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Weathering processes, catchment geology and river management impacts on radiogenic ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) and stable (δ 88/86 Sr) strontium isotope compositions of Canadian boreal rivers

Stevenson, Ross; Pearce, Christopher R.; Rosa, Eric; Hélie, Jean-François; Hillaire-Marcel, Claude. 2018 Weathering processes, catchment geology and river management impacts on radiogenic ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) and stable (δ 88/86 Sr) strontium isotope compositions of Canadian boreal rivers. Chemical Geology, 486. 50-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.03.039

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Abstract/Summary

Radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr) and stable (δ88/86Sr) strontium isotope compositions spanning a calendar year are reported for rivers from across subarctic Canada that drain contrasting lithologies ranging from Precambrian bedrock (Koksoak, Great Whale and La Grande rivers of Northern Quebec) to carbonate and clastic Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks of the Western Interior Platform (Nelson River, of central and western Canada). The 87Sr/86Sr isotopic compositions of the river waters reflect the underlying geology, with rivers draining the Precambrian Shield having higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.727–0.734) than the Phanerozoic dominated Nelson River (0.713). The stable strontium isotope values (δ88/86Sr) range from 0.26 to 0.39‰, with the values for the Nelson River overlapping those of the other three. Rivers that have not been developed for hydroelectric power show a seasonal variation in the 87Sr/86Sr ratios, whereas those that have been diverted or dammed show little or no seasonal variation due to increased residence time of their water in hydroelectric reservoirs. The three rivers from Northern Quebec show discrete ranges in their 87Sr/86Sr and δ88/86Sr isotope compositions that correlate with the Ca/Sr and Na/Sr ratios of the river water. These correlations are interpreted to reflect differential chemical weathering of felsic versus mafic source rocks and/or of surficial sediment vs bedrock sources.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.03.039
ISSN: 00092541
Date made live: 18 Apr 2018 10:03 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/519854

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