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TitleLong-term river icing dynamics in discontinuous permafrost, subarctic Canadian Shield
AuthorMorse, P DORCID logo; Wolfe, S AORCID logo
SourcePermafrost and Periglacial Processes 2016, 7 pages,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150105
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS85J/07; 85J/08; 85J/09; 85J/10
AreaBaker Creek; Great Slave Lake; Yellowknife; Subarctic Canada
Lat/Long WENS-114.6333 -114.2833 62.7333 62.4333
Subjectshydrogeology; surficial geology/geomorphology; Nature and Environment; hydrologic environment; ice; ice conditions; surface waters; rivers; stream flow; runoff; meteorology; precipitation; temperature; watersheds; permafrost; Baker Creek Research Basin; Great Slave Upland High Boreal ecoregion; Giant Mine; Great Slave Lowland High Boreal ecoregion; Canadian Shiled; Hydrology; Climate change; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; geological sketch maps; plots; histograms; time series
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Land-based Infrastructure
ProgramNSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Released2016 07 11
AbstractIcing development in the subarctic Canadian Shield is statistically related to antecedent autumn rainfall and periodic warming intervals in winter. Here, we integrate observations of streamflow, meteorology, and river icing dynamics at the Baker Creek Research Basin, Northwest Territories. We demonstrate that icing development is concordant with winter runoff yield, which is influenced by antecedent autumn rainfall as part of a storage threshold-mediated hydrologic regime that is characteristic of Canadian Shield hydrology. Icing development in Baker Creek typically occurs only if winter runoff is accompanied by frequent warming intervals. Icing dynamics in Baker Creek may now be largely controlled by air temperatures, since runoff in winter has been common since 1997.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Icings form during the winter by successive flows of water, often from spring groundwater, that freeze at the surface in sheet-like layers of ice. Icing development is related to winter warm periods and autumn rainfall, but the specific interactions are not clear. This paper demonstrates that the significance of rainfall to the dynamic of an icing at Baker Creek, NT, is related to the "fill-and-spill" runoff mechanism that characterizes the Shield hydrological regime. Winter stream flow is the prerequisite for the icing to occur, but the icing only develops when there are frequent winter warm waves that trigger overflow. Nearly continuous winter stream flow at Baker Creek reflects a change in the precipitation regime, such that icing activity may now be related solely to the air temperature regime. As most icings in the UHB are infrequent and occur along watercourses, the findings at Baker Creek likely apply to much of the subarctic Shield region where bedrock exposure is extensive.

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