Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory

CBAWO is a comprehensive watershed research facility, comprised of paired watersheds and downstream lakes. Research is focused on terrestrial, aquatic and biogeochemical processes on land and in fresh water systems. Boundary layer meteorological and gas fluxes are also investigated. The station maintains numerous weather, river, stream, lake, soil, permafrost, vegetation and related sites for long term monitoring of the impacts of climate and related change on High Arctic systems.

CBAWO Field Camp

Primary camp facilities. Photo credit: S. Lamoureux

Name Email Phone Number
Primary Contact Scott Lamoureux (613) 533-6033

Download Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory profile as a PDF document

Queen’s University

Associate Member




Cape Bounty, Melville Island

Nearest Community

Territory/ Province

Aboriginal Government/ Homeland

Facility Type
Seasonally-Operated Field Camp, Site for Observing/Monitoring

Research Hinterland
Continuous Permafrost, Freshwater, Lake, Streams, Terrestrial, Tundra


Satellite phone, VHF

Local Transportation
Walking, snow machine, small boats

Equipment Storage
Cold storage, tents

Dormitory/Sleeping Facilities

Dining/Kitchen Facilities
Common kitchen-work space tent

Laboratory Facilities
Seasonal laboratory tents

Fuel Availability
Propane, limited gasoline

Research Requirements
Nunavut territorial permit

Special Rules and Regulations
Low impact travel and activities. Some restricted areas for research and safety.

Local External Resources

Nearest Medical Service
Resolute, Nursing Station

Research History
Research at CBAWO began in 2003 and has continued since that time. Activity significantly increased during the 2007-9 International Polar Year (IPY) and has continued with support from ArcticNet and NSERC. In addition to CBAWO core research activities, numerous field parties have based local and regional operations from the camp at CBAWO.

Current Projects
Research focusing on hydrological, permafrost, and terrestrial processes, with emphasis on geomicrobiological and biogeochemical cycling in soil and freshwaters. Limnological research and remote sensing research are also underway.

Main Research Disciplines
Climatology, Environmental Sciences, Geophysics, Geocryology, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Isotopic chemistry, Limnology, Mapping/GIS, Microbiology, Paleoecology, Paleolimnology, Soil Science, Terrestrial biology/ecology

Safety Considerations
Mandatory first aid and related training (firearms, boating, etc.).

Negotiable, cost recovery basis

Other Information

Last Updated

West River Watershed

Example of terrain and hydrological setting. Photo credit: S. Lamoureux


Permafrost Disturbance

Example of active layer detachment that occurred in 2007. Photo credit: S. Lamoureux


ITEX experiment

International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) established at CBAWO in 2008. Experiment includes both warming and snow augmentation. Photo credit: S. Lamoureux