Using Tree Rings and Lake Sediment to Reconstruct Streamflow and Climate in the Northwest Territories
Principal Investigator: Lamoureux, Scott F (8)
Licence Number: 13326
Organization: Queen's University
Licenced Year(s): 2002
Issued: Jun 18, 2002
Project Team: Dave Sauch

Objective(s): The objective of the research is to supplement and extend instrumental climatological and hydrological records in the NWT using dendrochronology (tree-ring) and varved lake sediment analysis. Climate drives virtually all biophysical process, therefore climate data and an understanding of climatic variability and change are essential for the modeling, monitoring and management of natural resources. Dendrochronology, the study of tree rings in relation to either climate or streamflow, enables the reconstruction of climatic and hydrologic histories with an annual time resolution for hundreds of years. Also, lake sediment layers from select sites can be divided into annual increment (varves) which enable them to be correlated to past climatic conditions, potentially allowing for the reconstruction of climatic and hydrological conditions records typically exceeding one thousand years. The varves can be used to evaluate the size and frequency of river flood events. Results of both techniques can help to place current climatic and hydrologic fluctuations into context and can assist in environmental management, impact and risk assessment.