MVerpaelstManuel Verpaelst

Director: Daniel Fortier

Primary Address
Department of Geography
Strathcona Building, local 404
Université de Montréal
520 chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montréal, Qc, Canada, H2V 2B8
Phone: (514) 343-6111 ext. 33546


Project Title

Mass mouvement and syngenetic dynamic of permafrost in high arctic

Description of the project research

High arctic is characterized by many extreme climatic and geomorphologic phenomenons. According to the last climatic scenarios, climates changes will affect arctic more than any other region of the planet. High arctic, wish is essentially bare of vegetation, will have a strong response to climates changes and will be marked by an acceleration of periglacial processes associated with permafrost thaw. Mass movements will be favored by the deepening of the active layer wish will supply more water to favor the creeping of the material and the continuous sliding of the latter on the ice-rich superior part of the permafrost. The project focuses on the influence of solifluction lobes movement on permafrost dynamic at Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut (Canada). Considering the recent deepening of the active layer, the higher incoming of material downslope may modify permafrost dynamic.

Hypothesis: 1) The deepening of the active layer, in response to climates changes, accentuate mass movements by solifluction; 2) Solifluction lobes movement lead to a syngenetic development of permafrost and aggradational ice downslope; 3) This ice-rich zone would contribute to slow down permafrost thaw in response to climates changes because of the important effect of latent heat represented by the ice volume. Objectives: 1) Characterize solifluction lobes cryostratigraphy; 2) Determine if the movement of sediments in mass induce an ice aggradation and a syngenetic development of permafrost downslope. 3) Quantify the sediments flux generated by the movement of solifluction lobes.

Research contribution: This research will allow a better understanding of mass movements dynamic in high arctic, in a context of climates changes. The latter will also allow a better understanding of the impact of solifluction lobes on the evolution of permafrost, a subject not much studied till now.

Permafrost, syngenetic, mass movement, Ward Hunt, solifluction lobe



Centre for Northern Studies (CEN)






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