Hydrology and geochemical cycling of a complex urban stormwater system
The hydrologic cycle in major cities is influenced by roadways, rooftops, and other features, resulting in greater runoff and poorer water quality. At airport sites across Canada, de-icing compounds can also degrade water quality by altering water chemistry in surface ponds as well as subsurface water (i.e., groundwater). This project aims to characterize water movement between surface stormwater ponds and groundwater at the Calgary International Airport, to better understand the physical connections between these key parts of the hydrologic cycle. This hydrology knowledge will be combined with detailed sampling of water chemistry, notably sulphur compounds (which cause noxious odours) and nutrients, to identify the sources and mechanisms of water quality degradation at the site. Calgary Airport Authority will use the improved understanding of water movement and sulphur cycling to develop effective strategies for better stormwater control and water quality.