Location and Physical Characteristics
- Baker Creek is located just a few kilometers north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (62°35'N, 114°26'W), with a draining area of about 150 km2;
- Stream network characterized by lakes connected by short channels;
- Landscape is predominantly exposed bedrock, open black spruce forest, lakes, and bogs, fens, and peat plateaus;
- Basin is in the zone of discontinuous permafrost;
- 1971-2000 climate (Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), Yellowknife A) is characterized by cool, short summers with average July and January temperatures of 17 °C and -27 °C, respectively;
- Annual total precipitation is on average 281 mm, with 42% falling as snow.
- The research basin was established to support the Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS II), and has since been used as a research platform for the IP3 Network, and CCRN; (Students from the University of Saskatchewan and Carleton University have worked here);
- Baker Creek has also been used as part of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's (AANDC) cumulative impacts monitoring programme;
- Agency support has come from Environment Canada, AANDC, and Natural Resources Canada.
Current Science Focus and Instrumentation
- Research focus is mainly on runoff processes and storage dynamics involving lakes, exposed bedrock, soil-covered hillslopes, and wetlands;
- Long-term monitoring in or near Baker Creek includes MSC station at Yellowknife A and a Water Survey of Canada (WSC) gauge on Baker Creek at the outlet of Lower Martin Lake;
- Basin is instrumented in a nested fashion so as to build long term records at six additional hydrometric gauges on key tributaries;
- six wells and soil moisture and temperature nests in representative soils columns;
- one deep (<10 m) ground thermistor string;
- five climate towers (one with turbulent flux sensors); and,
- five water chemistry stations.
- The basin has been flown with LiDAR, and a 1 m horizontal resolution DEM exists, and land cover distribution was determined with SPOT 5 imagery in 2009.
Other Resources and Further Information