Runoff pathways in discontinuous permafrost

Project keywords:

Name of project lead: W. Quinton

Project team/partners: For each collaborator please specify: Team member name, role, organization and contact information
J. Craig, M. Hayashi.

Status: In Progress


Year and month project started: 2012

Anticipated completion year of project? 2014

Executive year of project (example, year 1 or 2 or 3…) 2

Brief project description: (objectives and rationale)
- This research will increase the understanding of flow processes in permafrost plateau-bog complexes, and how they change over the year as the active layer thaws. A distinction between primary (plateaus edges) and secondary (connected bog systems) is made. Although primary pathways convey water throughout the thaw season, secondary pathways appear to have a connected and disconnected regime, depending on season, degree of soil thaw and water availability. As a result basin discharge is strongly influenced by the condition of the secondary flowpaths. This research will involve field observations to improve the understanding of flowpath dynamics, and diagnostic modelling to improve predictive capacity. Runoff implications of permafrost thaw will also be explored.

Significance of the results (rationale): / project linkages

What are the key contributions to science/our knowledge base of northern environments New process descriptions needed to form the basis of numerical models.

Key deliverables and reporting: Link to needs of NWT

Required for the development of new hydrological predictive tools needed to improve management of water resources.

Engagement, training and capacity building

Runoff processes and pathways are changing as a result of permafrost thaw induced land-cover changes. However the rate and the pattern of these changes are uncertain since there is no known experience or precedence of such changes. This study is benefitting from consultation with First Nations communities (specifically LKFN and Jean-Marie FN) on their experience with climate warming induced land-cover changes, including permafrost thaw induced changes. Such information has formed an important contribution toward understanding the system-wide responses to region-wide warming.

Links to WSIPlan and NWT Science Agenda

Water Stewardship Strategy: 1.1; 2.1 – informally; 2.1B, C, D, F, G, H, I.

Key project tasks for next year (work plan pieces – research)

Key project tasks for next year (work plan pieces – engagement, training and capacity building)

Hire local LKFN band member.

Published Papers

None yet.