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TitleMonitoring permafrost change in northern national parks -- technology and challenges of implementation in ecological monitoring and management
AuthorWu, W; Sladen, W E; Dyke, L D; Whitaker, D M; Walker, D; Stewart, H M
SourceParks & technology, Proceedings of the eight annual parks and protected areas research forum of Manitoba; 2009 p. 27-32
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20090279
Meeting8th Annual Parks and Protected Areas Research Forum of Manitoba (PPARFM); Winnipeg; CA; September 24-25, 2009
AreaYork Factory
Lat/Long WENS-92.5000 -92.0000 57.2500 57.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; soils science; Nature and Environment; permafrost; freezing ground; ground ice; ground temperatures; ecology; ecosystems; climatic fluctuations; climate; climate effects; terrain sensitivity; terrain analysis; soil samples; soil studies
Illustrationstables; images
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2009 01 01
AbstractPermafrost plays an important role in the ecological integrity of Parks Canada's northern jurisdictions by influencing biological, hydrological and geomorphological processes. Since 2006, Parks Canada has been collaborating with the Geological Survey of Canada and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing to indentify appropriate ways to monitor change in permafrost as a result of climate warming. A series of boreholes instrumented with thermistor cables to measure ground temperature to depths of up to 15 m have been installed in Wapusk National Park and York Factory National Historic Site of Canada. Continuously recording data loggers are connected to the thermistor cables to characterize the annual ground thermal regime. Ground electrical conductivity surveys were also carried out to characterize the permafrost distribution in the vicinity of the boreholes. Initial findings reflect the sensitivity of permafrost to ground surface conditions such as hydrology, snow accumulation, and vegetation cover. Continued monitoring of these sites will aid in assessing the ground thermal response to climate change. Developing suitable protocols and operational plans for monitoring permafrost in more remote northern parks is faced with logistical and financial challenges. Therefore, alternative techniques for measuring ground thermal changes, including thaw tubes, active-layer probing grids, mini-loggers, and remote sensing, are being assessed. Appropriate permafrost monitoring techniques will be assessed based on the different landscapes in several northern national parks.

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