Permafrost cores analysis in the lab (Michel Paquette)

February 1, 2017 in post

While summers are for field work and data and sample collection, winters in the Geocryolab are spent analyzing those in the lab and in the offices. A widespread method used by lab members is the cryostratigraphic analysis, which describes and quantifies the pattern of soil and ice structures in permafrost. It informs on the formation history of ice and permafrost, and is usually performed in the cold room at temperatures below 0°C to prevent the cores from thawing. Here Ashley Rudy (PhD) from Queen’s University’s Environmental Variability and Extremes Laboratory (EVEX) is cleaning the cores by removing the mud layer created during coring operations, while Michel Paquette (PhD candidate) from Geocryolab is describing them and taking pictures. The cores are from the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory (CBAWO) on Melville Island, in the Western Arctic. They will then be thawed to measure ice content, and the water from the cores will be used for geochemistry and isotopic analyses.

What is the impact of subsurface water flow on the thermal regime of the ground? (Daniel Fortier)

November 15, 2016 in @en, post

In response to climate changes, permafrost thaw and active layer deepening shall favor the increase of subsurface water flow. Geocryolab designed experimental cells to evaluate the thermal ipact of groundwater on the ground thermal regime. Why? Because very few information is currently available about this topic and because laboratory study allows for a simplification of the parameters influencing the temperature and a better control of these parameters.


Thermistor cables (left) fabricated at Geocryolab which will be linked to a datalogger (Campbell Scienific).

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (Karine Rioux)

November 4, 2016 in post


Differential Scanning Calorimetry is an advanced technology used to define the heat capacity, conductivity and thermal diffusivity of different materials.This is an essential tool to improve the understanding of heat transfer processes in soils.