Hydrology of High Latitude Watersheds

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, hydrology, prediction models, snow

Principal Investigator: Marsh, Philip (32)
Licence Number: 16237
Organization: Wilfrid Laurier University
Licenced Year(s): 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Issued: Feb 10, 2018

Objective(s): To develop improved understanding of, and ability to predict, snowcover formation and melt, as well as stream discharge in northern regions; and, to consider the integrated effect of climate on vegetation, snow, permafrost, streamflow, and lakes.

Project Description: The objectives of this project are: 1) to develop improved understanding of, and ability to predict, snowcover formation and melt, as well as stream discharge in northern region;, 2) to consider the integrated effect of climate on vegetation, snow, permafrost, streamflow, and lakes, and 3) to develop improved predictive tools or models. These will allow a better understanding of the impact of climate change and/or natural resource development on the water resources of the NWT.

Field work will start with brief field trips to check sensors and carry out snow measurements within the measurement area of these snow sensors. The research team will then start permanent field observations in late March or early April for measurement of end of winter snow on the ground by using manual snow surveys and airborne sensors. At this time the research team will also install new instrumentation and carry out maintenance on existing sensors. The research team will use various methods to measure snowmelt, soil moisture, evaporation, streamflow and lake levels. The base camp is located at Trail Valley Creek (at the same site we have had a camp from 1991 to about 2005, and in 2015) and will have researchers at this camp until the fall (from mid- September or into November depending on requirements). Instrumentation and the camp will be prepared for winter in September or October and we will leave the camp at that time.

The research team have had the assistance of students and technicians. The research team also hope to hold an "Arctic Hydrology Workshop or Gathering" in Inuvik in order to discuss arctic snow and water with the community. This past Spring the team visited the high school students in Inuvik and led hands on field exercises with the help of the Aurora College. The research team hope to continue this in the future and increase the amount of interactions with the students. Public talks have also been hosted with the help of Aurora College and the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) and the team plan to increase the frequency of these educational interactions within the community.

The results of this study are provided to ARI and community groups. As well, journal publications involving this work are available either on request, on line, or in the Inuvik Research Centre library. The research team have also talked to various Government of the NWT groups about printing plain language summarizes of the research, as the team have done in the past.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 10, 2018 to December 10, 2018.