Comparing the snow depths and densities of different habitats in the Beaufort Delta region

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, vegetation, hydrology, engineering, snow density

Principal Investigator: Kasook, Davonna C (1)
Licence Number: 16194
Organization: Environment and Natural Resource Technology Program
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Dec 14, 2017
Project Team: Joel McAlister (Supervisor, ENRTP), Amanda Chaulk (Supervisor, ENRTP)

Objective(s): To compare differences in snow depth, density and morphology of a heavily forested site and a tundra site.

Project Description: The objective is to compare differences in snow depth, density and morphology of a heavily forested site and a tundra site. The Principal Investigator (PI) will study the effect landscape (forest vs. tundra) has on seasonal snow pack evolution and physical properties (density, temperature, snow grain morphology, and stratigraphy) of the snowpack. These results will be compared to historical data (Environment Canada) noting any deviations from long term trends. The results from this study will be used to prepare a technical report available to the public, in text or presentation, upon request.

Bulk snow core samples will be collected every 2 meters along a 10-meter undisturbed transect line at both sample sites. Snow samples will be collected following procedures outlined in the British Columbia Ministry of Environment snow survey sampling guide. In brief, the weight of a known volume of snow is measured and density is calculated using this information. At each site, a snow pit will be dug in an undisturbed area. Using a meter stick, the total depth of the pit and the depth of each layer will be recorded. Snow grain morphology will be investigated on site. A container of known volume will be used to collect a snow sample every 5 cm, in-situ temperature will be recorded at the same interval. The samples will be used to calculate snow density.

Assemble a written technical report and verbal PowerPoint presentation that present all results and data. Snow depth and density results and data will be made public and available upon request. Local organizations who may potentially be interested are: Hunters and Trappers committees in the region, Inuvialuit Community Corporation, Inuvialuit Development Corporation, Inuvialuit Joint Secretariat, Inuvialuit Land Administration, as well as any other similar organizations in the surrounding communities.

The PI will assemble a written technical report and verbal PowerPoint presentation that present all results and data. Snow depth and density results and data will be made public and available upon request. PowerPoint presentation will be presented to colleagues in the Environment and Resources Technology Program and Aurora Research Institute, as well as invited guests.





The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from December 14, 2017 to December 31, 2017.