STREAMFLOW MEASUREMENT USING SALT DILUTION IN TUNDRA STREAMS, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA1

Authors

  • Chris Spence,

    1. Respectively, Hydrologist, Water Resources Division, Indian and Northern Affairs, Box 1500, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2R3; and Canamera Geological Ltd., Suite 540, 220 Cambie Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2M9 (presently with Project Development Group, Royal Oak Mines, P.O. Box 2010, Timmins, Ontario P4N 7X7).
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  • Michael McPhie

    1. Respectively, Hydrologist, Water Resources Division, Indian and Northern Affairs, Box 1500, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2R3; and Canamera Geological Ltd., Suite 540, 220 Cambie Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2M9 (presently with Project Development Group, Royal Oak Mines, P.O. Box 2010, Timmins, Ontario P4N 7X7).
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  • 1

    Paper No. 96016 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (formerly Water Resources Bulletin). Discussions are open until October 1, 1997.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: With the recent increased exploration and mining activity in the Northwest Territories, there has been growing interest in streamflows. However, streamflow monitoring in Canada's north is limited, especially in the central Northwest Territories where the exploration activity is concentrated. To complicate matters, the standard approach of measuring discharge with current meters or weirs is often inadequate or prohibitively expensive, as many streams in the region are shallow, braided and rocky. In response, alternative techniques such as salt dilution can be used. A salt tracer's competence in turbulent and rocky channels makes it ideal for discharge measurements in these situations. This paper summarizes the work performed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canamera Geological Ltd. staff in determining the stream discharge of a lake outlet using a potassium chloride (KC1) tracer. A variety of streamflow measurement methods were performed and compared to determine the viability and rigor of the dilution method. Results suggest the dilution method compares favorably to other measurement techniques both in accuracy and operational ease.

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