Over the first week of September, Ashley and Theron, a graduate student from the University of Alberta, conducted field work along the northern and southern edges of Sloquet Creek. Due to low creek levels, new warm and hot springs were exposed as well as unique geologic structures. Ashley focused on collecting as much data on warm and hot springs as possible (temperature, conductivity, flow rates) while Theron collected measurements of geologic structures. Data collected will contribute to updating bedrock mapping in the area as well as provide an estimate for how much thermal water is discharging at Sloquet.
During the installation of the v-notch weir, Ashley was exposed to poison ivy. Unfortunately, being a geologist and not an ecologist, she spent the 14 hour work day sitting amongst the ivy patch. Ashley had a severe skin reaction that occurred approximately 12-48 hours later (photo below). The reaction started as small to large blisters that spread across her arms, hands, legs, backside, and face. Over the next three weeks, she was in and out of the hospital seeking medical attention due to the severity and scale of the reaction. Doctors could not figure out what the reaction was- so after eight doctors, three rounds of antibiotics, three topical medications, and four weeks of prednisone... the reaction subsided. Ashley ended up sending photos of the plants she was working in to E-flora BC and ecologists identified the plant as poison ivy! So a note to all explorers, entering the main spring area at Sloquet has risks, ensure you have completely covered yourself as the skin reaction is extremely painful and we would not wish it upon anyone.
During the second field visit, May 30th to June 2nd, Ashley installed a low-impact v-notch weir into the main spring above the soaking pools at Sloquet. The purpose of installing the weir is to collect data on water levels through time to calculate spring flow rates, as mentioned in section 3.1.4. The weir was constructed from a sheet of aluminum that was cut to the dimensions of the creek and the v-notch angle (θ) water determined through trial and error (Figure 6). The weir was installed ten separate times with θ values ranging from 30°- 50°. Angles under 50° seemed to create too much pooling in the creek that did not represent the natural system that existed prior to installation. To minimize seepage, pond liner was bolted and fastened to the sheet of aluminum with silicon sealant to fill small openings on the weir. Once finalized, the weir was installed into the creek with one Solinst levelogger and Thermochron iButton. Data will be collected once the system equilibrates to the installation and flow rates will be calculated.
During our field visit April 30 - May 3, water samples were collected from seven thermal seepage sites, including the main spring at Sloquet. One new major thermal seepage site (TS5) was observed and appeared to be discharging from conglomerate bedrock along the bank of Sloquet Creek. Water discharging appeared to have significantly higher flow rates than the main spring at Sloquet with a temperature of 68 °C. In comparison to other small seepage sites observed, TS5 was the most significant spring observed (in terms of flow and temperature) and should likely have a temperature button installed to collect data through time. The terrain is very steep and slippery which will make it difficult to install equipment, careful consideration will be needed. Other seepage sites appeared minor in comparison and may not require long-term monitoring which will be discussed further with our team.