Regional Patterns in the Water Balance of Alberta’s Wetlands

Wetland water sample

The Wetland Atlas of Alberta now features a new section, “Regional Patterns in the Water Balance of Alberta’s Wetlands.” This new section highlights research on regional patterns in the water balance of Alberta’s open water wetlands. In a joint project between the ABMI and InnoTech Alberta, water samples were collected at over 1,000 wetlands across Alberta. The relative concentrations of “normal” and heavier isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen, which occur naturally in water molecules, were measured. Studying isotopes in water molecules can help us understand how water flows into and out of wetlands, through precipitation, surface flow, groundwater, and evaporation. The results of this study provide baseline information that could be used to evaluate the sustainability of wetlands and their relative vulnerability to human disturbance over time.

The new section is available here.  The whole Atlas is available here.