Data Rescue Intern:
The Trail Valley Creek Research Station is located 50km north of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. Trail Valley Creek is an incredibly important area, as it drains 58km2 of tundra and is underlain by continuous permafrost. It is also warming at a quicker rate than most of the globe, and this warming is causing increased permafrost thaw, arctic greening, decreased snowfall, and changes in runoff. These changes have large impacts on Canada’s water resources. The Trail Valley Creek Research Station has been collecting hydrological data in this area for over 30 years.
For my data rescue internship, I worked with Dr. Philip Marsh from Wilfrid Laurier University to rescue a time series of streamflow data from the Trail Valley Creek area. This time series is incredibly important to look at how the rapidly changing temperatures have impacted the hydrology of the area. Much of this data was available on the Government of Canada website, but was in a format that was difficult to work with and was full of errors and gaps. Additionally, newer data had been collected but was not publicly available, and was in a format that was not compatible with the older data. My job was to screen, filter, and clean the data, and then combine the datasets together to create a single time series. Then, I analyzed the data, created a series of plots, and wrote up my methods and results. These data and some of my figures will be included in a data paper on the hydrology of this area over the last 30 years.
These data are valuable, as they contain fine-scale information about yearly patterns in streamflow in the Canadian Arctic, an area that is extremely important to the global hydrological cycle and is experiencing warming at an unprecedented rate. Long-term datasets like these can allow researchers to detect and monitor changes in important hydrological processes and potentially forecast future changes to streamflow and precipitation patterns.