1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
150 South Academic Building (SAB), University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Erin Humeny. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
MSc with Drs. Axel Anderson and William Shotyk.
Thesis Topic: Silt and phosphorus availability in unpaved access road-related materials from forested source watersheds in Canada
Unpaved access roads are a widespread disturbance in forested watersheds. They are known to alter hydrologic and geomorphic processes in ways that increase the amount of sediment and nutrients delivered to streams, which could affect the quality of drinking water resources. This study focused on quantifying two potential hazards: the silt fraction (particles <63 µm) and phosphorus (P), specifically bioaccessible P. Silt and P availability, along with the mobilization of silt from road-related sediment sources, reflects what could be transported in runoff either directly to surface water supplies or to their contributing areas upstream. The results show the potential ranges of silt and bioaccessible P, and that the silt fraction tends to be mobilized preferentially from unpaved access road surfaces. While further research is needed to understand the impacts of these contaminants on drinking water supplies, this study highlights the opportunity to preventively manage hazards associated with unpaved access roads.