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TitleMercury cycling in perennially frozen soils of Arctic Canada, Kaminak Lake area, Nunavut
AuthorMcMartin, I; Hall, G; Kerswill, J; Sangster, A; Douma, S; Vaive, J
Source25th anniversary of the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2000; 2000, 4 pages
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000037
PublisherUniversity of Michigan, School of Public Health (Ann Arbor, Mich., USA)
Meeting25th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment; Ann Arbor, Michigan; US; August 6-10, 2000
Documentcomputer file
MediaCD-ROM; digital
NTS55E/13; 55E/14; 55E/15; 55E/16; 55L/01; 55L/02; 55L/03; 55L/04; 55L/05; 55L/06; 55L/07; 55L/08; 55L/09; 55L/10; 55L/11; 55L/12
Lat/Long WENS -96.0000 -94.0000 62.7500 61.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; geochemistry; hydrogeology; surficial geology/geomorphology; mercury; zinc; polymetallic ores; greenstone belts; glacial deposits; mineralization; bedrock geology; permafrost; sulphide deposits; heavy metals contamination
Illustrationslocation maps; graphs
ProgramMetals in the Environment (MITE)
AbstractIn the Kaminak Lake area, Hg is associated with local Zn-bearing massive sulphide accumulations and polymetallic veins that are distributed throughout the Kaminak greenstone belt. Glacial sediments (e.g. till) partly derived from these mineralization zones and from local bedrock lithologies form a discontinuous mantle overlying the bedrock surface. Repeated exposure of till to oxidation above the permafrost and recycling of organic matter by cryoturbation have resulted in the release of Hg from the sulphide-rich debris and its subsequent accumulation in the finest organic-rich clay fraction of till. The transportation of Hg bound to humic matter on land (in mineral and organic soils) through surface runoff, and possibly the long residence time of organic matter in soils of cold climates, may play important roles in the creation of bioavailable Hg species (methylation) and ultimately concentration in the fish.