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University of Ottawa (Canada)

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Permanent electrode arrays were set up at ten monitoring sites from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fort St. John, British Columbia, in order to gain a clearer perspective of the effectiveness of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) monitoring over an annual cycle of freezing and thawing. This research forms part of a longer-term project that is attempting to use ERT to examine changes in permafrost resulting from climate change. Inter-site and intra-site variability were examined by installing and maintaining data-loggers to monitor active layer and shallow permafrost temperatures, air temperatures, and snow depths at each site from August 2010-August 2011. Additional site information was collected on each ERT survey...
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Lake sediment cores collected from four lakes (Upper Fly Lake 61.04°N, 138.09°W, 1326 m a.s.l.; Jenny Lake 61.04°N, 138.36°W, 817 m. a.s.l.; Donjek Kettle 61.69°N, 139.76°W, 732 m a.s.l.; Lake WP02 61.48°N, 139.97°W, 1463 m a.s.l.) in the southwest Yukon provide records of postglacial climatic variability in the region. A 13,000 year pollen record from Upper Fly Lake indicated that herbaceous tundra existed on the landscape from 13.6 to 11 ka, followed by birch shrub tundra until 10 ka, when Picea forests were established in the region. Pollen-, chironomid-, and ostracode-inferred paleoclimate reconstructions showed a long-term cooling with increasing moisture from the late glacial through the Holocene. The early...
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This study is the second attempt to use the Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) method to map permafrost in mountainous regions of northwestern Canada. It differs from the first study which took place in Wolf Creek in terms of (1) the methodology used to evaluate BTS, (2) the strategy used to avoid spatial autocorrelation in residuals, and (3) the climatic regions investigated. Two study areas, part of the Ruby Range (61° 12' N, 138° 19' W) and Haines Summit (59° 37' N, 136° 27' W) were selected for BTS sampling based on differing climatic conditions and previous knowledge of permafrost elevations from active rock glaciers. A total of 30 BTS measurements were made in the Ruby Range in the winter of 2006 and a total...
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Dendrochronological techniques were used to study white spruce ( Picea glauca [Moech] Voss) dynamics in the altitudinal forest-tundra ecotone in the southwest Yukon Territory. At two sampling sites, all Picea glauca individuals within 9 delineated quadrats in the forest-tundra and forest were sampled to estimate dates of establishment and growth variations using tree-ring chronologies. Regeneration in the forest-tundra ecotone was low from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, however has increased since the 1920s. Recent peak periods of establishment parallel increased radial growth trends, which may have resulted from the long-term warming trend of the 20 th century. Seedling proximity to pre-established individuals...
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Near-surface air temperature inversions are a common element of northern environments. Seasonal and inter-annual variations of low-level inversion characteristics were examined using 47 years of twice-daily radiosonde data from Whitehorse airport (1956-2003). Nocturnal low-level inversion events occurred throughout the year in 68% of the 0400h PST radiosonde ascents. Afternoon (1600h PST) inversion events, in contrast, were primarily a winter phenomena, limited to 24% of the readings between October and March, and were deepest and strongest during the winter months. Shorter, weaker, lower magnitude inversions appeared progressively more frequently during the 1974-2003 warming at Whitehorse. The impact (1956-2003)...
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