Lake Hydrology - Wapusk National Park
Wapusk National Park protects a vast landscape of coastal salt marshes, countless lakes and ponds, and a diversity of boreal-tundra interface habitats, and serves as staging areas for migrating birds, and habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Shallow lakes and ponds are created in part by thermokarst processes resulting from the melting of ground ice in areas underlain by permafrost. In northern areas, climate change brings fluctuations in temperature, permafrost and snow fall and cover which affect lake dynamics, water composition and water levels, and the plants and animals dependent on them. Lake hydrology is assessed based on hydroelocological methods developed during the International Polar Year in Vuntut National Park, and initiated in Wapusk in 2010 by the Hydroecological Team, a multidisciplinary research group from Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo led by Dr. Brent Wolfe. Lake water from forest, wetlands and coastal ecosystem habitats is monitored using the composition of naturally occurring isotopic tracers to assess the evaporation to input ratio (E/I ratio). The E/I ratio, for which high values indicate lake drying, is used as a coarse assessment of climate change for ecological integrity monitoring for state-of-the-park reporting. We are currently publishing part 1 of the data; a more complete dataset will be posted at a later date. This provides collaborators the opportunity to publish papers and finalise theses.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Parks Canada
- Contributor: Hilary White (PhD candidate at Wilfred Laurier University), Dr. Brent Wolfe (Wilfrid Laurier University)
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada