Snow Accumulation/Runoff in High Latitude Permafrost Basins

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: active layer, permafrost, snow accumulation, snow water equivalence, snow, runoff

Principal Investigator: Marsh, Philip (32)
Licence Number: 13413
Organization: National Water Research Institute
Licensed Year(s): 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1990
Issued: Apr 08, 2003
Project Team: C. Onclin,

Objective(s): The primary objective of this project is to develop improved understanding of the fluxes of water and energy in northern regions, and to develop improved predictive models of these processes. This work is an important contribution to the Mackenzie GEWEX study, the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF), the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Studies (CFCAS), and to the Program for Energy Research and Development (PERD). This study considers both the atmospheric and land surface water budgets of the Mackenzie Basin, with an emphasis on predicting the effects of climate change on the hydrology of the northern environment. This will include studies of the rates of, and processes controlling: accumulation of snow, snow melt, water flux through snow, exchange of water between snowcover, active layer and permafrost; the effect of snow/soil temperature regime and vegetation types on runoff processes; evaporation processes; and development of physically based predictive models of snowmelt runoff. This work will provide improved techniques for predicting a wide range of environmental impacts in northern areas, including potential climate change impacts, and implications to northern oil and gas exploration and development, and the changing environmental conditions on pipelines. Changes in the hydrologic regime of northwestern Canada will be compared with that of Alaska and Siberia.