Detecting spatial variation in hydrology and carbon export across a lake-rich permafrost landscape, Old Crow Flats, Yukon, Canada
Lake-rich permafrost landscapes are widespread across northern regions and provide refuge for abundant wildlife and resources for local communities. Evidence suggests that these landscapes are highly sensitive to changes in climate. The traditional territory of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Old Crow Flats (OCF), YK, is a vast 5600-km2 lake-rich landscape that is internationally recognized for its ecological and cultural integrity. Pronounced changes in lake and river water levels and land cover compositions have been observed during recent decades by local community members and in scientific studies. Research presented here focuses on enhancing our understanding of spatial patterns in hydrology and carbon export across OCF, using a suite of water chemistry parameters, carbon concentrations and water and carbon isotope tracers. The spatial patterns detected are providing an important reference for ongoing investigations of how changing climate and lake-rich landscapes are influencing water and carbon balances.