Wednesday, 19 November 2003: 2:15 PM
Validating the Overwintering Effect on the Drought Code in Elk Island National Park
The Drought Code (DC), a component of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI), is an index of the amount of moisture in the deep forest floor. Its slow response time requires that allowances must be made for fall conditions and the overwinter snow fall in determining spring startup conditions. Currently, a simple method to calculate the overwintering effect on the DC exists but this scheme is subjective. This study sets out to validate this scheme through destructive sampling conducted in the fall and spring at Elk Island National Park as well as propose alternative methods to calculate the overwintering effect. So far, measurements have been made for three winters with results ranging from no effect to as much as 500% increases in the moisture content of the deep humus layer. The study is ongoing and this paper is a summary of these interim results.