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Brûlé Lake

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Yellowhead County AB

Association of postfire peat accumulation and microtopography in boreal bogs

Year: 2005

Peatlands accumulate organic matter as peat because of disproportionate rates of production and decomposition. However, peat accumulation heterogeneity has not been well studied along the microtopographic gradient (hummocks vs. hollows), particularly with respect to fire. Fire affects peatland species composition by differentially removing vegetation and resetting succession, resulting in peat accumulation changes. We examined peat accumulation and microtopography in two historically burned bogs in Alberta, Canada. Measurements of current and historic microtopography were made, and cores were collected along the gradient to identify depth of peat accumulated since fire, as well as to assess properties of the accumulated peat. Current microtopography is significant and correlated with the immediate postfire surface relief. However, differences in the magnitude of variability between sites suggests that differential rates of growth between features are exacerbated between sites and reflected in bog microtopography. Rates of organic matter accumulation, ranging from 156 to 257 g.m^sup -2^.year^sup -1^, were elevated but comparable to published rates of recent accumulation. Organic matter content and accumulation rate were greater for hummocks than hollows at Athabasca bog, but the difference between features diminished at Sinkhole Lake, suggesting that the pattern and properties of peat accumulation and microtopography postfire may be attributable to differences in site conditions.

Investigations of poly-chlorinated biphenyls in bottom sediments of the Bear-Wapiti-Smoky-Peace and Upper Athabasca River systems, 1989-2000

Author(s): Hazewinkel, R., & Noton L.

Year: 2004

Studies of contaminant distributions by the Northern River Basins Study (NRBS) revealed high levels of PCBs in fish in the upper Athabasca and in the Wapiti-Smoky rivers, relative to other areas in the basins. In response to recommendations of the NRBS, the purpose of this work was to investigate the source and reasons for the PCB contamination. In co-ordination with other projects under the Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative (NREI) on fish, water, and benthos, this project investigated PCBs in river bottom sediments to see if there were spatial or temporal patterns that might identify the source(s) of contamination.

Rock Lake - Solomon Creek Wildland Park

Year: 2001

Rock Lake-Solomon Creek Wildland Park is located northwest of Hinton and extends from the Athabasca River in the south to Rock Lake Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) and Willmore Wilderness to the northwest. You can reach the south end of the park along Solomon Creek by taking the road to the hamlet of Brule. The access to Rock Lake PRA is 70 kilometres north of Hinton. A 32 km graveled road leaves Highway 40 and winds along a route used by the petroleum and forest industries. Use caution when traveling this road and be aware that the road is not regularly maintained.