Brandon Van Huizen


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The Impact of Variable Horizon Shade on the Growing Season Energy Budget of a Subalpine Headwater Wetland
Dylan M. Hrach, Richard M. Petrone, Brandon Van Huizen, Adam Green, Myroslava Khomik
Atmosphere, Volume 12, Issue 11

Surface energy budgets are important to the ecohydrology of complex terrain, where land surfaces cycle in and out of shadows creating distinct microclimates. Shading in such environments can help regulate downstream flow over the course of a growing season, but our knowledge on how shadows impact the energy budget and consequently ecohydrology in montane ecosystems is very limited. We investigated the influence of horizon shade on the surface energy fluxes of a subalpine headwater wetland in the Canadian Rocky Mountains during the growing season. During the study, surface insolation decreased by 60% (32% due to evolving horizon shade and 28% from seasonality). The influence of shade on the energy budget varied between two distinct periods: (1) Stable Shade, when horizon shade was constant and reduced sunlight by 2 h per day; and (2) Dynamic Shade, when shade increased and reduced sunlight by 0.18 h more each day, equivalent to a 13% reduction in incoming shortwave radiation and 16% in net radiation. Latent heat flux, the dominant energy flux at our site, varied temporally because of changes in incoming radiation, atmospheric demand, soil moisture and shade. Horizon shade controlled soil moisture at our site by prolonging snowmelt and reducing evapotranspiration in the late growing season, resulting in increased water storage capacity compared to other mountain wetlands. With the mounting risk of climate-change-driven severe spring flooding and late season droughts downstream of mountain headwaters, shaded subalpine wetlands provide important ecohydrological and mitigation services that are worthy of further study and mapping. This will help us better understand and protect mountain and prairie water resources.


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A new flow for Canadian young hydrologists: Key scientific challenges addressed by research cultural shifts
Caroline Aubry‐Wake, Lauren Somers, Hayley Alcock, A. M. Anderson, Amin Azarkhish, Samuel Bansah, Nicole M. Bell, Kelly Biagi, Mariana Castañeda-González, Olivier Champagne, Anna Chesnokova, Devin Coone, Thierry Gauthier, Uttam Ghimire, Nathan Glas, Dylan M. Hrach, Oi Yin Lai, Pierrick Lamontagne‐Hallé, Nicolas Leroux, Laura Lyon, Sohom Mandal, Bouchra Nasri, Nataša Popović, Tracy Rankin, Kabir Rasouli, Alexis L. Robinson, Palash Sanyal, Nadine J. Shatilla, Brandon Van Huizen, Sophie Wilkinson, Jessica Williamson, Majid Zaremehrjardy
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 8

A new flow for Canadian young hydrologists: Key scientific challenges addressed by research cultural shiftsCaroline Aubry-Wake1, Lauren D. Somers2,3, Hayley Alcock4, Aspen M. Anderson5, Amin Azarkhish6, Samuel Bansah7, Nicole M. Bell8, Kelly Biagi9, Mariana Castaneda-Gonzalez10, Olivier Champagne9, Anna Chesnokova10, Devin Coone6, Tasha-Leigh J. Gauthier11, Uttam Ghimire6, Nathan Glas6, Dylan M. Hrach11, Oi Yin Lai14, Pierrick Lamontagne-Halle3, Nicolas R. Leroux1, Laura Lyon3, Sohom Mandal12, Bouchra R. Nasri13, Natasa Popovic11, Tracy. E. Rankin14, Kabir Rasouli15, Alexis Robinson16, Palash Sanyal17, Nadine J. Shatilla9, 18, Brandon Van Huizen11, Sophie Wilkinson9, Jessica Williamson11, Majid Zaremehrjardy191 Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada2 Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA3 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Montreal QC4 Department of Natural Resource Science, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada5 Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada6 School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Ontario, ON, Canada7 Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada8 Centre for Water Resources Studies, Department of Civil & Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada9 School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.10 Department of Construction Engineering, Ecole de technologie superieure, Montreal, QC, Canada11 Department of Geography & Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada12 Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada13 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University, Montreal, Qc, Canada14 Geography Department, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada15 Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, QC, Canada16 Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON17 Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan.18 Lorax Environmental Services Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Canada.19 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

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Quantifying the spatial variability of melting seasonal ground ice and its influence on potential evapotranspiration spatial variability in a boreal peatland
Brandon Van Huizen, Richard M. Petrone
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 17

Abstract Melting seasonal ground ice (SGI) in western Boreal Plains (WBP) peatlands can reduce the available energy at the surface by reducing potential evapotranspiration (PET). PET often exceeds annual precipitation in the WBP. Including this effect in hydrological models may be important in assessing water deficits. However, SGI melt and the timing of ice‐free conditions vary spatially, which suggests PET spatial variability could be influenced by SGI. Understanding this potential linkage can help improve site scale PET in peatland hydrological models. The objectives of this paper were (a) to quantify the effect of ice thickness and melt rate on peatland PET; (b) quantify the spatial variability of SGI thickness and melt rate across spatial scales; and (c) assess how/if spatial variability in SGI thickness/melt rate affects site scale PET. Results from the sensitivity analysis indicated that SGI thickness had a bigger impact on reducing PET compared with the melt rate. Two SGI thickness values were used that were observed on site: 0.32 m, which was measured in a more treed area, and 0.18 m, which was in a more open area. The 0.32 m had an average PET reduction of 14 mm (±0.7), over the month of May, compared with 9 mm (±1 mm) when there was 0.18 m of SGI, which are 13.7 and 8.8% reductions, respectively. SGI thickness and melt rate, both exhibited large‐ and small‐scale spatial variability. At the large scale, spatial patterns in SGI thickness appeared to be influenced by extensive shading from the adjacent hillslopes. Small scale, SGI thickness may be a function of tree proximity and the snowpack. Finally, net radiation, rather than SGI, appeared to be the main driver behind PET spatial variability. This work enhances our conceptual understanding of the role of SGI in WBP peatlands. Future work can use the findings to better inform peatland hydrological models, allowing for better representation of peatlands in regional‐scale models.


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Seasonal ground ice impacts on spring ecohydrological conditions in a western boreal plains peatland
Brandon Van Huizen, Richard M. Petrone, Jonathan S. Price, William L. Quinton, John W. Pomeroy
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 3

Peatlands in the Western Boreal Plains act as important water sources in the landscape. Their persistence, despite potential evapotranspiration (PET) often exceeding annual precipitation, is attributed to various water storage mechanisms. One storage element that has been understudied is seasonal ground ice (SGI). This study characterized spring SGI conditions and explored its impacts on available energy, actual evapotranspiration, water table, and near surface soil moisture in a western boreal plains peatland. The majority of SGI melt took place over May 2017. Microtopography had limited impact on melt rates due to wet conditions. SGI melt released 139mm in ice water equivalent (IWE) within the top 30cm of the peat, and weak significant relationships with water table and surface moisture suggest that SGI could be important for maintaining vegetation transpiration during dry springs. Melting SGI decreased available energy causing small reductions in PET (<10mm over the melt period) and appeared to reduce actual evapotranspiration variability but not mean rates, likely due to slow melt rates. This suggests that melting SGI supplies water, allowing evapotranspiration to occur at near potential rates, but reduces the overall rate at which evapotranspiration could occur (PET). The role of SGI may help peatlands in headwater catchments act as a conveyor of water to downstream landscapes during the spring while acting as a supply of water for the peatland. Future work should investigate SGI influences on evapotranspiration under differing peatland types, wet and dry spring conditions, and if the spatial variability of SGI melt leads to spatial variability in evapotranspiration.