Water Sciences

Members of this cluster are drawn primarily from water-related areas of the Earth System Dynamics group.  Water Sciences also bridges to Human Geography, with a common goal of seeking to understand the fundamental processes affecting the cycling and routing of water through the Earth system, and how people use water and affect its supply and the functioning of water-dependent ecosystems.  Examples of such research at SFU include the link between global climate and the hydrological cycle, transport of water and nutrients to the Arctic Ocean from the Mackenzie River basin, flow dynamics control of sediment transport in the Fraser River, effect of changes in energy-moisture balance on vegetation-fire dynamics, quantifying spatial distributions of soil moisture, glacial melt-water controls on landforms and drainage systems, and the limnology of Arctic delta lakes.  We seek to develop additional expertise in coastal dynamics and eco-hydrology to thereby create a more holistic view of water in the Earth system.  Such a holistic view is essential for conserving and protecting our water resources and indeed is a global priority.  Improved understanding of key linkages between the hydrological cycle and the movement of important nutrients (e.g. carbon) between the terrestrial biogeosphere and the ocean system, for example, can play a key role in understanding the cumulative effects of global change because water integrates processes and stresses occurring throughout the Earth system.

Research Groups