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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/18954

Title: Permafrost in Canada's Subarctic Region of Northern Ontario
Authors: Tam, Andrew
Advisor: Gough, William A.
Department: Geography
Keywords: Permafrost
Stefan Depth
Active Layer
Degree Days
Northern Ontario
Issue Date: 16-Feb-2010
Abstract: An investigation of permafrost (permanently frozen soil) was conducted in Canada’s subarctic region of Northern Ontario. Environmental baseline conditions and permafrost states were estimated using seasonal freezing and thawing energies based on observed climate data and the Stefan equation. Field studies provided measurements of the active layer depths and validated the permafrost states; laboratory studies of the soil samples provided characterization for organic materials that have high affinity for soil moisture. Palsas (unique dome-like formations) were observed to have enhanced permafrost cores beneath a thermal insulating organic layer. With climate change, results suggest the possibility of shifts from the classification of continuous to discontinuous permafrost states in areas lacking the presence of organic materials that can have environmental and ecological impacts. Northern infrastructures may become destabilized with the degradation of permafrost while palsas may become lone permafrost refuges for biodiversity that depend on cooler ecosystems, such as polar bears.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/18954
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of Geography - Master theses

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