Ring of Fire Lakes Survey
Limnological surveys are underway in the “Ring of Fire” area, the location of a major chromite deposit discovery in the Far North of Ontario. Surveys of ~20 lakes in the Ring of Fire area will begin in July 2012 to characterize the range of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics (zooplankton and phytoplankton) in lakes of the region (pre-development). Data from this survey will be compared to similar zooplankton surveys that have recently been completed in other areas of the Far North. By comparing regional patterns in zooplankton community composition we will determine if zooplankton communities and their relationships to environmental factors are similar across northern Ontario. This comparative study will determine if we can transfer existing knowledge of zooplankton/environment/ stressor relationships from more southern lakes to assist with the management of lakes in the northern boreal region. Survey planning will involve local people from First Nations communities in the area. Our overall goal is to improve the scientific understanding of lakes in the north, to allow better predictions of their sensitivity to future industrial development or changes in climate.
Location of Ring of Fire Survey Lakes. Dark Squares – 1970 Northern Ontario Water Resources data; Dark Circles – Hawley Lake Area data (Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit – CFEU); Triangles – Kinosheo Watershed Lakes (CFEU); Large Square Outline – 2012 Survey Lakes Region and 2011 Ontario Geological Survey Lakes Region.