My research group conducts inter-disciplinary research in geomatics (e.g. Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing), physical hydrology and the biogeosciences. We focus on the spatio-temporal characterization and modelling of lake, river and wetland hydrology at sites throughout several of Canada’s major ecoregions, including the Boreal Shield, the Hudson Bay lowlands and the Arctic tundra, as well as more local sites in central Ontario and the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Using targeted field observations and through the development and application of novel GIS, remote sensing and statistical/numerical modelling techniques, we strive to advance scientific/predictive understanding of hydrology, ecosystem processes and contaminant movement (especially mercury and other trace metals) in these landscapes. Through our efforts we are able to quantify and document the varying responses and sensitivities of these processes to weather/climate, atmospheric pollution, and landscape disturbance, and their implications for freshwater environments.
I use a wide variety of remote sensing, GIS and statistical techniques to study peatland hydrology in temperate and sub-arctic Canada. At the Debeers Victor Mine (northern Ontario) and the Alfred Bog (eastern Ontario) I am developing methods to monitor changes in peatland water table and soil moisture using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). In addition to SAR I am also using UAV imagery and LiDAR data to build 3D models of the surface and vegetation within the peatland to help in better understand the variability we see in the SAR. I also have been collaborating with Canadian Forest Service research scientists in Wood Buffalo National Park (NWT/AB) to use SAR to map wetlands over very large extents. I spend a lot of time during the spring, summer and fall at these three sites collecting as much field data as possible in order to analyze the remotely-sensed responses.
I am a MITACS post-doctoral researcher working on river network extraction and water quality modelling using multi-platform remote sensing. I am interested in the integration of remotely sensed imagery collected from satellites, airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and terrestrial platforms, to study the effect of scale, view-angle, and atmospheric (path) radiance. I am also interested in multi-view stereo imagery matching and three-dimensional (3D) terrain modelling from UAV imagery.
Co-supervised by Doug King and Murray Richardson
I am a second-year M.Sc. student studying snow hydrology in the area around Iqaluit, Nunavut. Iqaluit currently draws drinking water from the nearby Lake Geraldine, but this supply will soon be outstripped by the city’s rapidly growing population. As a result, the city council has identified water security as an issue of critical concern in all future municipal planning. A potential secondary water supply has been identified in the nearby Apex River, which could be used to supplement Lake Geraldine. Streamflow in this region is dominated by inputs of snowmelt, but snow accumulation and redistribution are not easily predicted, due to the complex interaction of rugged terrain and powerful winter winds. Through the use of extensive field surveying, microclimatic monitoring, and digital terrain analysis, I am developing an improved snow accumulation and melt model for the Apex River watershed. This effort will improve our understanding of snow hydrology in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, and eventually support community decision making for drinking water supply and renewable power generation.
Cassandra MichelMasters Student
I am a second-year M.Sc. student studying groundwater and surface water interactions using environmental tracers in the Jock sub-watershed, located outside the Ottawa city center. I am interested in determining the spatial and temporal variability of groundwater contributions to streamflow at the catchment scale. This catchment is of particular interest due to the mixed land use, heterogeneous soil composition/deposition and fractured bedrock terrain. Throughout the year, I was busy collecting spatially and temporally variable samples of end-members: groundwater, snowmelt, precipitation, soil water and stream water, for isotopic and geochemical analysis. I plan on using end-member mixing analysis (EMMA) to determine variability of groundwater contributions to streamflow throughout the watershed. I am also using standard hydrometric techniques such as baseflow separation to enhance EMMA results. More often than not you will find me out in a stream measuring discharge or back in the lab measuring alkalinity and silica.
Cameron SamsonMasters Student