Snowpack - Wapusk National Park
Wapusk National Park is a sub-Arctic protected area covered with snow for over half of the year. Snowpack characteristics can provide important clues to impacts of climate change and park ecological integrity. Snow cover duration and characteristics affect soil and plant and animal components of the ecosystem. Current predictions for Wapusk are that with warming temperatures, snow in the Hudson Bay region will increase in amount but will stay for a shorter duration. This could potentially accelerate the rate of permafrost degradation. By insulating against heat loss, snow can affect the soil nutrient cycling and plant production. Snow-Water Equivalent (SWE) values are an important gauge of snow impacts on the ecosystem and on permafrost and are used to monitor park ecological integrity. SWE values for Wapusk are based on mid-winter snowpack conditions measured annually. Field measurements also include snowpack depth, density, and hardness using Adirondack snow core and RAM penetrometer equipment. Additionally, weather station sensors measure snow depth, rain, wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, air relative humidity, near surface soil and permafrost temperature. Snowpack monitoring in Wapusk is an on-going long-term partnership between Wapusk National Park, Dr. Steve Mamet at University of Saskatchewan and the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC). In phase 1, SWE values are published here. In a later phase, other snowpack and microclimate variables will also be published.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Parks Canada
- Contributor: Dr. Steve Mamet (University of Saskatchewan)
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada