IPY-SCARF: International Polar Year - Study of Canadian Arctic River-Delta Fluxes

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: hydrology, glaciology, ice jams, topography

Principal Investigator: Lesack, Lance (23)
Licence Number: 14333
Organization: Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University
Licenced Year(s): 2008 2007
Issued: Apr 22, 2008
Project Team: Dr. Phil Marsh (Coinvestigator, National Water Research Institute / Environ Can), Dr. Faye Hicks (Coinvestigator, University of Alberta), Dr. Spyros Beltaos (Coinvestigator, National Water Research Institute / Environ Can), Dr. Terry Prowse (Coinvestigator, National Water Research Institute / Environ Can), Dr. Joost Vander Sanden (Coinvestigator, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing / NRCan), Dr. Will Perrie (Coinvestigator, Bedford Institute of Oceanography / Fisheries and ), Chris Spence (Community Outreach, National Water Research Institute / Environ Can), Rob Kent (Community Outreach, Water Science and Technology Office / Environ Can), Dr. Arthur Roberts (Coinvestigator, Simon Fraser University), Dr. Christopher Hopkinson (Coinvestigator, Nova Scotia Community College, Annapolis), Plus, 1 or 2 assistants per investigator

Objective(s): The aims of the various components of this project are to develop a hydraulic model for the Mackenzie Delta by observation of ice jams for calibration of the model, assessing ice cover and breakup patterns, linking an ice-ocean-atmosphere model of storm surges to the hydraulic model, measuring water stored in off-channel areas, improving information on lake-flooding for off-channel areas, quantifying off-channel topography in key areas, and quantifying nutrient fluxes to the Beaufort Shelf.

Project Description: The aims of the various components of this project are to develop a hydraulic model for the Mackenzie Delta by observation of ice jams for calibration of the model, assessing ice cover and breakup patterns, linking an ice-ocean-atmosphere model of storm surges to the hydraulic model, measuring water stored in off-channel areas, improving information on lake-flooding for off-channel areas, quantifying off-channel topography in key areas, and quantifying nutrient fluxes to the Beaufort Shelf.

Using the data from existing surveys of delta channels, a coarse model for the delta will be developed. Based on coarse simulations, and results from ice jam monitoring plus lake storage studies, key sites will be identified for detailed study, and additional topographical surveys will be conducted.
Ice breakup patterns will be observed from the air, and measurements affecting hydraulic flow performed. Ice conditions will be documented daily and significant ice jamming sites identified, determining ice jam lengths, stages, and durations. Water level and temperature data loggers will be installed prior to breakup to record hydrographs and assess the intensity of waves generated by ice jam releases. Ice thickness, ice strength, under-ice roughness, and under-ice current velocities will be measured and ice-jamming locations identified. Channel cross-section profiles will be determined. The seasonal sea-ice recession pattern will be observed (from the air) and WSC gauge sites visited to provide data for storm surge modeling. Off channel water storage will be measured through a water lever recorder network installed in clusters of lakes.
Satellite imagery will be used to determine ice breakup patterns, characterizing ice cover, ice jams, and flooding, and longer-term geomorphologic changes. Extent of off-channel water will be observed. Various ice measurements affecting optical reflective properties to satellite sensors will be performed.
Fieldwork will be conducted from May 01 to December 31, 2008 within the Mackenzie Delta.