Snow hydrology of the High Arctic

TitleSnow hydrology of the High Arctic
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1982
AuthorsWoo, Ming-ko
Conference Name50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1982
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsArctic hydrology, Arctic snow, Snow distribution, Snowmelt, Snowmelt runoff

In the Canadian Arctic Islands, snowfall is the major form of precipitation. At the end of winter, snow distribution is highly eneven, reflecting the strong influence of local terrain upon snow drift. The snowpack is denser and harder than that of the subarctic and stratigraphically, it comprises a number of wind-slabs and hoar layers. During spring, snow accumulated over many months are released within a short spell. The magnitude and timing of floods are controlled by the amount of winter snowfall, the intensity of spring melt and the variable source of meltwater due to fragmentation of the basin snow cover. When meltwater reaches the snow-choked valleys, numerous snow jams further modify the flow.In view of the preponderant influence of snow on arctic hydrology, advancement in snow research will have significant applications to northern development.