Colin J. Whitfield's research while affiliated with University of Saskatchewan and other places

Publications (36)

Preprint
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Wetland drainage has been pervasive in the North American Prairie Pothole Region. There is strong evidence that this drainage increases hydrological connectivity of previously isolated wetlands and, in turn, streamflow response to precipitation. It can be hard to disentangle the role of climate from the influence of wetland drainage in observed str...
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Significant challenges from changes in climate and land use face sustainable water use in the Canadian Prairies ecozone. The region has experienced significant warming since the mid-20th century, and continued warming of an additional 2 ∘C by 2050 is expected. This paper aims to enhance understanding of climate controls on Prairie basin hydrology t...
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Small, shallow waterbodies are potentially important sites of greenhouse gas release to the atmosphere. The role of ebullition may be enhanced here relative to larger and deeper systems, due to their shallow water, but these features remain relatively infrequently studied in comparison to larger systems. Herein, we quantify ebullitive release of me...
Preprint
Full-text available
Significant challenges from changes in climate and land-use face sustainable water use in the Canadian Prairies ecozone. The region has experienced significant warming since the mid 20th Century, and continued warming of an additional 2 °C by 2050 is expected. This paper aims to enhance understanding of climate controls on Prairie basin hydrology t...
Article
Soil mineral surface area is regarded as a key uncertainty in the estimation of base cation weathering rates, yet is rarely measured. Acidification studies rely heavily on pedotransfer functions (PTFs) that use widely available soil data to estimate mineral surface area. This study examined the relationship between soil properties and mineral surfa...
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Classification and clustering approaches provide a means to group watersheds according to similar attributes, functions, or behaviours, and can aid in managing natural resources. Although they are widely used, approaches based on hydrological response parameters restrict analyses to regions where well-developed hydrological records exist, and overl...
Article
Full-text available
Classification and clustering approaches provide a means to group watersheds according to similar attributes, functions, or behaviours, and can aid in managing natural resources within these regions. While widely used, approaches based on hydrological response parameters restrict analyses to regions where well-developed hydrological records exist,...
Article
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Engagement of undergraduate students in research has been demonstrated to correlate with improved academic performance and retention. Research experience confers many benefits on participants, particularly foundational skills necessary for graduate school and careers in scientific disciplines. Undergraduate curricula often do not adequately develop...
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The weathering release rate of base cations (BCw) from soil minerals is fundamentally important for terrestrial ecosystem growth, function, and sensitivity to acid deposition. Understanding BCw is necessary to reduce or prevent damage to acid-sensitive natural systems, in that this information is needed to both evaluate the effectiveness of existin...
Article
Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) to boreal and taiga forests of Saskatchewan, Canada, is currently low, but there is concern over terrestrial eutrophication due to potential increases in deposition associated with industrial activities. Critical loads of nutrient N (CLnutN) were determined for five upland forest ecoregions according to the Si...
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Acid-sensitive ecosystems are found in northern Saskatchewan, which lies downwind of major sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) emissions sources associated with the oil sands extraction industry. In order to protect these ecosystems against acidification, tolerance to acid deposition must be quantified. The suitability of the central empirical relationshi...
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Industrial emissions of sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) to the atmosphere associated with the oil sands industry in north-eastern Alberta are of interest as they represent the largest localized source in Canada (with potential for future growth) and the region features acid-sensitive upland terrain. Existing emission management policy for the Regional...
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The Boreal Plains Ecozone (BPE) in Western Canada is expected to be an area of maximum ecological sensitivity in the 21st century. Successful climate adaptation and sustainable forest management require a better understanding of the interactions between hydrology, climate, and vegetation. This paper provides a perspective on the changing water cycl...
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Globally, greenhouse gas budgets are dominated by natural sources, and aquatic ecosystems are a prominent source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Beaver (Castor canadensis and Castor fiber) populations have experienced human-driven change, and CH4 emissions associated with their habitat remain uncertain. This study reports the effect of near ext...
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The surface area of soil is an important determinant of mineral weathering rates, but is infrequently measured. Simple texture-based pedotransfer functions (PTFs) have been used to predict the specific surface area (SSA) of coarse-textured soils. Detailed physicochemical properties of 40 upland forest mineral soils from northeastern Alberta were us...
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In boreal regions of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, there is concern over emerging acid precursor emission sources associated with the oil sands industry. Base cation weathering rates (BC(w)) and steady-state critical loads of sulfur (CL(S)) were identified for upland forest soil plots (n=107) in 45 ecodistricts according to a new method for...
Article
Freshwater lakes are known to release carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and methane (CH(4)) to the atmosphere; however, the importance of lakes in global nitrous oxide (N(2)O) budgets is not yet known. Further, despite the abundance of small lakes on the landscape, neither emissions of these gases nor their drivers are well described. Dissolved concentrations...
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Immobile element-based weathering estimation methods assume that Zr (or Ti) is an immobile element, and that weathering rates of other elements can be estimated according to the enrichment of Zr in weathered horizons relative to an unweathered parent material. This approach was used to estimate base cation weathering rates for 33 soil profiles on a...
Article
Carbon fluxes at two boreal peatland-dominated catchments in northeastern Alberta were investigated through the analysis of fen and lake water chemistry and the measurement of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) using headspace gas analysis. All waters had low pH (<5.3) and Gran alkalinity (<2.3 mg L-1), high DOC (>15 mg L-1), and were supers...
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The Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northern Alberta is home to the largest source of S emissions in Canada, and some of the surrounding upland forests are located on acid-sensitive soils. The relative sensitivity of these ecosystems to acidic deposition is largely dependent upon the mineral weathering rate. Weathering rates were evaluated across a r...
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The effects-based acid emissions management framework (EMF) for determining the need for emission control policies in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. Canada is dependent on model simulations of future soil and surface water chemistry. An approach for regional application of the Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments (MAGIC) was develop...
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A dynamic hydrogeochemical model of water acidification (MAGIC.: Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments) was applied 10 two catchments with contrasting hydrological influences in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta 10 predict catchment response to elevated levels of acidic deposition. Key processes that determine catchment respon...
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Spatial and temporal variability in surface water chemistry, organic soil chemistry and hydrologic indicators were investigated at three poor-fen complexes in two boreal catchments in Northern Alberta to provide insight into the dominant controls on surface water chemistry. Improved understanding of these controls is required to enable prediction o...
Article
Mineral soil and fibric peat from acid-sensitive western boreal catchments in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada were evaluated for their ability to adsorb and release SO(4)(2-). Laboratory batch studies indicated that SO(4)(2-) adsorption in mineral soil from both the A and B horizons exhibits a limited response to elevated SO(4)(2-...
Article
Sixteen boreal lakes in northern Alberta were sampled for a suite of water chemistry parameters, including dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2), using a headspace gas analysis technique. The lakes encompassed a wide range of pH and alkalinity but had very high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) levels (11–36 mg L−1) and were supersaturated in CO2 with respec...
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Industrial activities have proliferated across Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands Region in recent years, stimulating concerns over the impact of atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions on acid-sensitive terrain. Upland jack pine forests have been identified as possibly the most sensitive ecosystem in the region but despite high emissions of SO2, sulf...
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In contrast to other lakes studied in Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia, Canada), our paleolimnological results indicated that Glasgow Lake has been impacted by acidic deposition starting in the early 1900s. Based on analysis of diatom assemblages, the lake experienced a decrease in diatom-inferred lakewater pH from a pre-industrial...
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The response of twenty acid-sensitive headwater catchments in Nova Scotia to acidic deposition was investigated for the period 1850?2100 using a dynamic hydrochemical model (MAGIC: Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments). To ensure robust model simulation, MAGIC was calibrated to the long-term chemical trend in annual lake observations...
Article
Critical loads are strongly dependent on the rate of release of base cations from the soil matrix. This study compares five commonly used methods for estimating weathering rates at five acid-sensitive catchments across Nova Scotia, Canada. Three of the methods (Zr Depletion, Clay Content, and the PROFILE model) are based on soil profiles and consid...
Article
The response of twenty acid-sensitive headwater catchments in Nova Scotia to acidic deposition was investigated for the period 1850–2100 using a dynamic hydrochemical model (MAGIC: Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments). To ensure robust model simulation, MAGIC was calibrated to the long-term chemical trend in annual lake observations...
Article
The chemical response of 20 headwater lakes in Nova Scotia to reduced acid deposition was investigated using trend analysis, and the need for further reductions was assessed using two steady-state, critical load models. Significant decreases were observed in the concentration of nonmarine sulphate (SO42-) and hydrogen (H+) at four wet deposition mo...

Citations

... Surface runoff flowing into a wetland from outside its depression requires surface storage capacity in upslope 100 depressions to be met such that there can be surface hydrological connectivity from upslope areas. This connectivity determines the area that can contribute to runoff into a wetland or from the wetland complex (Shaw et al., 2012, Hayashi et al., 2016Shook et al., 2021). As antecedent surface storage and the memory of previous hydrological events strongly dictates the timing and volume of rainfall or snowmelt allowed to flow downstream, there can be non-linear hysteretic 105 relationships between the area contributing runoff from the wetland complex and the volume of water stored in the complex (Shook et al., 2013(Shook et al., , 2021 and between the area contributing runoff and the runoff rate (Mengistu and Spence, 2016). ...
... This method was developed for parameter optimization, which is not ideal for testing the discrete k 600 options, and future studies may seek to include capability to consider different algorithms and competing model structural assumptions in the uncertainty analysis. Water-air transfer rates are further complicated for CH 4 , as its relatively low solubility means that nondiffusive ebullition fluxes can contribute a substantial fraction to CH 4 emissions in some aquatic environments (e.g., Baron et al., 2022;Hoffmann et al., 2017;Schmid et al., 2017). However, our understanding of ebullition's drivers remains incomplete and empirical data on its spatial and temporal variability within estuaries is also too limited (Chen et al., 2017) to meaningfully incorporate it here. ...
... Hybrid approaches are supported by inductive patterns while allowing for the classification to be extended to ungauged regions. Clustering is a popular multivariate classification method for catchments Wolfe et al. 2019), but more complex methods such as self-organizing maps Toth 2013;Razavi and Coulibaly 2013) and random forests (Carlisle et al. 2010) have also been applied. ...
... The spatial distribution of heavy metals in forest soil can provide basic information about the pollution source analysis and pollution degree evaluation [59]. In this paper, the ordinary Kriging interpolation method was used to reveal the spatial patterns of heavy metals in forest soil content and the degree of pollution. ...
... The implications of the results presented here are that the parameters of the framework, a, b, c, and d, remain unparameterized for the La Salle Basin and, by extension, for other regional basins such as those listed inTable 1. Catchment classifications are uncommon for the Canadian Prairie, but those that have been done imply the La Salle is part of a group of watersheds characterized by low slopes, glaciolacustrine deposits, black soils, and conventional tillage practices(Burn, 1990;Durant & Blackwell, 1959;Wolfe, Shook, Spence, & Whitfield, 2018). There is value in pursuing research efforts to addressthis gap. ...
... Increased quantity and duration of rainfall can significantly alter the hydrological regime of the Prairies. For instance, early rains in the spring and late fall may coat frozen soils with ice layers, restricting infiltration rates during snowmelt and therefore increasing runoff (Shook & Pomeroy, 2012;Spence et al., 2019). While more research is needed to determine the effects of the observed precipitation trends on the hydrology of the Prairies (Shook & Pomeroy, 2012), slight changes in the region's hydroclimate could have farreaching implications, such as an increase in flood risk for the region, compounding the uncertainty of water management and agricultural decisionmaking (Spence et al., 2019) and reducing the adaptive capacity of different groups and sectors of the economy. ...
... Another study by (Kobulnicky & Dale, 2016) also supports the community mentoring model in UREs to achieve the best research-based practices in STEM UREs. Studies by (Casson et al., 2018;Golding et al., 2019;Ochoa et al., 2019;Pufall & Wilson, 2020;Shubair et al., 2016) further identified opportunities to enhance the URE by using a network approached pilot program to incorporate collaborative techniques and skills within a team. Similarly, (Jelen et al., 2019) proposed the Affinity Research Group (ARG) model in Computer Science, where faculty and student mentors guide undergraduate students to expertise their skills and become equal contributors to the research group. ...
... Vol:. (1234567890) 2013; Casetou-Gustafson et al., 2019;Watmough & Dillon, 2003;Whitfield et al., 2018). Hence, quantifying TF BC deposition is key to assessing the catchment soil's capacity to buffer acid deposition in the long-term. ...
... N E is thus considered a second-order process after immobilization and uptake needs are fulfilled. f E as a fraction based on soil drainage (Reinds et al. 2001) was approximated using clay content (C) (Ahrends et al. 2010;Murray et al. 2017) in an exponential function between the minimum for sandy soil (0.05; C ¼ 0%) and the maximum for clay soils (0.7; C ¼ 45%) (Rihm and Achermann 2016). ...
... Fish assemblages, as the high position in the trophic level of the ecosystem, are subjected to an "bottom-up effect" from the strong variations of environmental factors in the estuary (Cyrus & Blaber, 1992;Selleslagh & Amara, 2008). Physical and chemical characteristics place considerable physiological demands on fishes, causing high dynamics of the fish assemblage in this ecosystem (Sabates, Olivar, Salat, Palomera, & Alemany, 2007;Whitfield, Aherne, Dillon, & Watmough, 2006;Zwanenburg, 2000). Moreover, with highly variable and complex habitat, estuaries are among the most modified and threatened of aquatic environments (Blaber, Cyrus, & Albaret, 2000). ...