Assessment of processes controlling naturally elevated uranium and arsenic concentrations in groundwater and surface water in the Dawson Range, Yukon, Canada

Northern Canada faces great changes from growing resource extraction and global warming, which make a timely understanding of baseline environmental conditions critical. In the Dawson Range, Yukon, naturally elevated concentrations of uranium and arsenic have recently been discovered in groundwater at levels that are susceptible to cause toxic effects in humans and wildlife. This region is also the focus of advanced mineral exploration and falls within traditional territories of several First Nations. Mining activities may enhance uranium and arsenic mobilization through the generation of waste rock and tailings. Melting of permafrost might cause a similar effect by increasing discharge of uranium- and arsenic-rich groundwater. This project’s goal is to understand and communicate the baseline controls on uranium and arsenic mobilization in the Dawson Range. The method proposed includes chemical analyses of water and rock samples collected at field sites and features engagement with local First Nation partners.

Faculty Supervisor:

Roger Beckie


Elliott Skierszkan


Lorax Environmental Services Ltd


Geography / Geology / Earth science





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