Na Chen, PhD Candidate

Thesis title:

Distinguishing trace elements in acid soluble ash (ASA) and acid insoluble ash (AIA) of Sphagnum mosses within the Athabasca Bituminous Sands Region

Brief description:

The objective of this project is to distinguish the anthropogenic versus natural sources of trace elements within the Athabasca Bituminous Sands Region (ABSR). To do this, we are going to determine the distribution of trace elements in the acid soluble ash (ASA) and acid insoluble ash (AIA) of the Sphagnum mosses within the area. Sphagnum mosses have been collected in triplicates in 30 ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peat bogs within the ABSR in fall 2015 and also in five bogs in fall 2019. This study could shed light on the impacts of the bituminous sands industry on the surrounding environment.