The Hudson Bay Railway provides a critical lifeline to Northern Manitoba, one that is severely impacted by global warming.
考虑到这一点，克里斯托弗·亨利（Christopher Henry）博士，克里斯托弗·斯托里（Christopher Storie）博士和乔尼·斯托里（Joni Storie）博士正在探索北极门户集团的研究，并与格兰特·巴克曼（Grant Barkman）合作DecisionWorks开发创新的监控软件以减轻对哈德逊湾铁路的水文影响。在接下来的两年中，他们将使用卫星数据来监视水文流出以开发预警系统。同时，他们使用高分辨率无人机图像来绘制水文事件对铁路的影响。
Dr. Christopher Storie
Barkman says the rail line provides northern communities with vital access to transportation and resources.
Working with the University of Winnipeg research team gives DecisionWorks access to cutting-edge research and innovative solutions to solve complex problems for their clients.
“Big questions require big answers,” said Barkman. “In order for a smaller, commercial consultancy such as ours to compete against larger organizations, collaboration is absolutely essential. Our partnership with The University of Winnipeg allows us to deliver a high-quality service to our clients, helping them grow, which, in turn, helps create economic activity, new and better jobs.”
225,000美元研究曼尼托巴创新概念证明赠款allows the research team to examine high-resolution drone imagery, track geometry, and mapping of localized hydrologic impacts on the rail line. They are able to take what they are learning from this data and apply it to larger scale satellite data being collected in a concurrent project funded by a $105,000Mitacs Accelerate Grant。
“With a drone, you can image an area the size of Polo Park mall at high resolution which provides very fine detail of what’s going on. The satellites can’t do it at that level, but with a couple of satellite images we see all of Northern Manitoba,” said Dr. Christopher Storie. “If satellite imagery detects something, we can deploy a high-resolution drone scan to see what’s going on. Or if the drone picks up something we can target a satellite analysis to look at the larger geographic area.”
通过收集特写和大图数据，他们能够提供Arctic Gateway Group（哈德逊湾铁路的所有者）拥有重要资源，以保护铁路线免受洪水的影响。
克里斯托弗·斯托里（Christopher Storie）博士说：“最终目标是持续提供这种信息，以确保铁路线再也不会被淘汰。”“We’d like to give them as early a warning as possible so that a crew can get out and open up a section of beaver dam to keep that water moving or check a culvert before it backs up, or look at infrastructure upgrading, such as putting in more culverts and creating different hydrological structures that protect vulnerable parts of the track.”
As an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Dr. Christopher Storie has hosted many summer field schools in Churchill and seen firsthand how important the rail line is.
“If our research can in any way minimize the amount of rail shut down, or, in a perfect world help ensure the rail line is open 24 hours a day, then we’ve ensured the lifeline to our northern communities is there,” he said.
Developing advanced skills
“This project gives me a chance to explore new methods of data analysis and preprocessing, develop skills for out-of-the-box problem-solving and non-standard solutions,” he said. “This opportunity to establish connections with UWinnipeg professors, business managers, and Hudson Bay Railway representatives allows me to expand my social network and will help me find a job faster after graduation.”
Master in Environmental and Social Change student Ryan Shirtliffe will be analysing satellite data to develop thresholds based on previous research, applying this data to what is discovered within the permafrost region.
Arctic climate poses unique challenges
While they are, to a certain extent, able to build on previous research monitoring surface water in Southern Manitoba, Dr. Joni Storie says the northern climate creates unique challenges.
“We are growing our expertise while building on work we have done before, so we’ve got a foundation there but it’s not directly translatable because Northern Manitoba is a permafrost region and we don’t always know where surface water is going to go because it changes year to year,” she said.
“If a body of water reaches a certain size it will go into an early warning system,” she said. “That’s the type of information we would share with the Arctic Gateway Group to let them know that this is one of those events in proximity of the rail lines that they should be aware of, because it could lead to flooding of the rail line.”
She says the knowledge they gain through this research will contribute to a bigger picture understanding that will impact development in the entire Arctic region. She has led research into how Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the United States use satellite data to understand how the Arctic is impacted by climate change.