Modelling the flow and storage components in the lower Liard River valley
Principal Investigator: Quinton, William L. (18)
Licence Number: 13786
Organization: Simon Fraser University
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001
Issued: Apr 19, 2005
Project Team: Nicole Wright (Ph.D. candidate, Simon Fraser University), Alain Pietroniro (Researcher, National Water Research Institute), Masaki Hayashi (Researcher, University of Calgary)

Project Description: This study is a continuation of a project that began in 2001. The researchers are studying the flow and storage of water in the Scotty Creek watershed. The data they collect will help them to create a model that will do a better job of estimating the volume and timing of basin runoff in wetlands in discontinuous permafrost terrain. The information they have collected so far suggests that peat plateaus shed water to the adjacent fens and bogs. Fens seem to collect the water from their surroundings and allow it to flow to the basin outlet. Water in bogs seems to move vertically by evaporating and connecting with groundwater. The researchers are testing these ideas by measuring the direction and volume of surface and groundwater flow at various points in the watershed. They will also take and test water samples. Since water from peat plateaus, fens and bogs has different amounts of ions and isotopes, the researchers can determine the source of the water from each area that they measure. During spring melt, the researchers will also be measuring the thickness and density of snow to figure out the equivalent amount of water, as well as measuring rainfall. The researchers will also be classifying ground cover to confirm the ground cover data they get from satellite images. This involves taking about five 30 cm long soil cores. Sample holes will be backfilled and the vegetation put back on top.

The researchers will be using a helicopter to get from Fort Simpson to their field camp at Scotty Creek, to install and remove their measurement devices, to reach the various sites they want to check, and for aerial reconnaissance. They will be using local services from Fort Simpson. There will be up to two researchers at Scotty Creek. One of the researchers will be on site from March 31 through to June 6, in both 2005 and 2006. A second researcher will also be at the site in the 2005 field season, with that researcher flying out in early May and being replaced by someone else coming in. The researchers plan to return to the site in late August to winterize their equipment. They would like to give a presentation or seminar about their project in the community of Fort Simpson. The conditions of the Liidlii Kue First Nation apply to this licence, as stated in their letter dated April 11, 2005.
The study will be conducted at Scotty Creek (61 deg 18'N; 121 deg 18'W).