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The distribution of zinc and copper in Georgia Strait, British Columbia : effects of the Fraser River and sediment-exchange reactions Thomas, David Joseph

Abstract

The distribution of dissolved and particulate copper and zinc was studied at a series of stations in Georgia Strait between May 1973 and May 1974. Large time-dependent fluctuations in the concentrations of both metals were observed which appeared to be related to the discharge of the Fraser River. Although there is insufficient data at present to explain many of the detailed features of the distributions, most of the large scale features can apparently be related to a release of copper and zinc from river-borne sediment as it passes from fresh to salt water. Laboratory experiments performed on Fraser River sediment and a rough estimation of the zinc and copper budgets in Georgia Strait are consistent with this hypothesis. The tendency of copper and zinc concentrations to covary suggests that their distributions are controlled by similar processes. Thus, the available evidence suggests that the observed dissolved metal distributions are largely the result of complicated mixing patterns superimposed on the effects of sediment-exchange reactions and the sinking of sediment particles.

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