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Utikuma Region Study Area (URSA) – Part 1: Hydrogeological and ecohydrological studies (HEAD)

Publication: The Forestry Chronicle
18 March 2016

Abstract

The Utikuma Region Study Area (URSA) was initiated to develop spatially explicit modelling tools to predict the cumulative impacts of land use and natural disturbance on the Boreal Plains (BP) ecozone of the Western Boreal Forest. Research comprised several multi-year projects, spanning wet and dry climate periods that combined intensive detailed process studies at seven watersheds with extensive long-term ecohydrological and hydrogeological studies conducted across a 60-km transect representing the range of glaciated landforms characteristic of the sub-humid boreal forest in Alberta. These studies have improved our conceptual understanding and capacity to numerically model how climate and geology influence water and energy flow, and the hydrologic linkages and natural variability of the key processes influencing BP ecosystems. Eco-hydrogeological frameworks have been developed for designing, conducting, interpreting, and extrapolating research results for watershed management and construction across the Boreal Plain ecozone.

Résumé

Le site d’étude de la région d'Utikuma (URSA) a été créé dans le but de concevoir des outils de modélisation spatialement explicite permettant de prédire les effets cumulatifs de l'utilisation du territoire et des perturbations naturelles dans l’écozone des Plaines boréales (BP) de la forêt boréale de l'Ouest. Les travaux de recherche comportaient quelques projets s’étalant sur plusieurs années et couvrant des périodes de climat humide et sec, et combinaient des études intensives des processus détaillés de sept bassins hydrographiques, notamment des études éco-hydrologiques et hydrogéologiques exhaustives à long terme entreprises sur un transect de 60 km représentant l'ensemble des caractéristiques de la topographie glaciaire de la forêt boréale sub-humide de l'Alberta. Ces études ont amélioré notre compréhension conceptuelle et notre capacité de modéliser l'influence du climat et de la géologie sur l'eau et le flux d’énergie, de même que les relations hydrologiques et la variabilité naturelle des principaux processus qui affectent les écosystèmes des Plaines boréales. Des cadres éco-hydrologiques ont été élaborés afin de concevoir la cueillette, l'interprétation et l'extrapolation des résultats de recherche pour l'aménagement et la construction de bassins versants dans l'ensemble de l’écozone des Plaines boréales.

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References

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image The Forestry Chronicle
The Forestry Chronicle
Volume 92Number 01January 2016
Pages: 57 - 61

History

Version of record online: 18 March 2016

Authors

Affiliations

Kevin J. Devito [email protected]
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Carl Mendoza
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Richard M. Petrone
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
Nick Kettridge
School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
James M. Waddington
School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

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