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Cold Region Environmental Research Laboratory
Canada Research Chair in Cryosphere Hydrology

Research axes

Glacier-climate interactions

Glaciers and climate are intricately linked. This research axis seeks to better understand these interactions in order to better predict climate change impacts on glaciers. Research methods include direct field measurements of glacier mass-balance and meteorological variables, remote-sensing analyses, and the use of distributed glacier energy and mass-balance models.

Snow and ice hydrology

Snow and ice are key components of the hydrological cycle of cold regions. Ongoing and future climate change will modify the storage and release of water from snow, glaciers and frozen soils, impacting runoff generation processes and river regimes. We seek to better understand and predict these changes using analyses of historical observations and hydrological modelling.

Snow ecology

Snow distribution and thickness impacts vegetation growth and soil productivity in cold regions. It also constitutes a habitat for organisms under extreme climate conditions. A better knowledge of the role of snow cover on the ecology of cold region is needed in order to project climate change impacts on cold region ecosystems.


The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is revolutionizing the field of earth sciences! Very-high resolution (<10 cm) remote-sensing with UAVs allows studying earth surface processes with an unprecedented level of details. DroneLab has two fixed-wings and one heavy-lift multirotor UAVs along with various sensors (RGB, multispectral and thermal cameras, Lidar) which are used to study small-scale snow-soil-vegetation interactions and glacial processes.