Changes in Water Quality as an Indicator of Permafrost Degradation Near Communities in Nunavut



Michelle Blade –



M. Blade – Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office (CNGO), Iqaluit, NT, Canada
S. Forte – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), Iqaluit, NT, Canada



Permafrost warming is projected to continue throughout this century, with active layer depths anticipated to increase up to one metre in parts of Nunavut. Permafrost degradation is expected to increase groundwater contributions to surface water systems, thereby changing solute load in surface water. Water-quality data from a multi-year surface-water sampling program were analyzed for changes in solute load near Nunavut communities. Results are used to inform further in-depth permafrost investigations, and assess potential risks to fish – a major food source of Nunavummiut.

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