Field work training at Foret Montmorency

The network recently hosted a fieldwork training event at the Fort Montmorency research station of Université Laval.

The first day was packed with exciting and valuable sessions, from navigation training by Pia Blake to hands-on installation and location of ground temperature sensors by Galina Jonat et Olivia Meier-Legault, followed by discussions about field safety and situations led by Tristan MacLean.

The navigation session started off with everyone creating 3D models of their topographic maps, followed by outdoor location of waypoints, on and off the trails, using maps, compass and GPS.

In the afternoon, after an introduction to temperature sensors and their use in permafrost terrain by Galina and Olivia, the trainees were split into two groups, to test out their abilities at finding buried sensors based on location information and the use of a metal detector to find associated nails.

Day two was even more action packed, featuring drone flying, lectures on detecting ground ice and a competitive shelter building session followed by fire making practice with the ferro rods and some good old marshmallow toasting.

The morning featured a session on demystifying remotely piloted aircraft for field research with Frederic Brieger. Thankfully the rain held off and we were able to get out and get the drones up in the air.

The afternoon started off with a presentation on ERT and Spectral Induced Polarization by Hosein Fereydooni, before we headed out to see the flux tower and learn about eddy co-variance with Bruno Lecavalier. The group then took part in a competitive but very friendly time-limited challenge to construct a shelter in the wild with limited resources. The session was led, and each teams efforts carefully assessed by Frederic and Galina.

The day was completed with a tricky but satisfying fire-making session using a variety of survival tools and natural kindling.

POSTPONED Seminar – 29 May – Performance of Drilling Waste Sumps, Western Arctic Canada.

Rae Landriau will be presenting Performance of Drilling Waste Sumps, Western Arctic Canada.

Date: 29 May 2024
Time: 13:00-14:00 Eastern Time
Location: Zoom (details are posted in our Teams site).

Petroleum resource exploration and development has occurred in the Northwest Territories since the 1920s. Freezing-point depressants, mainly potassium chloride, were added to drilling fluids to facilitate drilling into permafrost. Disposal of these fluids was typically in large man-made pits (sumps). Sumps were excavated in permafrost, with the intention that frozen ground would contain the fluids indefinitely. Climatic warming in northwest Canada has raised the temperature of near-surface permafrost, increasing the potential for failure of sumps in the region. Using electro-magnetic surveys, ground conductivity on and off sumps can be collected and analyzed to detect the presence of these fluids and determine if they have migrated.

Seminar – 22 May – Precise Change Detection with Airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) & Optical Photogrammetry Data and its application to Active Permafrost Regions.

Usman Iqbal Ahmed will be presenting Precise Change Detection with Airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) & Optical Photogrammetry Data and its application to Active Permafrost Regions.

Date: 22 May 2024
Time: 13:00-14:00 Eastern Time
Location: Zoom (details are posted in our Teams site).

Permafrost thaw can cause several problems; the ground becomes unstable and can cause damage to infrastructure such as roads, buildings, and pipelines. It can also cause erosion and changes in the landscape, which can have ecological and social impacts and disruption of indigenous ways of life. Monitoring these changes is a key factor in reducing the impact of such disasters as well as timely reaction/adaptation to such changes. I am exploring the option of developing a change detection method using Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry and Optical Photogrammetry data for precise change detection. I will present the results of our controlled experiment with simulated permafrost related changes to showcase the capability of our method in active permafrost thaw environments.

A prototype field-to-publication data system for a multi-variable permafrost observation network.

A prototype field-to-publication data system for a multi-variable permafrost observation network.
Blog post by Nick Brown, NSERC PermafrostNet Data Scientist

Analysis and prediction of permafrost change are hampered by lack of observational data. In collaboration with Stephan Gruber, Peter Pulsifer, and Amos Hayes, we developed a permafrost data management system to support permafrost observation networks that involve many different kinds of permafrost data.

We identify five broad challenges for permafrost data management and publication: (1) existing data management strategies do not scale well, (2) data users have different skills and needs, (3) permafrost data are varied, (4) resources for permafrost data management are limited, and (5) existing permafrost data sources are difficult to integrate. Our prototype system supports a permafrost data workflow from observation to the distribution of interoperable data. The system simplifies data publication and management, although we identify and discuss several hurdles in adapting the CF conventions and ERDDAP for permafrost data. Our learning can inform organizations who collect, manage, or distribute permafrost data or those who manage large observation networks.

In summary:

  • Five broad challenges limit permafrost data management and publication.
  • We frame these challenges as requirements, and identify similarities with the FAIR principles.
  • We developed a prototype a permafrost data system to support field-to-publication workflows.
  • In this project, we use an “adopt and adapt” approach for standards and software.
  • Our data system supports more FAIR permafrost data.

Nicholas Brown, Stephan Gruber, Peter Pulsifer, Amos Hayes, A prototype field-to-publication data system for a multi-variable permafrost observation network, Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 175, 2024, 106006, ISSN 1364-8152, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2024.106006

This research was enabled in part by support provided by Compute Ontario et du Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Seminar – 15 May – Ice-Wedge Volume, Distribution, and Development in the Barrens of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Northern Manitoba.

Tabatha Rahman will be presenting Ice-Wedge Volume, Distribution, and Development in the Barrens of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Northern Manitoba.

Date: 15 May 2024
Time: 13:00-14:00 Eastern Time
Location: Zoom (details are posted in our Teams site).

Extensive ice-wedge polygon networks are found in the ‘Barrens’ of northern Manitoba, a 50,000 km2 zone of continuous permafrost tundra that emerged from the Tyrrell Sea less than 5,500 years ago. Tabatha will present empirical results of ice-wedge volume and tri-dimensional distribution, and will focus on the environmental conditions associated with the growth and degradation of ice wedges in this uplifted permafrost peatland. Knowledge of wedge-ice morphology and development is essential for the prediction and mitigation of risks associated with anticipated permafrost thaw in the Barrens.

Enregistrement et résumé AI de la Conférence sur la politique scientifique canadienne 2023

A Vision for Permafrost Knowledge in Canada: From Strategy to Action

Permafrost Pathways et le PermafrostNet CRSNG ont organisé des tables rondes distinctes lors de la conférence 2022 du Centre canadien de la politique scientifique (CCPS). Cela a conduit à une collaboration pour organiser un panel unique pour la conférence du CCPS 2023 afin de faire avancer les discussions commencées en 2022, intitulée : A Vision for Permafrost Knowledge in Canada: From Strategy to Actionqui s'est tenue le lundi 13 novembre. Les panélistes comprenaient : John Holdren (Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School), Marc D'Iorio (SMA Sciences, ECCC), Sara Brown (Association des communautés des Territoires du Nord-Ouest) et Stephan Gruber (PermafrostNet CRSNG), sous la présidence de Janet King, présidente du conseil d'administration. Janet King (image ci-dessous)
 

Pour permettre des discussions et une élaboration de stratégies plus approfondies, Jennifer Spence (Université Carleton; Arctic Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School) et Janet King ont organisé un atelier suite au panel, intitulé : Advancing Canada’s role as a leader in permafrost knowledge and policy. L'atelier réunissait des représentants de l'ITK, de l'Association des communautés des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, d'ECCC, du Groupe de travail du gouvernement fédéral sur le pergélisol, de Polar Knowledge Canada, de la Commission géologique du Canada, de la Commission géologique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, de l'Association canadienne du pergélisol, du PermafrostNet CRSNG, de Permafrost Pathways, d'ArcticNet, du Centre de recherche sur le climat de Woodwell et de la Cascade Institute.

Vous pouvez maintenant lire tous les détails du panel, obtenir un résumé AI de la discussion et écouter l'enregistrement audio du symposium sur le site web CSPC webpage for the session.

Seminar – 8 May – The Effects of Environmental Controls on Epigenetic Ice-Wedge Cracking.

Gabriel Karam will be presenting The Effects of Environmental Controls on Epigenetic Ice-Wedge Cracking.

Date: 8 May 2024
Time: 13:00-14:00 Eastern Time
Location: Zoom (details are posted in our Teams site).

Ice-wedge polygons are a widespread periglacial feature in the continuous permafrost regions. To better understand the mechanical aspects of their formation, the extended finite-element method was employed to simulate the cracking process. Four case studies will be presented, which evaluate the effects different environmental controls and explore the growth of wedges over multiple years.

Seminar – 1 May – Advancing Arctic coastal erosion measurement and monitoring through UAV-SfM and object-based image analysis.

Andrew Clark will be presenting Advancing Arctic coastal erosion measurement and monitoring through UAV-SfM and object-based image analysis.

Date: 1 May 2024
Time: 13:00-14:00 Eastern Time
Location: Zoom (details are posted in our Teams site).

Arctic coasts are vast and exhibit some of the highest rates of erosion in the World due to the presence of permafrost. Rates of erosion are expected to increase with warming air and water temperatures, reductions in Arctic sea ice extent and duration, sea level rise, and increased storm severity and frequency. This presentation will describe the use of emerging technologies (UAV-SfM and OBIA) to further our understanding of Arctic coastal processes, specifically, volumetric erosion, and broad scale delineation of multiple shoreline proxies for monitoring and quantification of erosion.

Andrew Clark

Le secret des tourbières par Radio-Canada

Un reportage à Découverte de Radio-Canada avec Oliver Sonnentag.

Face au réchauffement de la planète, les scientifiques tirent la sonnette d’alarme : il est temps de prendre conscience des pouvoirs de la tourbe. D’un labo de biopharmacie en Irlande à la plus grande tourbière d’Europe, en passant par la cabane d’un piégeur et la plus vaste expérience sur le changement climatique, Le secret des tourbières nous dévoile la beauté et les merveilles des tourbières. Avec Oliver Sonnentag, à la minute 22:45.

Regarder ici: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/decouverte/site/episodes/865999/tourbieres-foret-amazonie-planete

Ottawa-Carleton Northern Research Symposium

The OCSNRS is an annual student academic conference focusing on Subarctic, Arctic and Antarctic research from natural & physical sciences, social sciences, humanities and applied sciences.

This year the University of Ottawa hosted the meeting which featured a number of permafrost presentations from the network:

  • Galina Jonat – A proposed Framework for Improved Simulations of Permafrost Change.
  • Frederic Brieger – Permafrost Terrain Disturbance Mapping and Susceptibility Modeling in the Na-Cho Nyäk Ge (Stewart River) Watershed, Yukon.
  • Rae Landriau – Performance of Drilling Waste Sumps – Mackenzie Delta NT.
  • Pia Blake – Effects of Snow and Surface Material on Surface Offset of Intermediate Slopes.

Read more about the symposium here:

Eng: https://www.uottawa.ca/en/events-all/ottawa-carleton-student-northern-research-symposium-ocsnrs

Fr: https://www.uottawa.ca/fr/tous-evenements/symposium-recherche-nordique-ottawa-carleton-sernoc