Improved Estimates of Wetland Evaporation

PI: Warren Helgason, University of Saskatchewan

The issue of dynamic water storage in prairie wetlands has received considerable attention in recent years. Accordingly, we have learned a great deal about wetland storage, hydraulic connectivity between adjacent wetlands, and the contribution of wetlands to streamflow and groundwater systems. However, there has been scant attention paid to the factors that influence the rates of evaporation from wetlands, or evapotranspiration from wetland-dominated landscapes. Frequently, evaporation estimates are based on simple Priestly-Taylor or Penman-Monteith approaches, using parameters that can’t possibly reflect the dynamic nature of prairie wetlands. In this work, I am proposing a PhD project to examine the factors influencing wetland evaporation in prairie agricultural landscapes, for the purpose of developing more robust techniques for estimating the rate of wetland evaporation.