EGU22-13320
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13320
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Co-located ice core and sediment core records reveal climate-warming induced acceleration of mercury inputs to Lake Hazen, Nunavut, Canada

Igor Lehnherr1, Danielle Lemire1, Alison Criscitiello2, Cora Young3, Jessica Serbu4, Amila De Silva5, Jane Kirk5, and Stephanie Varty1
Igor Lehnherr et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada
  • 2The Canadian Ice Core Lab, University of Alberta, Canada
  • 3Department of Chemistry, York University, Canada
  • 4Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada
  • 5Aquatic Protection and Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canada

Mercury (Hg) is a globally dispersed contaminant that can bioaccumulate and biomagnify in food-webs. This research uses a unique combination of measurements in an ice core and a sediment core collected within the same watershed (Lake Hazen, Nunavut, Canada) to determine how the relative importance of Hg inputs from atmospheric and terrestrial sources has changed over the last century. Hg accumulation in Lake Hazen sediment began increasing dramatically in the mid- 1990s, exhibiting a decoupling from atmospheric sources (as estimated from the ice core record), due to the increased importance of remobilized terrestrial Hg inputs to Lake Hazen. Increasing glacier melt and permafrost thaw slumping have increased the delivery of catchment Hg, via glacial rivers, into Lake Hazen. These results show that climate change is likely to slow the recovery of glacierized Arctic watersheds from Hg contamination, countering the anticipated benefit from recent international efforts to reduce anthropogenic Hg emissions.

How to cite: Lehnherr, I., Lemire, D., Criscitiello, A., Young, C., Serbu, J., De Silva, A., Kirk, J., and Varty, S.: Co-located ice core and sediment core records reveal climate-warming induced acceleration of mercury inputs to Lake Hazen, Nunavut, Canada, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13320, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13320, 2022.

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