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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WQ52

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Mercury in the Lower Athabasca River and its Watershed Open Access

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Other title
Subject/Keyword
Oil sands
mercury
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Radmanovich, Roseanna
Supervisor and department
Schindler, David
Examining committee member and department
Spence, John (Renewable Resources)
St. Louis, Vincent (Biological Sciences)
Department
Department of Biological Sciences
Specialization
Ecology
Date accepted
2013-01-31T13:38:05Z
Graduation date
2013-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This study assessed the geographic distribution of mercury in water, and biota of the Athabasca River, and in snow and vegetation in its watershed. Mercury in the snowpack was significantly elevated within 46km of oil sands development relative to greater distances. Mercury was significantly higher in tributaries more disturbed by oil sands development relative to less disturbed watersheds. Mercury in vegetation was elevated near development, but was higher at moderate distances from development, likely due to differences in atmospheric speciation within upgrader plumes compared to speciation within the downwind atmosphere. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in Walleye, Northern Pike, and Goldeye compared to Lake Whitefish. A large percentage (72-80%) of Northern Pike, Goldeye, and Walleye exceeded the Health Canada fish consumption guideline for frequent consumers. The spatial distribution of mercury within the Athabasca River and its watershed indicates oil sands development is a significant source of mercury within the region.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3WQ52
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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