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The Selenga River delta: a geochemical barrier protecting Lake Baikal waters
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. 8803167629.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6111-4819
2016 (English)In: Regional Environmental Change, ISSN 1436-3798, E-ISSN 1436-378XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The protection of Lake Baikal and the planning of water management measures in the Selenga River Basin require a comprehensive understanding of the current state and functioning of the delta’s ecosystem and hydrogeochemical processes. This is particularly relevant in light of recent and expected future changes involving both the hydrology and water quality in the Lake Baikal basin causing spatiotemporal changes in water flow, morphology, and transport of sediments and metals in the Selenga River delta and thus impacting on delta barrier functions. The central part of the delta had been characterized by sediment storage, especially along the main channels, causing a continuous lift of the delta surface by about 0.75 cm/year−1. Theses morphological changes have a significant impact on hydrological conditions, with historical shifts in the bulk discharge from the left to the right parts of the delta which is distinguished by a relatively high density of wetlands. Regions with a high density of wetlands and small channels, in contrast to main channel regions, show a consistent pattern of considerable contaminant filtering and removal (between 77 and 99 % for key metals), during both high-flow and low-flow conditions. The removal is associated with a significant concentration increase (2–3 times) of these substances in the bottom sediment. In consequence, geomorphological processes, which govern the partitioning of flow between different channel systems, may therefore directly govern the barrier function of the delta.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Delta, Lake Baikal, Geochemical barrier, Sediment loads, Wetlands
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145721DOI: 10.1007/s10113-016-0996-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145721DiVA: diva2:1134227
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2012-790
Available from: 2017-08-18 Created: 2017-08-18 Last updated: 2017-08-18

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Publisher's full texthttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-016-0996-1

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