Philip Marsh

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. M.K. Woo


A small drainage basin (area 33 km²) near Resolute Bay, N.W.T., and three sub-basins with areas of 21, 10 and 0.65 km² were studied during the summer of 1976. All components of the water balance were measured or calculated, including basin snow storage, rainfall, streamflow and evaporation. A snow survey indicated that Atmospheric Environment Service data underestimated basin snow storage by 50% but weather station rainfall was representative of the study basin. Water balance studies showed that for the three larger basins, streamflow consistently accounted for 80% of the total incoming precipitation and evaporation 20%. The smallest basin was found to discharge only 67% of precipitation, leaving 33% available for evaporation. This difference was attributed to larger percentage of wet areas in the small basin. The spatial variability of the water balance components was also demonstrated by calculating the values of all components for individual terrain units. It was found that the percentage of total precipitation which was discharged as streamflow varied from 53% for crests to 98% for gullies. Findings from this study agree with other studies in a similar environment. In general, streamflow as a component of the water balance is more important in the high Arctic than in the sub-Arctic regions.

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