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Data from: Paleolimnological assessment of wildfire-derived atmospheric deposition of trace metal(loid)s and major ions to subarctic lakes (Northwest Territories, Canada)

Citation

Chételat, John; Pelletier, Nicolas; Blarquez, Olivier; Vermaire, Jesse (2020), Data from: Paleolimnological assessment of wildfire-derived atmospheric deposition of trace metal(loid)s and major ions to subarctic lakes (Northwest Territories, Canada), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vq83bk3pz

Abstract

Wildfires release terrestrial elements to the atmosphere as aerosols, and these events are becoming more frequent and intense in the Arctic boreal forest as the climate is warming. We quantified the impact of atmospheric deposition of aerosols from local wildfires on metal(loid) fluxes using macroscopic charcoal accumulation rates, historical fire mapping, and element concentrations in 210Pb‐dated lake sediment from five subarctic lakes with small catchments. Lake sediments showed small but significant increases in fluxes (median = 5–10%) for 22 trace metals, metalloids, or major ions following fire events. The impact of wildfire aerosols on element fluxes was mostly due to short‐term (≤2 years) increasing sedimentation rate (6 ± 41% increase), whereas sediment element concentrations were not strongly impacted. Wildfire‐associated deposition to lake sediments was mainly composed of Ca, Al, Fe, Mg, K, Mn, and Na, which are major constituents of ash from burned biomass, but changes in sediment flux were greatest for Sb, As, Ni, Ba, Mn, Mo, and Sr compared to pre‐disturbance conditions. Compared to anthropogenic sources of pollution, wildfire‐associated atmospheric fluxes of metal contaminants to the lakes (e.g., Hg, Pb, As, Sb, and Cd) were low. This study provides quantitative estimates of wildfire impacts on atmospheric geochemical fluxes to subarctic lakes, which can be used for modeling larger‐scale impacts under changing fire regimes.

Methods

Information on the methods used to generate this dataset are provided in the citation below or please contact John Chételat (john.chetelat@canada.ca) for clarification.

Pelletier, N., Chételat, J., Blarquez, O., & Vermaire, J. C. (2020). Paleolimnological assessment of wildfire‐derived atmospheric deposition of trace metal(loid)s and major ions to subarctic lakes (Northwest Territories, Canada). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125, e2020JG005720. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JG005720

Funding

Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, Government of the Northwest Territories, Award: 177

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: 06159-2016

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: 05257-2015

Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, Government of the Northwest Territories, Award: 177