.44 8.38  0.69 0.69 0.69 0.69  0.20 0.36 0.29 0.22  29.63 26.70 0.28 28.23 0.25 28.87 0.31  0.21 0.20 0.18  Site 4  Ah Bml Bm2 C  0-3 ,3-13 13-23 23+  18.6 8.2 17.2 9.5  51.2 41.2 32.5 33.0  23.7 30.5 30.5 33.0  25.1 28.3 37.0 34.0  0.47 15.1 18.5 0.37 6.5 10.0 0.09 2.2 13.9 0.08 2.0 14.7  5.4 5.9 6.9 7.1  4.7 5.1 5.8 6.4  9.38 4.63 9.38 3.00 13.75 7.19 13.75 9.31  1.38 1.25 0.56 0.39  0.33 0.20 0.18 0.26  30.60 27.79 26.83 0.27 26.96 0.26  0.19 0.16  LFH Ah Ahb Bm C  0-2 2-6 6-8 8-18 18+  20.3 25.5 29.2 26.6  0.52 15.4 0.51 11.4 0.42 8.2 0.09 4.2 0.08 4.7  17.0 12.8 11.2 26.6 33.6  6.7 6.7 6.7 7.4 7.4  9.13 0.05 0.50 8.69 0.02 0.19 9.25 0.02 0.18 7.38 0.02 0.20 7.75 0.20 0.20  39.01 39.78 36.85 25.43 0.29 25.30 0.27  0.13 0.14  Coalescing Fan Area  LFH Bg BC C  0-20 20-31 31-39 39+  9.0 1.6 2.7  2.13 65.2 0.16 5.9 0.04 4.7 0.04 2.7  17.6 21.0 66.7 38.2  6.4 6.9 7.2 7.2  5.9 6.4 6.6 6.4  4.13 17.50 7.90 8.03  30.94 7.06 4.00 3.75  Polygonal Bog Area  Ql 012 Ofz  0-20 20-35 35+  0.71 72.9 60.0 0.82 70.4 50.0  3.-: 3.4  2.6 2.5  4.38 1.25  0.81 3.75  Site 2  Colluvial Slope Area  IV,  Horizon  Table 1 and Physical Properties of Sampled Soils  f  4.1 4.0 44.1 29.0 49.2 59.0 26.8  66.8 50.0 34.2 44.6 70.2 80.0 82.2  12.9 26.5 36.6 27.8 20.8 18.4 15.1  2.6 1.8 1.7 1.7  1.15 25.00 23.75 13.13 13.31  0.10 0.03 0.02 0.02  1.06 158.74 0.17 29.31 0.15 22.50 0.14 22.50  0.04 0.08 34.42 0.15 0.28 56.82  0.34 0.12 0.20  0.14 0.08 0.08  44  measurable indicator of the environment.  For example, though vegetation  influences landform by controlling rates of erosion, and s o i l influences vegetation through the development of material suitable for rooting and n u t r i t i o n , the degree of both is reflected by the dissolved chemical load of the draining waters. In this particular study, five landforms were defined and described in terms of s o i l , vegetation and water chemistry parameters. The study area is schematically presented as a cross-sectional diagram in Figure 1.  The developed soils are also figuratively drawn in an  attempt to show the catenary sequence in terms of s o i l genesis.  Elevation  above sea level is given by a scale on the right side of the diagram. The f i r s t landform, the alpine meadow unit, was d i s t i n c t in terms of surface form and geologic substratum. area was f l a t to very gently sloping.  Topographically, the  Poor internal drainage and  climatic factors affecting biological decomposition resulted in the buildup of organic material on the s o i l which was frozen at approximately 30 cm.  Chemical data (Table 1) indicated the s o i l is extremely to very  strongly acid. with depth.  The values tend to be low at the surface and increase  Organic matter decreased with depth and is in good agree-  ment with cation exchange capacity values which also decreased with depth.  The decrease in C/N ratios with depth is indicative of  increased decomposition perhaps being a function of increased microbial a c t i v i t y with depth.  The exchangeable cations in order of abundance  are Ca, Mg, Na and K, considered typical for this soil type.  Relatively  high levels of total N are indicative of a relatively high level of decomposition, reflecting warm s o i l temperatures during the summer  45  months.  In this sense, elevation and landform have tended to modify  the micro-climate and keep this area windswept and relatively clear of snow.  The geographical occurrence of this landform as a receiving  site for moisture from surrounding slopes and i t s close proximity to standing water have also determined the expression of this landform in terms of vegetation and s o i l s .  Shallow depth to bedrock had resulted  in impeding water flow through the s o i l material which was also reflected by the presence of a rich herb layer of vegetation and the development of an organic s o i l . The stone stripe and stone ring area occurring downslope from the alpine weadow unit was another d i s t i n c t i v e landform in terms of surface form as modified by climate.  Ground frost had caused mixing  and convoluting of the s u r f i c i a l material and hence the s o i l horizons. Reference to Table 1 for the four s o i l s sampled on this landform indicate that there were differences between the s o i l s developed under the stone rings and the s o i l s developed under the depressions between the stone rings.  The  Ah horizon developed under the stone ring showed  a s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower organic matter content (2.6%) compared with the Ah  horizons developed in the areas between the stone rings (15.1%).  The interaction of elevation (climate) and landform has resulted in a more intensive level of biological a c t i v i t y in the area between the stone rings as well as greater cryoturbation under the stone rings causing a considerable movement of mineral material into this zone. The gently undulating form of the landscape in this area and the elevation have caused windswept conditions to prevail resulting in very cold soils during the winter and a substantial difference between  LANDFORMS I.  Alpine  Meadow  EE.  Stone Stripe and Stone Ring  m.  Colluvial  Slope  BL. Coalescing 3E. Polygonal  CAP  MOUNTAIN  Fan  ELEVATION ABOVE SEA LEVEL (meters)  r  Bog  1200 1100  I-  1000 900 800 700 600 500  Cryic Fibrisol  Orthic Gleysol  Lithic Alpine Eufric Brunisol  Alpine Eutric Brunisol  Figure 1. Schematic representation of a toposequence of soils and the relationships to the landform units i n the Wrigley area, N.W.T.  summer and winter soil temperatures.  The geologic material comprising  the substratum, having a relatively loose structure and a clay loam texture, provides an environment conducive for cryoturbic processes to act.  The sparse amount of vegetation is indicative of an area of  disturbance and also maintains the natural regime by not providing an insulating layer [ F l i n t , 1963].  For similar reasons both the Ah and  Bml horizons under the stone ring area had a considerably lower nitrogen level (0.13% and 0.07% respectively) relative to the same horizons developed under the area between the stone rings (0.47% and 0.37% respectively).  Just as the depth of the 0b horizons were approximately  5 to 10 cm below the surface of the depressions, the Bml horizon was at approximately the same depth.  A depth of approximately 15 cm is  suggested for the maximum depth of extensive cryoturbation.  Particle  size analysis i l l u s t r a t e d that these soils had relatively high s i l t and clay contents.  Frost action was considered to be largely  responsible for this heterogenity as reported for other soils in similar environments [Sneddon, et al_., 1972].  Sites 1, 2 and 4 have a  lower s i l t content in the surface mineral horizon in comparison to the other mineral horizons whereas the converse is true for site 3 (15.2%, 25.5% and 23.7% for sites 1, 2 and 4 respectively and 35.5% for site 3).  This was considered to be the result of sites 1, 2 and 4  being more windswept causing removal of fines from the surface while site 3 is located on a stone stripe area and is thus protected from the wind.  Evidence of clay translocation at site 3 is i l l u s t r a t e d by  the distribution of clay in the profile although no clay skins were observed on f i e l d examination.  Since this material is directly  48  beneath the stone stripe i t is considered to be subject to the greatest amount of frost penetration producing the deepest weathering. Also, vertical sorting is pronounced in this zone resulting in a downward migration of fine material.  Percent organic matter tended  to decrease with depth at a l l s i t e s .  Although no indication was  given that organic matter translocation had taken place, the cation exchange capacity values and carbon to nitrogen ratios indicated that organic matter may become more humified with depth.  In this region  of northern Canada, extremely low temperatures prevailing for most of the year result in the accumulation of organic material due to the low level of microbial a c t i v i t y .  Cation exchange capacity decreased  with depth as did total nitrogen content and appeared not as much a function of clay distribution as organic matter content.  The increase  in the Ob horizon for s i t e 2 was a result of the buried organic material incorporated into the solum by cryoturbic processes.  The pH values  show the s o i l s are s l i g h t l y acid to neutral, inhibiting the mobilization of Fe and A l .  This observation is supported by the data for acid  ammonium oxalate extrable Fe and Al which, although i l l u s t r a t i n g generally more Fe present than A l , indicate no horizons of sesquioxide accumulation are present. The third unit of study occurred downslope from the stone stripe area on much steeper terrain (25% to 30%).  The landform, called  the c o l l u v i a l slope area, was typified by coarse textured material, generally rocky at the surface with many protrusions of bedrock outcrops.  The same general chemical trends held for this s o i l in  comparison with the stone stripe area in terms of decreasing organic  49  matter and nitrogen contents with depth.  The main differences stemmed  from the fact that the s u r f i c i a l material in this area is moving downslope almost continuously as indicated by the presence of the Ahb horizon. Organic material has become incorporated into this pedon solifluction  and gravitational processes.  by these  This has resulted in a  relatively higher organic matter content (4.7%) and C:N ratio (33.6) for the s o i l parent material (C horizon) as compared to the stone ring area (approximately 2% and 14.0 respectively).  Also, physical analyses  i l l u s t r a t e d a coarser texture as well as a higher coarse fragment content in comparison to the stone ring unit.  Vegetation has provided l i t t l e  influence on the s t a b i l i t y of the material as reflected by the sparse occurrence of herbs and lichens.  Pedogenic processes in terms of  gravitational and physical weathering acting on the geologic material in this environment have produced the expression of this landform and hence determined the makeup of the ecosystem.. The condition of the geologic substratum in terms of i t s coarse texture and convoluted nature and the sparse vegetation are indicative of the i n s t a b i l i t y of this area. The coalescing fan landform, occurred at approximately the 800 m level and extended from the foot of the slope for a distance of approximately one kilometer.  The landform was characterized by a vast  expanse of krummholz life-forms consisting mainly of Picea glauca and various herbs.  Due to the nature of the s u r f i c i a l material comprising  this landform, i t is believed that the area is under constant movement due to gravitational and s o l i f l u c t i o n processes.  Groundwater appear to  be constantly flowing through this material during the frost free months  50  w i t h t h e r e s u l t a n t p o o r l y d r a i n e d c o n d i t i o n s and t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f a G l e y s o l i c o r d e r f o r t h e dominant s o i l .  Particle size analysis  i l l u s t r a t e d t h e c o a r s e t e x t u r e o f t h e s e s o i l s w i t h l a r g e amounts o f sand being c h a r a c t e r i s t i c .  Low l e v e l s o f c l a y and s i l t i n t h e solum were  c o n s i d e r e d i n d i c a t i v e o f i n t e r n a l w a t e r movement r e m o v i n g f i n e m a t e r i a l from t h e s o i l .  C o n s t a n t movement o f t h e g e o l o g i c m a t e r i a l had t e n d e d  to m a i n t a i n a p e d o g e n i c a l l y y o u t h f u l s o i l .  T h e r e was no e v i d e n c e o f  e x t e n s i v e c l a y t r a n s l o c a t i o n p r o v i d e d by f i e l d i n s p e c t i o n o r l a b o r a t o r y analysis.  B a s i c a l l y , s i m i l a r t r e n d s were p r e s e n t f o r t h i s s o i l i n  c o m p a r i s o n t o t h e s t o r e s t r i p e a r e a and the c o l l u v i a l s l o p e a r e a .  Organic  m a t t e r c o n t e n t tended to d e c r e a s e w i t h d e p t h as d i d t o t a l N and c a t i o n exchange c a p a c i t y .  C h e m i c a l l y , t h e main d i f f e r e n c e between t h i s  landform  and t h e c o l l u v i a l s l o p e a r e a and s t o n e s t r i p e a r e a was t h e h i g h e r l e v e l o f h u m i f i c a t i o n i n d i c a t e d f o r t h e LFH h o r i z o n . O r g a n i c m a t t e r , t o t a l N and c a t i o n exchange c a p a c i t y v a l u e s i n d i c a t e d a h i g h e r l e v e l o f m i c r o b i a l decomposition f o r the s u r f a c e l a y e r o f o r g a n i c m a t e r i a l . T h i s s i t u a t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be r e s u l t a n t from t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h i s l a n d f o r m on the landscape.  Not o n l y i s t h e l a n d f o r m a t a l o w e r e l e v a t i o n t h a n t h o s e i n  t h e p r e c e d i n g d i s c u s s i o n and hence not s u b j e c t t o as h a r s h a c l i m a t e but snow a c c u m u l a t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be l a r g e due t o d r i f t s b l o w i n g o f f n e a r b y m o u n t a i n s and s l o p e s .  Such a s i t u a t i o n m a i n t a i n s s o i l  temperatures  a t a l e v e l h i g h e r than t h e p r e v a i l i n g a i r t e m p e r a t u r e d u r i n g t h e w i n t e r months by p r o v i d i n g an i n s u l a t i n g l a y e r . T h i s l a n d f o r m p r o v i d e d an e x c e l l e n t example f o r t h e s t a t e m e n t g i v e n i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n ; t h a t v e g e t a t i o n and s o i l s a r e u s e f u l as i n d i c a t o r s o f a p a r t i c u l a r e n v i r o n ment and not n e c e s s a r i l y d e f i n e r s o f i t . E c o l o g i c a l l y , t h i s l a n d f o r m  51  closely approximates the schneetalchen semi-terrestrial habitat commonly found in alpine and subalpine areas of more southern latitudes characterized by s o i l and vegetation development limited by late snowl i e and a cold usually water saturated root environment [Krajina and Brooke, 1970]. The f i f t h landform designated on this transect consisted of an extensive lichen covered bog containing cracks and fissures delineating a polygonal structure to the surface.  Polygonal ground is  defined as ground with a polygonal surface pattern caused by the subsidence of the surface over ground-ice arranged in a polygonal network [Black, 1952].  As in the stone stripe landform, climate is operating in  conjunction with a unique array of substrate and surface characteristics [Britton, 1957].  It is the distribution of r e l i e f of this landform that  causes differences in distribution of ground water and hence vegetative types.  Similar to the alpine meadow area an organic  developed on this landform.  soil  has  Due to climatic and vegetative differences,  the s o i l material is not as well decomposed as that of the alpine meadow area.  Levels of total M are lower in this s o i l due to decreased  microbial a c t i v i t y .  Lower total cation exchange capacity and levels of  exchangeable cations also r e f l e c t the nature of the environment.  The pH  measurements indicated more acidic conditions for this s o i l in relation to the s o i l developed on the alpine meadow landform.  Waksman and  Stevens [1929] i l l u s t r a t e d that acidity has an over-riding influence on the chemical composition of peat due to i t s effect on vegetation and the rates and products of decomposition.  For example, highly acidic  sites indicated slow decomposition rates, low levels of microorganism  52  a c t i v i t i e s and the presence of certain celluloses and hemicelluloses. Less acidic sites normally show a higher rate of decomposition of cellulose and hemicellulose with an accumulation of l i g n i n , proteins and minerals [Walmsley, 1973].  Mineralogical Analyses The results of selected mineralogical analyses are presented in Table 2. The clay mineralogy of the s o i l samples demonstrated that vermiculite was the dominant clay mineral found in the stone stripe landform whereas i l l i t e was dominant in the coalescing fan landform. Kaolinite was the next most significant clay mineral.  Montmorillonite  and chlorite were found only sporadically and in less abundance than the previously mentioned clay minerals.  This was indicative of l i t t l e  active weathering and a subdued pedogenic regime.  Interstratified  minerals such as v e r m i c u l i t e - i l l i t e occurring in the material on the stone stripe landform, although in low abundance, indicate s l i g h t l y more weathering in relation to the other landforms, conceivably the result of cryic processes.  Fine grained quartz appeared in a l l samples.  In general, the clay minerals are l i t t l e weathered and appear to r e f l e c t the original geologic material from which the deposits have been derived.  TABLE 2 X-Ray I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f Minerals Present i n the Clay F r a c t i o n  Landform  Stone s t r i p e and, stone r i n " area  C o l l u v i a l slope area  Coalescing fan area  Horizon  Depth (cm)  Dominant"Minerals i n Clay F r a c t i o n -  Bml  12-22  Vm Kt I t Qtz Vm-It  Bm2  22-47  Vm Kt I t Mt Cht Qtz Vm-It  C  47+  Vm Kt I t Cht Qtz Vm-It  Bm  8-18  I t Kt Qtz  C  18+  Vm I t Kt Qtz  Bg  20-51  I t Kt Qt<  39+  I t Kt Qt2  L i s t e d i n decreasing order of abundance  Cht It Kt Mt Vm Qtz  = Chlorite = Illite = Kaolinitc = Montmorillonite = Vermiculite = Quartz  54  Water Chemical Analyses The chemical water data presented in Table 3 indicated a higher dissolved chemical load for the creek flowing into the coalescing fan area as compared to the other sampling s i t e s .  A  significant increase in dissolved Ca, Mg and K i l l u s t r a t e d the use of water chemistry information as an ecological indicator.  The increase  in dissolved load is due in part to the finer grain size of the materials in the coalescing fan area as well as the greater erosive capacity of the water as i t flows down the slope.  In this sense, a particular terrain  type (landform and s o i l s ) is characterized. also be indicated by the data.  Differences in bedrock may  In terms of s o i l genesis, the water  chemistry data i l l u s t r a t e d that the r e l a t i v e l y high exchangeable Ca in a l l horizons of the s o i l developed on the coalescing fan landform is reflected by the r e l a t i v e l y high amount of dissolved Ca in the stream water in this area.  Values of approximately 62.0 me/100 gm  exchangeable Ca were measured for the s o i l parent material in this area and 10.4 ppm dissolved Ca were measured for the creek flowing into and through the area.  This is in comparison to values of 13.1 me/100 gm  exchangeable Ca for the parent material of the dominant soil developed on the c o l l u v i a l slope landform and 3.1 ppm dissolved Ca in the alpine lake at the top of Cap Mountain. the coalescing  A higher value of dissolved oxygen for  fan stream as compared with the alpine lake and lake  near the polygonal bog area was considered typical due to the mixing and s t i r r i n g of the stream water as i t flows down slope. The water chemical data also indicated that steady state conditions existed in the alpine lake and the lake near the polygonal  TABLE  3  R e s u l t s o f Water Chemical A n a l y s i s  Location  pH"  Dissolved Oxygen*  Ca*  Mg** —  Na*  K** p  p  Cl*  F*  Ncy  m  A l p i n e Lake ( t a r n )  8.1  7.5  3.1  1.4  0.1  0.2  1.3  0.0  3.0  Creek f l o w i n g fan area  7.8  10.6  10.4  5.1  0.2  0.5  1.4  0.6  1.1  8.0  8.1  3.5  1.3  0.1  0.1  1.0  0.0  2.8  5.7  1.7  3.6  0.5  0.2  0.4  2.6  0.0  2.6  into  Lake; peat polygon area P o l y g o n a l Bog  * i_n s i t u analysis ** laboratory analysis  bog area.  Values obtained for the dissolved chemical load were quite  similar for these two bodies of standing water.  As well'as the water  flowing in the creek through the coalescing fan area, water chemical analysis indicated a non-steady state environment for the polygonal bog landform.  Water samples examined in the peat polygon area i t s e l f were  relatively low in dissolved material.  Quite acidic conditions (pH 5.7)  are typical of bog landforms in this environment,>due in large part to microbial activity and an essentially closed environment [Walmsley and Lavkulich, 1973].  Values for dissolved oxygen (1.7 ppm0 )were also 2  indicative of a closed environment, the bog receiving most of i t s water in the form of precipitation. Analysis for the parameters pH, dissolved oxygen, Ca, Na, C l , F and NG* were performed by in situ techniques whereas the parameters 3  Mg and Kwere analyzed for in the laboratory using, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer on water samples collected in the f i e l d .  A  duplicate analysis for Ca and Na performed on the collected samples using atomic absorption techniques provided results compatable with the in situ specific ion electrode analysis.  57  CONCLUSIONS The objective of this study was to i l l u s t r a t e the r e l a t i o n ships between s o i l , vegetation, landform and water chemistry in the intermittent permafrost zone of the Boreal Forest.  Information presented  on s o i l chemical and physical characteristics indicated considerable cryoturbation in the stone stripe area.  Quite sparse or areas often  barren of vegetation i l l u s t r a t e d considerable downslope movement of material.  In the coalescing fan landform, water chemistry data indicated  an increase in dissolved chemical load, due to an increase in slope as well as a decrease in the grain size of the material.  Clay mineral  analyses also indicated the somewhat different pedogenic regimes occurring on each of these landforms f i r s t l y by a decrease in the abundance and distribution of clay minerals from the stone stripe to the coalescing fan area and secondly by a difference in the kind of clay minerals present.  Just as water chemistry information indicated areas affected  by harsh conditions produced, for example, by slope or climate, mineralogical analyses also identified such areas through an indication of the kind and amount of clay minerals present.  Both s o i l and vegetation  provided useful indicators of the polygonal bog environment.  The developed  s o i l , due to i t s frozen nature, i s undecomposed relative to the organic soil in the alpine landform.  As an example, the dense lichen cover is  often considered useful as an indicator of the presence of permafrost [Korpijaakko and Radforth, 1966] in peatlands.  Brown [1968] however,  disagreed with this concept, as he points out, lichens proliferate in  58  many peat landforms where no permafrost exists as well as being absent from many areas where permafrost occurs.  This contradiction  points to the necessity of interpreting a l l three factors; s o i l , vegetation and landform to f a c i l i t a t e a thorough understanding of the ecosystem.  Water chemical data has also proven beneficial as an  environmental indicator by several examples.  An indication is given  of steady state conditions by both the alpine lake and polygonal bog lake sample s i t e s .  The increased chemical load in the coalescing  fan  creek i l l u s t r a t e s the greater competency of the water as well as greater mixing and s t i r r i n g as indicated by the higher dissolved oxygen concentration.  Water chemical analysis also characterizes the  polygonal bog landform by indicating the increased acidity and the oxygen concentration of the water, typical of a p a r t i a l l y closed environment in this region. In general, an indication is given of the value of coupling information on s o i l , landform, vegetation and water chemical relationships in order to better understand the complex interactions in each environment.  It is suggested that a thorough analysis of these four  parameters, in relation to each other, w i l l provide a working framework for any land use or management of a particular environment.  59  REFERENCES  ALLISON, L . E . , W.B. BOLLEN and C D . MOODIE. 1965.  Total carbon.  In C A . B l a c k , ed. Methods of s o i l a n a l y s i s .  Agronomy 9,  Part 2 , Amer. Soc. A g r o n . , Madison, Wisconsin, pp. 13461366.  BLACK, R.F. 1952.  Polygonal patterns and ground conditions from  a e r i a l photographs.  BREMNER, J . M . 1965.  Photogrammetric E n g . , 18: 123-124.  Total n i t r o g e n .  of s o i l a n a l y s i s .  In_ C A . B l a c k , ed. Methods  Agronomy 9 , Part 2, Amer. Soc. A g r o n . ,  Madison, Wisconsin, pp. 1149-1178.  BRITTON, M.E. 1957.  Vegetation of the a r c t i c tundra.  In  H.P.  Hansen, ed. A r c t i c b i o l o g y , Oregon State Univ. P r e s s , pp. 67-130.  BROWN, R . J . E . 1968. lands.  Occurrence of permafrost i n Canadian peat-  J_n Claude L a f l e u r and Joyanne B u t l e r , eds. Proc.  Third Int.  Peat Congress, Quebec, Canada. P u b l . By E.M.  and R. and N.R.C. of Canada.  DAY, P.R. 1950.  Physical basis of p a r t i c l e s i z e a n a l y s i s by  the hydrometer method.  S o i l Science 70: 363-374.  60  7.  FLINT, P..F. 1963. Glacial and pleistocene geology.  John  Wiley and Sons, Inc. 553 p  8.  JACKSON, M.L. 1956. Soil chemical analysis, advanced coarse. Pub. by author, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, 991 p.  9.  JACKSON, M.L. 1964. Soil clay mineralogical analysis.  ]_n  C.I. Rich and G.W. Kunze, eds. Soil clay mineralogy. Univ. of North Carolina Press, Chapel H i l l . 350 p.  10.  KORPIJAAKO, E. and N.W. RADFORTH. 1966. Aerial photographic interpretation of muskeg conditions at the southern l i m i t of permafrost.  Proc. Eleventh Muskeg Res. Conf. N.R.C.  Canada, Assoc. Comm. on Geotech. Res., Tech. Mem. 87: 142-151.  11.  KRAJINA, V.S. and R.C. BROOKE (eds.) 1970. Ecology of Western North America. Vol. 2, Nos. 1 and 2.  Dept. of Botany,  Univ. of B r i t i s h Columbia. 349 p.  12.  McKEAGUE, J.A. and J.H. DAY. 1966. Dithionite and oxalate extractable iron and aluminum as aids in differentiating various classes of s o i l s . Can. J . Soil Science 46: 13-22.  61  13.  SNEDDON, J . I . , L.M. LAVKULICH and L. FARSTAD. 1972. The morphology and genesis o f some a l p i n e s o i l s i n B r i t i s h Columbia, Canada. I: Morphology, c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and genesis.  S o i l S c i . Soc. Amer. Proc. 6: 96-100.  14. WAKSMAN, S.A. and K.R. STEVENS. 1929. S o i l Science 26: 113. 15.  WALMSLEY, M.E. and L.M. LAVKULICH. 1973. In s i t u measurement o f d i s s o l v e d m a t e r i a l s as an i n d i c a t o r o f o r g a n i c t e r r a i n type.  16.  Can. J . S o i l Science 53: 231-236.  WALMSLEY, M.E. 1973. P h y s i c a l and chemical p r o p e r t i e s o f muskeg. In C.O. Brawner, ed. Muskeg and the environment. Muskeg Research I n s t i t u t e o f Canada ( i n p r e s s ) .  18.  WHITTIG, L.D. 1965. X-ray d i f f r a c t i o n techniques f o r mineral i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and m i n e r a l o g i c a l composition,  I_n C.S.  Black ed., Methods o f s o i l a n a l y s i s , P a r t 1. Agronomy 9: 671-698.  6 2  CHAPTER  3  IN SITU MEASUREMENT OF DISSOLVED MATERIALS AS AN INDICATOR OF ORGANIC TERRAIN TYPE  63  ABSTRACT  Portable equipment has been used to measure selected environmental parameters in s i t u  A battery operated potentiometer used in  conjunction with several specific ion electrodes, a platinum redox electrode and a combination pH electrode were used to obtain ion a c t i v i t y , pH and Eh measurements of natural systems.  In addition, dissolved oxygen  concentration was measured using an oxygen electrode and battery operated meter.  Results from the analysis of several streams is presented to  i l l u s t r a t e the application of the technique to f i e l d measurements of streams as an indicator of environmental disturbance.  Information collected also  allowed for the differentiation of different types of organic terrain based on the dissolved load of the saturated organic materials.  The  terrain type referred to as fen had a higher a c t i v i t y of Na, Cl and Ca, a higher pH value and a lower concentration of oxygen than the bog terrain type.  These results are explained with reference to organic  terrain morphology and the distribution of permafrost in the study area.  i  64  INTRODUCTION In view of the importance of water i n every f a c e t of the p h y s i c a l environment, i t i s s u r p r i s i n g to note that few accurate  and  r e l i a b l e methods e x i s t f o r the i n s i t u measurement of the d i s s o l v e d chemical load of water i n the natural environment.  Often, water q u a l i t y  s t u d i e s are e i t h e r not o r i e n t e d towards i n t e g r a t i o n with the natural p h y s i c a l environmental  parameters or the a n a l y s i s i s c a r r i e d out by  sampling the water, with subsequent storage p r i o r to a n a l y s i s , with l i t t l e regard to the changes i n the chemistry o f the sample during the storage  process. Often, streams c a r r y more d i s s o l v e d matter than they do  s o l i d p a r t i c l e s [Morisawa, 1968].  The p r o p o r t i o n s o f suspended and  d i s s o l v e d loads depends i n p a r t upon the r e l a t i v e c o n t r i b u t i o n s of groundwater and s u r f a c e r u n o f f to stream discharge.  When the flow r e s u l t s  p r i m a r i l y from groundwater flow, the c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f d i s s o l v e d m a t e r i a l i s g e n e r a l l y high.  This c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f d i s s o l v e d s a l t s i s u s u a l l y  lower when s u r f a c e r u n o f f c o n t r i b u t e s most to stream flow. b i o l o g i c a l balance of the stream w i l l a f f e c t the chemical  A l s o , the balance.  C e r t a i n d i s s o l v e d m a t e r i a l can be taken up by organisms that l i v e i n the stream and be subsequently death.  r e l e a s e d , o f t e n i n a d i f f e r e n t form, a t  I t has been suggested t h a t the environmental  f a c t o r s which  determine the chemical composition of r i v e r water are c l i m a t e , geology, topography, v e g e t a t i o n and time [Gorham, 1961]. As a r e l a t i v e l y mobile component of nature, water responds  65  q u i c k l y to the i n f l u e n c e s o f the environment as can be a p p r e c i a t e d by r e l a t i v e l y recent i n t e r e s t s i n water q u a l i t y s t u d i e s as i n d i c a t o r s o f environmental  q u a l i t y and p o l l u t i o n [ M c G r i f f , 1972].  Studies have  recognized the f a c t t h a t water i s a f f e c t e d and e f f e c t s every p a r t o f the p h y s i c a l environment and i s thus a u s e f u l agent to monitor.  Hence, i n  some areas, i t i s p o s s i b l e to use t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n to d e f i n e t e r r a i n u n i t s s i n c e the water w i l l have a d i s s o l v e d chemical load t h a t i s a d i r e c t f u n c t i o n o f the type o f g e o l o g i c m a t e r i a l with which i t has come in contact. The o b j e c t i v e s o f t h i s study were t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e use o f p o r t a b l e equipment and s p e c i f i c i o n e l e c t r o d e s as an a i d i n o b t a i n i n g water q u a l i t y measurements i n areas where c o s t l y monitoring equipment i s not j u s t i f i e d and a l s o to demonstrate the usefulness o f the approach i n r e l a t i n g water chemistry t o t e r r a i n and s o i l i n d i c e s .  Relationships  between landform, s o i l , v e g e t a t i o n and water chemistry t h a t were i n v e s t i gated i n Chapter I a r e f u r t h e r e l u c i d a t e d with s p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e t o o r g a n i c landforms i n t h i s region o f the Boreal F o r e s t .  Organic t e r r a i n  or muskeg covers extensive areas i n t h i s region and hence an understanding and i t s makeup i s important i n terms o f i t s use c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  66  MATERIALS AND METHODS The two areas o f study were i n the v i c i n i t y of Watson Lake, Yukon T e r r i t o r y and F o r t Simpson, North West T e r r i t o r i e s .  S o i l s i n the  Watson Lake area are developed e s s e n t i a l l y from coarse t e x t u r e d g l a c i a l f l u v i a l outwash and g l a c i a l t i l l m a t e r i a l which were d e r i v e d from a v a r i e t y o f bedrock m a t e r i a l s .  The streams d r a i n i n g t h i s area, t h e r e f o r e ,  r e f l e c t v a r i a b l e g e o l o g i c and s o i l - l a n d f o r m c o n d i t i o n s .  In the F o r t  Simpson area, the s o i l s s t u d i e d were e x c l u s i v e l y o r g a n i c s .  The u n d e r l y i n g  mineral m a t e r i a l was g e n e r a l l y medium to f i n e textured g l a c i a l t i l l deposits.  In some areas, a shallow l a y e r of l a c u s t r i n e m a t e r i a l  the g l a c i a l t i l l .  covered  Results o f the l a b o r a t o r y a n a l y s i s o f two o r g a n i c  s o i l s are given i n Table 1. A n a l y t i c a l Methods The potentiometer used i n c o n j u n c t i o n with the s p e c i f i c i o n e l e c t r o d e s was the Orion Model 407 I o n a l y z e r (Orion Research Inc., Mass.). It i s a t r a n s i s t o r i z e d , b a t t e r y operated potentiometer which may  be  used with monovalent o r d i v a l e n t c a t i o n or anion e l e c t r o d e s and with pH and redox e l e c t r o d e s .  A s p e c i a l s c a l e permits d i r e c t readout o f i o n  c o n c e n t r a t i o n s i n s e v e r a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n u n i t s . The s p e c i f i c ion e l e c t r o d e s employed were s o l i d s t a t e C l , Na and F ion e l e c t r o d e s and l i q u i d j u n c t i o n Ca and N0^ ion e l e c t r o d e s .  Redox measurements were taken with a combin-  a t i o n platinum e l e c t r o d e using s a t u r a t e d KCl as the r e f e r e n c e f i l l i n g  67  solution.  A combination pH electrode employing saturated KCl as the  reference f i l l i n g solution was used for the measurement of hydrogen ion activity. Two standard solutions of each ion measured that encompassed the range of a c t i v i t y values expected, were used to standardize the potentiometer to allow direct readout of the a c t i v i t y value on the logarithmic scale.  These standard solutions v/ere contained in plastic  bottles and replaced every few days with a fresh portion to decrease the chance of contamination and deterioration.  Great care was employed  in rinsing the electrode with d i s t i l l e d water and wiping dry prior to placing i t in the standard solutions.  Buffer solutions of a certain pH  value were also employed to standardize the meter for pH determinations. These solutions were prepared fresh every few days from the dry chemical to ensure a r e l i a b l e standard. A single junction reference electrode (Orion Model 90-01) was used with the N0^ and Ca specific electrodes. ' Saturated KCl was used as the f i l l i n g solution.  The sleeve-type construction of this  electrode eliminates the problems associated with the f r i t and fibre-type junctions, but does not eliminate the l i q u i d junction potential.  A  double junction (Orion Model 90-02) reference electrode was used with the Cl electrode to minimize the l i q u i d junction potential and avoid sample contamination.  The choice of reference electrode, as well as a sensitive  potentiometer, is of prime importance in obtaining accuracy with specific ion electrodes. The response of specific ion electrodes is Nernstian in nature and, therefore, similar in operation to pH electrodes.  Since some  68  specific ion electrodes w i l l respond to a certain extent to ions other than the one i t was designed to measure, there is an additive term in the normal Nernst equation.  Equation [1] is the modified  form of the Nernst equation.  E  =  E  a - F T x  1  ^ A  x  +  K  y  (1)  ( A / ^ y ]  where E  = the measured total potential of the system  E a  = the portion of the total potential due to the choice of the reference electrode and internal solution  R  = universal gas constant (8.314 joule °K~^)  T  = temperature in degrees absolute  n x  = number of electrons transferred in half-reaction of ion to be measured  F A  = Faraday constant (9.65 x 10^ coulomb mole ^) x  = a c t i v i t y of the ion to be measured  Ky  = s e l e c t i v i t y constant for the interfering ion  A  y  = a c t i v i t y of the interfering ion  n  y  = number of electrons transferred in half-reaction of interfering ion.  This additive term is made up of three parameters, namely the charge on the interfering ion, the a c t i v i t y of the interfering ion and the s e l e c t i v i t y constant for the interfering ion.  Selectivity  constants are usually determined by the manufacturer of the electrode. Normally, selectively constant values are given for several species.  69  By using a ratio of this additive term to the term for the a c t i v i t y of the ion one wishes to measure, a percentage interference on percentage error can be defined.  This allows a better understanding of the  accuracy of the measurement i f the a c t i v i t y levels of the highly i n t e r f e r ing ions are known [Mack and Sanderson, 1970]. Similar to the specific ion meter is the Y . S . I . Model 54 oxygen meter (Yellow Springs Instrument Co. Inc., Ohio).  This meter,  in conjunction with an oxygen electrode is capable of determining the dissolved oxygen concentration of liquids within the range of 0.0 to 20.0 ppm.  The technique employed by the electrode i s polarography or,  more s p e c i f i c a l l y , voltammetry.  Dissolved oxygen is reduced at the  polarized electrode and the meter is designed to indicate the concentration of dissolved oxygen in parts per m i l l i o n .  Standardization is  accomplished by reference to a table of oxygen concentrations in the atmosphere at a particular barometric pressure and at a certain temperature.  For this purpose, a sensitive barometer is required.  Temperature  measurement is achieved with a temperature probe that is an integral part of the electrode. readout.  The meter has a scale that permits temperature  The maximum error is stated by the manufacturer to be  ± 0.59 ppm 0 at 20°C. 2  In the laboratory analysis of the organic s o i l s (Table 1), the determination of pH was carried out in 1:4 organic material-water and in 1:8 organic material 0.01M CaCl s l u r r i e s . 2  Organic matter was  estimated by determination of total carbon with a Leco induction furnace and carbon analyzer [Allison et aj_., 1965]. by Kjeldahl methods [Bremner, 1965].  Total nitrogen was determined  Cation exchange capacity and  70  exchangeable c a t i o n s were determined by n e u t r a l , normal NH^OAc l e a c h i n g , f o l l o w e d by m i c r o - K j e l d a h l d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f absorbed ammonium and atomic a b s o r p t i o n s p e c t r o p h o t o m e t r y procedures f o r exchangeable c a t i o n s , as developed i n the U.B.C. Department o f S o i l Science l a b o r a t o r y . Field Application Due to the remoteness o f the study s i t e s , small a i r c r a f t were used e x c l u s i v e l y to achieve access to the a r e a s . With t h i s type o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , a p r o t e c t i v e d e v i c e f o r the instruments i s r e q u i r e d t h a t i s both convenient f o r c a r r y i n g the equipment and s t u r d y enough to w i t h stand repeated  shock.  A r i g i d box, mounted on a packboard frame proved  to be reasonably s a t i s f a c t o r y f o r t h i s purpose. Great care must be e x e r c i s e d when using t h i s type of equipment in the f i e l d .  The meters must not be j a r r e d too s e v e r e l y or exposed to  high-humidity f o r long p e r i o d s o f time.  None o f the e l e c t r o d e s should be  f o r c e d i n t o mineral s o i l or have t h e i r membrance touched by any rough surface.  P r e c a u t i o n s t h a t may become l a x i n the l a b o r a t o r y must be r i g i d l y  f o l l o w e d i n the f i e l d .  i  TABLE 1 S e l e c t e d Chemical P r o p e r t i e s o f Two Organic S o i l s  Exchangeable  PH Soil  Horizon  Of, Cryic Fibrisol  0f  2  Depth  H0 9  CaCl  6  L  9  O.M. %  N  %  Ca  Mg  Cations Na  K  C.E.C.  me/lOOg  0 - 7.5  4.0  3.5  75.92  0.89  25.00  5.38  0.18  1.50  118.95  7.5 - 32.5  4.1  3.5  78.23  1.40 28.38  5.63  0.24  0.50  158.94  0 - 15.0  6.5  6.3  65.73  1.88 81.25  34.00  5.50  0.50  166.27  15.0 - 30.0  5.5  5.1  77.56  1.46 42.50  19.25  1.50  2.63  93.30  °z  0m £ ! . Mesisol r y  c  1  0m 0 z  2  o  72  RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Results of the in situ analysis in the Watson Lake area (Table 2) indicate that with the exception of a few minor differences  5  the six streams studied have essentially the same chemical status with respect to the parameters analyzed.  The values obtained correspond  with values obtained previously by other methods in different parts of North America [Morisawa, 1968].  Ca a c t i v i t i e s ranged from 2.4 ppm to  22.2 ppm and Na a c t i v i t i e s from 1.0 to 2.3 ppm.  Oxygen concentrations  of 10.2 ppm to 10.6 ppm and Eh values of 256.4 mV to 316.4 mV were found.  The minor chemical differences among these rivers may be attributed  to the fact that each is located in a s l i g h t l y different environment.  For  example, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water is a function of the temperature of the water and the barometric pressure at the time of measurement.  Hence, the concentrations may change s l i g h t l y from river  to river s t r i c t l y because of climatic differences. Values for the parameters above and below the mining operation indicate that there is a substantial change in the chemical status of the r i v e r .  The change from an oxidizing to a reducing state may be of  extreme importance.  Not only may aquatic l i f e be altered but any  engineering application, such as bridge or pipeline construction, could be adversely affected.  The increase in F a c t i v i t y below the  mining operation i l l u s t r a t e s that the chemical analysis of water can be used as an indicator of terrain disturbance. Mainly because of differences associated with respect to permafrost, there has arisen a need for a more s t r i c t definition as  Table 2. Chemical composition of some river waters i n the Watson Lake area, Yukon Territory  Location  Ca  Cl"  ++  N0 "  F~  3  Na  +  °2 -  PP  Eh* mV  m  L i t t l e Rancheria  11.2  1.8  1.3  5.5  2.3  10.4  286.4  Big Creek  22.2  1.3  -  2.3  1.5  10.4  256.4  Canyon Creek  4.8  1.7  -  0.7  1.0  10.3  256.4  Upper Rancheria  4.0  2.5  1.7  1.1  10.1  266.4  Swift River  7.4  1.6  -  2.0  1.3  10.2  316.4  Seagull River  2.4  6.1  1.5  2.1  1.1  10.6  266.4  Above Mining Operation  10.6  1.4  1.6  1.0  0.5  11.1  296.4  Below Mining Operation  12.6  3.3  1.7  5.2  1.6  10.7  156.4  measured  reference electrode  'reference electrode  =  2 4 6 , 4  m  V  1.4 '  74  well as a better understanding of the different segments that make up extensive areas of organic s o i l s .  Figure 1 i l l u s t r a t e s the relationship  of some organic s o i l s in Northern Canada.  These organic terrain types  may be divided into two parts, namely bog [Drury, 1956] and fen [Sjors, 1963].  The fen is open to the inflow of mineral rich water from rivers  and ground water, while the bog is enclosed by a peat plateau [Radforth, 1955].  The peat plateau is essentially composed of frozen  peat which r e s t r i c t s the inflow of groundwater and limits the bog to precipitation as a source of water.  The spatial relationship between the  bog and peat plateau "as viewed from the ground is presented in Figure 2. An oblique photograph taken from an a i r c r a f t of a peat plateau area that had been p a r t i a l l y burnt is presented in Figure 3.  The bogs appear  as lighter blotches within the reddish peat plateau matrix. i l l u s t r a t e s a fen typical of the region around Fort Simpson.  Figure 4 The  effect of groundwater flowing through the area is to produce the darker network of lines within the l i g h t green area.  These drainage lines  are d i s t i n c t because of the different vegetation supported by the mineral rich ground water. A c t i v i t y values for the measured ionic species (Table 3) i l l u s t r a t e s the chemical differences between these two terrain types. There is a general increase in Na, C l , Ca and NO^ a c t i v i t y in the fen compared to the bog.  The two transitions between these terrain types  are also in line with the reasoning that the fen is minerotrophic (associated with water from mineral s o i l ) while the bog is ombotrophic (less influenced by s o i l water than by direct precipitation).  Selected  Figure 1. Schematic  diagram'of a domir.antly organic landscape.  76  Figure 2:  Bog area surrounded by peat plateau,  77  Figure 3:  Oblique photograph o f p a r t i a l l y burnt peat plateau area.  78  Figure 4:  Fen area i l l u s t r a t i n g ground water flow along network o f drainage l i n e s .  79  Table 3.  In s i t u measurement of selected chemical parameters associated with organic terrain types  Variable  pH  Bog  Transitional Bog  Transitional Fen  Fen  3.8  4.4  4.8  6.5  Na  +  (ppm)  0.6  9.7  14.5  47.7  N 0  ~  (ppm)  3.4  2.7  6.3  6.5  Cl~  (ppm)  4.1  3.4  19.0  70.0  Ca  (ppm)  7.2  99.0  100.0  140.0  (ppm)  6.1  5.1  2.0  1.8  3  0  2  ++  80  chemical properties (Table 1) of the soil developed on the bog (Cryic Fibrisol) and on the fen (Cryic Mesisol) also indicate the effect of groundwater on these two terrain types.  Pictorial examples of a Cryic  Fibrisol and a Cryic Mesisol typical of those sampled are given in Figures 5 and 6 respectively. N content.  The Cryic Mesisol has a higher pH value and  The exchangeable cations show a significant increase in  the Cryic Mesisol compared to the Cryic Fibrisol.  Higher pH values in  the fen are also indicative of the inflow of nutrient rich waters. Although one might expect the dissolved oxygen concentration  to be  higher in the fen, i t is believed that due to the higher activities of nutrients in the fen water, vegetative species are supported that reduce the dissolved oxygen level.  Since the oxygen level i s low,  bacteria that normally use dissolved oxygen will extract i t from a variety of compounds dissolved in the water.  For example, the reduction  of sulphate to hydrogen sulphide produces the required oxygen for the bacteria and also the characteristic 'rotten egg odor of the fen 1  [Stanier et aj_., 1965]. The results obtained indicate the usefulness of specific ion electrodes and related portable equipment for the in situ ment of dissolved materials in water and soil solution.  measure-  The methodology  has application in relating water chemistry to terrain type as well as an indicator of modification of the physical environment.  With water  samples and saturated soils the methodology appears to be precise and useful for characterization without the need for costly permanent installations.  It is believed that this technique could be applied  for the determination of selected dissolved parameters, such as oxygen,  81  Figure 5:  Cryic Fibrisol s o i l , frozen at 30 cm.  82  Figure 6:  C r y i c M e s i s o l s o i l , f r o z e n a t 25 cm.  83  in attempting to characterize soil drainage, provided there exists enough groundwater at the sites for measurement.  It must be emphasized,  however, that certain problems exist in the application of this methodology to natural systems, such as s o i l s .  Problems associated with  electrodes being coated by dissolved materials and the extent of interference from other substances require further study and elucidation. Problems associated with disruption of the natural equilibrium during the measurements of dissolved materials are s t i l l probable, especially with considerations of redox potential and dissolved oxygen.  It is f e l t ,  nevertheless, that the methodology, i f carried out with care, yields more reliable data than conventional methods of sampling and storage followed by laboratory analysis. Due to the climate in the area i t is believed that the sampling and analysis of water associated with these landforms in this area should be performed during July and early August in order to obtain near equilibrium conditions between the ground water, the atmosphere and the s o i l materials after the spring thaw period. In order to understand the inherent v a r i a b i l i t y associated with this analysis i t is believed a minimum of three and perhaps five years of sampling is required.  84  REFERENCES  ALLISON, L.E., BOLLEN, W.B. and MOODIE, C D . 1965. Total carbon. Agronomy No. 9, Part 2, pp. 1346-1366. Methods of s o i l analysis.  In C A . Black (ed.).  Amer. Soc. of Agron., Madison,  Wisconsin.  BREMNER, J.M. 1965. Total nitrogen. Agronomy No. 9, Part 2, pp.- 11 1178.  In C A . Black (ed.). Methods of s o i l analysis.  Amer.  Soc. of Agron., Madison, Wisconsin.  DRURY, W.H. 1956. Bog f l a t s and physiographic processes in the Upper Koskokwin River Region, Alaska.  The Gray Herbarium  of Harvard Univ. Cambridge, Mass., No. CLXXVIII, 178 pp.  GORHAM, E. 1961. Factors influencing supply of major ions to inland waters, with special reference to the atmosphere. Geol. Soc. Amer. B u l l . 72, pp. 795-840.  MACK, A.R. and SANDERSON, R.B. 1970. Sensitivity of the n i t r a t e ion membrane electrode in various s o i l extracts.  Can. J .  S o i l . Sc. 51: 95, 104.  McGRIFF, JR. E.C quality. 89.  1972. The effects of urbanization on water  Jour. Environ. Quality Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 86.  85  MORISAWA, M. 1968. Streams, their dynamics and morphology. Earth and planetary science series.  Mcgraw-Holl, New  York.  RADFORTH, N.W. 1955. Organic terrain organization from the a i r (altitudes less than 1000 feet).  Handbook No. 1, Canada  Defence Res. Bel. DR 95: 1-49.  SJORS, H. 1963. Bogs and fens on Attawapiskat River, northern Ontario. Nat. Mus. Canada B u l l . No. 136, pp. 45-133.  STAINIER, R.Y., DAIDOROFF, M and ADELBERG, E.A. 1965. The microbial world. 527-546.  2nd Ed. Prentice Hall Inc., N.J. pp.  86  SUMMARY  In summary, methodology developed for the use of specific ion electrodes and other portable equipment for the determination of in situ water chemical parameters proved beneficial for the collection of data i l l u s t r a t i n g the relationships between terrain types in terms of landform, s o i l and vegetation and chemical water quality.  The  catenary sequence of landform, s o i l and vegetative types in the Wrigley area, N.W.T. provided information on the characterization of the physical environment in the region of the Boreal Forest and provided a physical base  upon which a discussion of the relationship between these parameters  and the dissolved chemical load of the water associated with the various units can be integrated.  Physical and chemical information presented  for the s o i l s sampled from each of the units indicated areas of extensive cryoturbation characteristic of northern climates as well as areas of i n s t a b i l i t y , essentially devoid of vegetation.  Special emphasis is  placed on the strongly influential effect that landform, in conjunction with elevation, plays in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems.  Vegetation, s o i l s and water chemistry are i l l u s t r a t e d as useful  indicators of particular environments as they are a function of landform as influenced by elevation in a particular climatic regime.  The  definition of the two organic terrain types, bog and fen, i l l u s t r a t e s this principle by using water chemistry as a definitive c r i t e r i a .  Soil,  vegetation and organic terrain morphology also provide a basis for the distinction of these two terrain types.  S p e c i f i c a l l y , information is  presented on the value of coupling data on s o i l , landform, vegetation and water chemical relationships in order to better understand the  87  complex interactions in each environment.  It is suggested that an  integrated analysis of these four parameters within a particular climatic region  w i l l provide a working framework for any land use operation  or management of a particular environment.  

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