Snow Accumulation/Runoff in High Latitude Permafrost Basins
Principal Investigator: Marsh, Philip (30)
Licence Number: 13181
Organization: National Water Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1990
Issued: Apr 18, 2001
Project Team: C. Onclin, M. Russell, Dr. W. Quinton

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 snow, snow melt, 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 snow melt runoff.

Project Description: The Trail Valley site will be accessed by helicopter and snowmobile this year, while the Havikpak Creek site will be accessed by foot and snowmobile. Our field work will be similar to what was done in 2000, with short (<1 week) trips in both April/May and August. Activities at each site will simply include the download of data from the dataloggers on site, and the measurement of snow on the ground (in April). In addition, a short trip is planned in September, to conduct routine equipment maintenance. Instrumentation at each site includes a variety of weather instruments and instruments for measuring soil temperature and moisture. On each visit, field crew size will be limited to two personnel.