Pascale (and baby Florent!) participated in the 2018 Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, which had a very good turn out of permafrost scientists!
Pascale presented a poster with some data and thought son the Evolution of incipient lowland thermokarst features in the Blackstone River valley, Yukon (abstract on p. 108 of the Forum’s book of abstracts).
Pascale also presented a brief overview of the thermal monitoring and geomorphological mapping work carried by Maare Packalen, Jim McLaughlin, and Zlatka Pironkova in Ontario Far North. See Permafrost monitoring in the Hudson Bay Lowlands: preliminary results from the Ontario Far North in the Forum’s book of abstracts, p. 60.
The stirring committee of the new Canadian Permafrost Association used the opportunity to have a fruitful meeting in person. The new association should be up and running this summer! Kumari Karunaratne and Toni Lewkowicz gave a presentation to update the community and gather input regarding the mission statement, logo, etc. See The formation of a Canadian permafrost association in the abstract book of the Forum, p. 44.
Welcome to our newest and smallest lab member, Florent Léveillée-Renard, born on June 26th, 2017. Florent went on his first field trip to the Yukon with Pascale this summer, at the age of 2 months. He was great help while visiting field sites along the Dempster highway.
A paper published by Roy-Leveillee and Burn (2017) in the Journal of Geophysical Research- Earth Surface reports observations of permafrost degradation and talik development beneath water depths less than 15% of the maximum ice thickness in lakes of Old Crow Flats, northern Yukon. This is surprising as, in the near-shore zones of thermokarst lakes, it is generally assumed that permafrost is sustained where water depth is less than 60% of the local maximum ice thickness.
The paper investigates controls on permafrost degradation and reveals that sub-lake permafrost is sensitive to on-ice snow distribution where the water column freezes through. It shows the importance of the thermal offset where conditions are marginal for talik initiation and highlights the role of interannual variability for prompt talik initiation near receding shores.
These findings improve understanding of permafrost degradation beneath shallow water, a topic of particular concern in the context of climatic warming as methane release from thaw lakes is concentrated near receding lake margins and is most active at the thaw front beneath the lake bottom.
On June 1st, 2017, Emma Ciric presented her research on beaded streams at the Canadian Association of Geographer Annual Meeting at York University. Her poster was very well done, particularly for a first poster (!), and can be viewed here. Emma has now graduated from Laurentian University and went on to pursue a MSc in Coastal and Marine Science at the University of Algarve, in Portugal.
Douglas Massel is an undergraduate student from the LU Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ADVL) Program. Potentially interested in pursuing a career as a field technician for research expeditions in remote areas, Doug added a minor in Geography to his ADVL degree, and focused on physical geography courses. In the permafrost class this year, Doug is writing his term paper on the orientation of thermokarst lakes. He added a scale model experiment to his paper, to examine the hypothesis that sediment texture affects the direction of lake elongation in relation to dominant winds, as proposed in Roy-Leveillee and Burn, 2015. Doug has been busy in the lab blowing wind over trays of wet sand and silt with puddles in them to look at circulation and lake expansion patterns.