Permafrost landscapes are in a period of rapid transition, and increasing temperatures and changing precipitation regimes are intensifying permafrost degradation features. My research integrates remote sensing techniques and spatial analyses and geospatial modelling to provide a better understanding of broad-scale geomorphic and climatic processes associated with permafrost degradation specifically thermokarst. This research is necessary to anticipate the consequences of climate change on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, it will make a vital contribution to allow northern communities and policy makers to make more informed decisions on infrastructure development, water quality and aquatic ecosystem health.
Permafrost Disturbance Susceptibility Modelling
The intensification of permafrost hazards throughout the Canadian Arctic as a result of climate change constitutes serious risks for infrastructure and has the potential to alter environmental and ecological conditions. The first step in hazard mitigation is to understand the conditions that lead to a hazard. Hence, my key interests include developing susceptibility maps of permafrost hazards both locally and regionally, and quantifying morphological characteristics of susceptible terrain to provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of slope hazards.
Monitoring Permafrost Terrain Using Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar
Arctic landscapes undergo seasonal changes as the uppermost soil (i.e., active layer) thaws and freezes. Warming temperatures in many Arctic regions are altering this cycle as thickening active layers result in localized or irregular subsidence leading to the formation of thermokarst terrain and changes in surface hydrology. Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) is a technique capable of measuring ground surface displacements resulting from thawing permafrost at centimetre precision. The high temporal and spatial resolution of DInSAR provides new opportunities to examine and analyse complex landscape processes.