The smoking hills: natural acidification of an aquatic ecosystem
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Magda Havas; Thomas C. Hutchinson
Publication Year: 1983

Cataloging Information

  • algae
  • arctic
  • arthropods
  • bryophytes
  • Canada
  • crustaceans
  • Diptera
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • iron
  • manganese
  • mosses
  • Northwest Territories
  • pH
  • ponds
  • S - sulfur
  • sedimentation
  • soil leaching
  • soils
  • spontaneous combustion
  • statistical analysis
  • Trichoptera
  • tundra
  • watershed management
  • wetlands
  • zinc
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 28, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 38873
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13494
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Spontaneous burning of bituminous shale: at the Smoking Hills in the Canadian Arctic has produced intense acidic fumigations and strongly influenced the local tundra. The burns are of great antiquity. In an area of typically alkaline ponds with pH above 8.0, ponds within the fumigation zone have been acidified below pH 2.0. Elevated concentrations of metals (aluminium, iron, zinc, nickel, manganese and cadmium) occur in these acidic ponds. Soils and sediments have also been chemically altered. The biota in the acidic ponds are characteristic of acidic environments worldwide, in contrast to the typically Arctic biota in adjacent alkaline ponds.

Havas, M., and T. C. Hutchinson. 1983. The smoking hills: natural acidification of an aquatic ecosystem. Nature, v. 301, no. 6, p. 23-27.