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Soil-water chemistry relationships and characterization of the physical environment : intermittent permafrost zone, Mackenzie Valley, N.W.T. Walmsley, Mark E

Abstract

A discussion is presented to illustrate the relationships among landform, soil, vegetation and water chemistry in the intermittent permafrost zone of the Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories. Two study areas were examined in this region, one in the vicinity of Wrigley and the other in the vicinity of Fort Simpson, N.W.T. A catenary sequence of soils and vegetation occurring as a transect on five distinctive landforms were examined in the Wrigley area. The transect extended from 1170 m above sea level downslope to 500 m above sea level. The five landforms were: an alpine meadow, an area of stone stripe and stone ring formation, a colluvial slope, a coalescing fan and an area of polygonal bog formation. Information on chemical water quality is presented for each of these areas for the parameters pH, O₂, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Cl, F and NO₃. Chemical water quality presented for the Fort Simpson study area allows for the differentiation of different types of organic terrain based on the dissolved load of the saturated organic materials. The polygonal bog landform initially examined in the Wrigley area formed one of the differentiated types of organic terrain. The results are discussed with reference to organic terrain morphology and the distribution of permafrost in the study area.

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