Massive ice near Eureka (NU) (M. Paquette)

May 4, 2017 in post

Ice can be quite abundant in permafrost, but its origin, whether it has been buried or has formed in-situ, is sometimes hard to tell. This picture shows massive ice underlying a thick marine deposit (mostly clay). It was taken in late July in 2013, near the Eureka airport in Nunavut in an active retrogressive thaw slump, a landform created by ice-rich permafrost degradation. The two dark lines crossing the ice mass is reminiscent of structures that can be seen in glaciers, and indicate a possible buried origin for this ice. Analysis of the cryostratigraphy, of the geochemistry and of the crystallography of the ice can help tell the difference. An example of this type of work can be found in this article and in this presentation by lab member Stéphanie Coulombe.

Congrats to Karine Rioux for its excellent talk at Géoforum!

April 24, 2017 in @en, Article

On the 21st of April, Karine Rioux presented the main part of her honors bachelor project. Her presentation was part of the GeoForum 2017 of the Geography department (University of Montreal). Her project consists in evaluating the efficiency of a mitigation technique; the use of snowsheds to increase the thermal stability of permafrost along an experimental section of the Alaska Highway (Yukon). Karine skillfully demonstrated thermal dynamics of the air and the firsts centimeters of permafrost under the snowsheds, compared with a test section. Her good work and communicating skills won her the prize of the best honors presentation in physical geography! Congratulations Karine!

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).

Influence of urbanization on permafrost (Lin Chen)

November 14, 2016 in post

The urbanization has significant influence on permafrost degradation. The degradation of permafrost in the urban area in turn has been affecting the residents’ lives, such as water supply and stability of buildings. In 2008, ground penetration radar (GPR) was conducted by Lin Chen and his teammates to investigate the influence of urbanization on permafrost.

Ground ice at Cape Marre-Sale, Yamal Peninsula, Russia (Daniel Fortier)

October 28, 2016 in post


Cape Marre-Sale, Yamal Peninsula, Russia. Mike Angelopoulos, Daniel Fortier, E. Godin and Mark T. Jorgenson (Photo: Eva Stephani)

The origin of ground ice is important to understand how the landscape evolved in the past and will continue to change in response to climate change. Geocryolab members and colleagues worked on the origin of ground ice at Cape Marre-Sale. We proposed that buried glacial-related ice forms vast portion of the permafrost of these icy coastal cliffs.

Additional information: Fortier et al. 2012. Origin of massive ice at Cape Marre-Sale, Yamal Peninsula, Siberia, Russia: contrasting views:

Week #1 – Recent Cryosphere papers

January 6, 2014 in Article

Van Wychen, W., et al. (2013). “Glacier velocities and dynamic ice discharge from the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada.” Geophysical Research Letters: 2013GL058558.

Van Nieuwenhove, N. and J. P. Briner (2014). “Sea-ice, glaciers and climate dynamics of Baffin Bay and the NW Passage.” Journal of Quaternary Science 29(1): 1-1.

Bouchard, F., et al. (2013). “Vulnerability of shallow subarctic lakes to evaporate and desiccate when snowmelt runoff is low.” Geophysical Research Letters 40(23): 2013GL058635.

Strauss, J., et al. (2013). “The deep permafrost carbon pool of the Yedoma region in Siberia and Alaska.” Geophysical Research Letters 40(23): 2013GL058088. (Open Access)

Wik, M., et al. (2014). “Energy input is primary controller of methane bubbling in subarctic lakes.” Geophysical Research Letters: 2013GL058510.

An, H. and S. J. Noh “High-order averaging method of hydraulic conductivity for accurate soil moisture modeling.” Journal of Hydrology(0). (Early Access)

Kneisel, C., et al. “Application of 3D electrical resistivity imaging for mapping frozen ground conditions exemplified by three case studies.” Geomorphology(0). (Early Access)