Applications of environmental isotopes in water resources studies in Northern Chile - 08 November 2005
The use of environmental isotopes is widespread in studies of water resources in Latin America. An optimum use of groundwater resources requires a comprehensive evaluation of the water balance of the aquifer in order to extract water at a rate that will not diminish the groundwater resources. The Environmental Isotope Laboratory (EIL) of the University of Waterloo, Canada, has provided the analytical support for several of these studies.
(See poster) Interannual Variability in Isotope-Climate Relations in the Canadian Arctic - 01 February 2006
The distribution of stable isotopes in precipitation provides fundamental information about the partitioning of the global atmospheric water budget, and hence about key aspects of Earth's climate, that cannot be discerned using other means. Although continuing demand exists for monitoring of isotopes in precipitation to define isotopic input functions for local hydrologic studies or for calibration of isotopic indicators of paleoclimate, awareness is also growing of the significant value of “snapshots” of the precipitation isotope fields as benchmark maps of the ongoing and dynamic evolution of the global water cycle. The Canadian Network for Isotopes in Precipitation (CNIP) includes a 14-year dataset of composite monthly stable isotope measurements from six stations located in the Canadian high-latitudes. This dataset provides unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage of the Canadian Arctic, which allows rigorous examination of isotope climate.
(See Poster) Application of Environmental Isotopes in Studies of Biodegradation of Organic Contaminants in Groundwater - 14 February 2006
Biodegradation can lead to transformation of organic contaminants in groundwater to non toxic products under natural conditions (natural attenuation) or as part of a engineered remediation strategy. However, it is often difficult to assess biodegradation at field sites because contaminant concentration vary also due to dilution and sorption or as function of varying water levels and groundwater flow directions. Analysis of stable isotope ratios is a possible way to trace biodegradation.
(See Poster) Environmental analysis at the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology - 14 February 2006
A new state of the art trace metal clean room facility not related to uwEILAB containing 4 variations of mass spectrometer is being constructed in the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology. The mass spectrometer is the most widely accepted detector of majorand trace-elements for environmental analysis. We will be using mass spectrometry for geochemical and isotope analyses of groundwater collected from metalcontaminated mining, power generation and industrial sites, and also from field and laboratory investigations of groundwater remediation. Methods based on mass spectrometry are among the most powerful, sensitive, and reliable available for water science research. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is an analytical technique which requires the sample (usually liquid) to be introduced to a high temperature plasma (a gas consisting of ions, generated by radio frequency magnetic fields), commonly argon, which dissociates molecules and ionizes atoms. The ions are passed into vacuum where a lens focuses the ion beam into a mass spectrometer. Here, the ions are sorted by mass and detected.
Possible Evidence for Isotopic Stratification of Glacial Lake Agassiz: 11,700-11,000 14C yr BP - 31 March 2006
In this study the researchers used two different types of archives, porewater and cellulose, to estimate the isotopic composition of Lake Agassiz from a core from the Montcalm site in the middle of the southern basin of Lake Agassiz.
Site Characterization Techniques Using Fracture Minerals for Radioactive Waste Disposal - 31 March 2006
Fractures in crystalline rocks and the mineralogy contained within this part of the environment provide a means to assess the paleohydrologic and paleochemical history of the rock mass.
Geochemistry and Stable Isotopic Signatures, including Chlorine Isotopes of the Williston Basin (Canada - U.S.A.) - 31 March 2006
Comparison of Isotopic Time-Series Partitioning Analysis with an Evaporative Enrichment Model in Lake- and Wetland-Dominated River Basins, Mackenzie Basin, Canada - 31 March 2006
This poster demonstrates that the water isotope tracers, oxygen-18 and deuterium, can be coupled with hydrometeorological data to yield valuable insight about water balance and runoff generation processes in subarctic wetland regions.