Snow accumulation/runoff in high latitude permafrost basins
Principal Investigator: Marsh, Philip (30)
Licence Number: 12926
Organization: National Hydrology Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1990
Issued: Jul 08, 1997
Project Team: Dr. J. Pomeroy, Mr. C. Onclin, Mr.M. Russell

Objective(s): The primary objective of this project is to develop improved understanding of the fluxes of water and energy in northern regions, and to develop improved computer models of these processes. This work is an important contribution to the Canadian GEWEX program, which is aimed at developing an improved understanding of both the atmospheric and land surface water budgets of the Mackenzie Basin. This work will provide improved techniques for predicting a wide range of environmental impacts in northern areas, including potential climate change impacts. In detail, this work will include studies of the rates of and processes controlling: accumulation of wno, snowmelt, water flux through snow; exchange of water between snowcover, active layer and permafrost movement of solutes and nutrients through the snowcover and to the stream channel; the effect of snow/soil temperature regime and vegetation types of runoff processes; evaporation processes; and development of physically based, predictive models of snowmelt runoff.

Project Description: The Trail Valley Creek site will be accessed by Twin Otter, helicopter and snowmobile, while the Havikpak Creek site will be accessed by foot and snowmobile. We plan to have a small field crew at each site to measure the amount of snow on the ground in the middle of April, and to again return to measure snowmelt and the streamflow in mid to late May. Actual timing of the spring melt trip will depend on weather conditions. In addition, we would plan a short trip in September to conduct instrument maintenance. Instrumentation at each site includes a variety of weather instruments and instruments for measuring soil temperature and solid moisture. We will also supplement the Water Survey of Canada instruments for estimating streamflow. This will include a dye dilution system, where a standard water tracing dye is injected into the rivers at extremely low concentrations (less than 20 Parts Per Billion). Once in the stream, the dye will be invisible, and will be at a concentration which is approved for drinking water.