Snow, frozen soils and permafrost hydrology in Canada, 1999-2002

  • Woo M
  • Marsh P
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Abstract

An overview is provided of Canadian research on snow, frozen soils and permafrost hydrology for 1999-2002, the period between the 1999 IUGG meeting in Birmingham and the 2003 IUGG in Sapporo. Snow research during this period emphasized the blowing snow and sublimation processes, the role of trees in snow distribution, and melt and the effect of heat advection on snowmelt, from patch to regional scales. Regional-scale studies, largely in connection with the Mackenzie GEWEX study, examined the snow conditions of the lower Mackenzie basin and developed a coupled land surface scheme-hydrological model that incorporates snow processes. In frost hydrology, the effects of organic soils on runoff generation and flow delivery were given much attention. Field investigations ranged from plot to hillslope scales, and the results indicate that organic layers of high porosity permit the production of quick flow, even when frozen. Highly fractured bedrock in the Canadian Shield has likewise the effect of permitting snowmelt infiltration at below-freezing temperatures. Finally, changes in snow-covered areas and in snow equivalent over periods from a decade to a century were examined. The responses of snow and ground ice to the warm year of 1998 were also studied as an indication of hydrological responses to climatic warming. Copyright (C) 2005 Crown in the right of Canada. Published by John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Canada
  • Frost hydrology
  • Permafrost hydrology
  • Snow hydrology

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Authors

  • Ming Ko Woo

  • Philip Marsh

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