Hydrometeorology, Suspended Sediment and Conductivity in a Large Glacierized Basin, Slims River, Yukon Territory, Canada (1993-94)


  • M. Sawada
  • P.G. Johnson




conductivity, discharge, glacier, hydrology, hysteresis, sediment transport, Slims River, Yukon


The Slims River was monitored for global solar radiation, air temperature, discharge, suspended sediment, and dissolved load in 1993 and 1994. Peak seasonal discharge occurred late in the summer and reflects a typical glacierized basin hydrograph, with increased bare ice surfaces contributing strongly to discharge in July and August. Air temperature, rather than global solar radiation, was most strongly correlated with discharge in both years, but during sustained ablation, air temperature becomes a poor index of meltwater production. Precipitation was infrequent and of low magnitude. The variance in suspended sediment concentration could be explained only in part by discharge; frequent clockwise hysteresis and seasonal sediment concentration peaks unrelated to discharge variations also contributed to this variance. High concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ in meltwaters reflect the lithological influence of carboniferous sedimentary rocks in the basin. Conductivity and individual cation concentrations decreased during both seasons and were inversely related to discharge. Diurnal conductivity amplitude was greatest during glacier melt, and frequent clockwise hysteresis was observed in both years.