Variability and Change in the Canadian Cryosphere - Tundra Information Transferability Study

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, North Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, hydrology, remote sensing, environmental change, cryosphere, ice thickness, snow accumulation, snow water equivalence

Principal Investigator: Walker, Anne E (1)
Licence Number: 14317
Organization: Environment Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2008
Issued: Apr 01, 2008
Project Team: Peter Toose (Researcher/Data Collector, Environment Canada), Arvids Silis (Research/Data Collector, Environment Canada), Erin Thompson (Research/Data Collector, Environment Canada), Chris Derksen (Researcher/Data Collector, Environment Canada), Anne Walker (Principal Investigator, Environment Canada), Ken Asmus (Radiometer Technician, Environment Canada), Walter Strapp (Radiometer Technician, Environment Canada), Mark Couture (Radiometer Technician, Environment Canada), Steve Bacic (Radiometer Technician, Environment Canada), Mike Pygas (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Boris Lysynski (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Gary Giles (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Don Depper (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Per Talgoy (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Robert Erdos (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Anthony Brown (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Matthew Bastian (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada), Ramesh Srinivasan (Aircraft Crew, National Research Council Canada)

Objective(s): Environment Canada plans to measure snow depth, snow density and snow water equivalent (water storage in the snowpack), as well as lake ice thickness and structure for comparison with microwave radiometer measurements.

Project Description: Environment Canada plans to measure snow depth, snow density and snow water equivalent (water storage in the snowpack), as well as lake ice thickness and structure for comparison with microwave radiometer measurements.

Researchers have started to use microwave data from satellites for assessing snow water equivalent (SWE). Field tests to investigate the use of microwave sensors indicate that SWE estimation for the tundra environment is possible, but more work is needed. Environment Canada will conduct snow and lake ice surveys near Daring Lake and Inuvik.
Data will be acquired from a Twin Otter aircraft over 7-10 days (weather permitting) in early April at altitudes of ~1500ft – 10,000ft.
Ground snow and lake ice measurements will also be made. Sites will be accessed by road, snowmobile and helicopter. Snow depth, water equivalent, and density measurements will be taken. Ice thickness in lakes will be measured and ice cores will be examined in the field for ice layering and bubble content. No samples will be removed from the sites.

Results will be published in academic journals and a report given to the Aurora Research Institute. The research team is willing to provide a public talk for interested parties.
Fieldwork will be conducted from April 01 to 18, 2008, in the general region up to 100 km north and south & southwest of Inuvik (with flights going also 200 km east of Inuvik), and in the Tundra Ecosystem Research Station – Daring Lake. Detailed maps are available from the researchers, and online in your organization's ARI account.

Main snow and lake ice surveys locations are: along Hwy 8 (every 5km) between Inuvik and Tsiigehtchic, Trail Valley Creek, Sitidgi Lake, Parsons Lake, Noell Lake, Caribou Lake, Hyndman Lake, Travaillant Lake, Tenlen Lake, and at the Tundra Ecosystem Research Station (Daring Lake).