Sediment, Oil Sands Region
Monitoring activities have collected bulk suspended sediment samples using continuous flow centrifuges and Phillips Tube samplers in the Lower Athabasca River and tributaries respectively. Further, in the absence of pre-development monitoring for this region, high fidelity dated lake sediment cores were used to assess the natural range in contaminant deposition to this region and to obtain a historical perspective of contaminant loadings. All sediments (suspended river and lake cores) have been analyzed in the laboratory for sediment quality variables as per Appendix B in the Integrated Monitoring Plan (cores were also analyzed for paleo indicators of ecosystem health such as diatoms). In addition, as the Lower Athabasca river bed sediments are known to shift and migrate downstream, bathymetric maps of the bed-channel morphology over time was also completed. This will allow for estimates of bed sediment transport downstream for the period of survey, and be useful in calibration\/validation of sediment and contaminant numerical transport models.
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