The influence of terrain factors on the distribution of permafrost bodies in the Chic-Choc Mountains, Gaspesie, Quebec

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ConferenceRoger J.E. Brown Memorial Volume. Proceedings Fourth Canadian Permafrost Conf.: 02 March 1981, Calgary, ALBT, Canada
Pages2335; # of pages: 13
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; surface temperature; snow cover; landforms; ground temperature studies; snow cover effects
AbstractGround temperature studies revealed the presence of several contemporary bodies of discontinuous permafrost on the windswept treeless summits of the Chic-Choc Mountains in Gaspe|'sie. One such permafrost body on Mont Jacques- Cartier is 45 to 60 m thick and related to a mean annual ground surface temperature of -1 to -1.5 degrees C. Snow cover is the principal terrain factor governing the presence or absence of permafrost. Snow depth indices derived from long-term data from a similar climatic region in central Que|'bec-Labrador permitted the Mont Jacques-Cartier permafrost to be plotted on the basis of snow cover. The rapid increase in snow depth as one crosses from the tundra into the krummholz zone enabled a close correlation to be made between the permafrost boundary and the tree-line. This correlation is not perfect, however. First, local tree- lines occur below the critical altitude at which the mean annual air temperature is sufficiently low to induce the development of permafrost, either due to local lithologic, microclimatic, or geomorphological conditions. Secondly, in the tundra zone large topographic hollows on the leeward side of summits harbour a deep winter snow pack which inhibits permafrost development. Thirdly, below the regional tree-line, lenses of permafrost occur in rock glaciers at the base of steep slopes.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number20807
NPARC number20378591
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Record identifier914a0691-6c2e-463c-ad9a-45b530f047e9
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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