Scott F. Lamoureux


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The Northwest Territories Thermokarst Mapping Collective: A northern-driven mapping collaborative toward understanding the effects of permafrost thaw
Steven V. Kokelj, Tristan Gingras-Hill, Seamus V Daly, P D Morse, S A Wolfe, Ashley Rudy, Jurjen van der Sluijs, Niels Weiss, H B O'Neill, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Trevor C. Lantz, Carolyn Gibson, Dieter Cazon, Robert Fraser, Duane G. Froese, Garfield Giff, Charles Klengenberg, Scott F. Lamoureux, William L. Quinton, M. R. Turetsky, Alexandre Chiasson, C.C. Ferguson, Michael Newton, Mike Pope, Jason Paul, A E Wilson, Joseph M. Young
Arctic Science

This paper documents the first comprehensive inventory of thermokarst and thaw-sensitive terrain indicators for a 2 million km2 region of northwestern Canada. This is accomplished through the Thermokarst Mapping Collective (TMC), a research collaborative to systematically inventory indicators of permafrost thaw sensitivity by mapping and aerial assessments across the Northwest Territories (NT), Canada. The increase in NT-based permafrost capacity has fostered science leadership and collaboration with government, academic, and community researchers to enable project implementation. Ongoing communications and outreach have informed study design and strengthened Indigenous and stakeholder relationships. Documentation of theme-based methods supported mapper training, and flexible data infrastructure facilitated progress by Canada-wide researchers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The TMC inventory of thermokarst and thaw-sensitive landforms agree well with fine-scale empirical mapping (69% to 84% accuracy) and aerial inventory (74% to 96% accuracy) datasets. National- and circumpolar-scale modelling of sensitive permafrost terrain contrasts significantly with TMC outputs, highlighting their limitations and the value of empirically-based mapping approaches. We demonstrate that the multi-parameter TMC outputs support a holistic understanding and refined depictions of permafrost terrain sensitivity, provide novel opportunities for syntheses, and inform future modelling approaches, which are urgently required to comprehend better what permafrost thaw means for Canada’s North.


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Differential impact of thermal and physical permafrost disturbances on High Arctic dissolved and particulate fluvial fluxes
C. R. Beel, Scott F. Lamoureux, John F. Orwin, M. A. Pope, Melissa J. Lafrenière, Neal A. Scott
Scientific Reports, Volume 10, Issue 1

Abstract Climate warming and changing precipitation patterns have thermally (active layer deepening) and physically (permafrost-thaw related mass movements) disturbed permafrost-underlain watersheds across much of the Arctic, increasing the transfer of dissolved and particulate material from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems. We examined the multiyear (2006–2017) impact of thermal and physical permafrost disturbances on all of the major components of fluvial flux. Thermal disturbances increased the flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), but localized physical disturbances decreased multiyear DOC flux. Physical disturbances increased major ion and suspended sediment flux, which remained elevated a decade after disturbance, and changed carbon export from a DOC to a particulate organic carbon (POC) dominated system. As the magnitude and frequency of physical permafrost disturbance intensifies in response to Arctic climate change, disturbances will become an increasingly important mechanism to deliver POC from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems. Although nival runoff remained the primary hydrological driver, the importance of pluvial runoff as driver of fluvial flux increased following both thermal and physical permafrost disturbance. We conclude the transition from a nival-dominated fluvial regime to a regime where rainfall runoff is proportionately more important will be a likely tipping point to accelerated High Arctic change.