McMaster University

McMaster University

Contact Information

Sean Carey, Professor
School of Geography & Earth Sciences

Office: General Science Building, Rm 238
Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 20134
Fax: (905) 546-0463

Office Hours: by appointment only

Watershed Hydrology Group

Sean K. Carey

Sean K. Carey

Research Interests

  • Hydrology,
  • Biometeorology,
  • Cold Regions,
  • Reclamation,
  • Landscape Disturbance


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For the past decade, Dr Carey and his team have been exploring the eco-hydrological response of post oil sands mining landscapes in the Fort McMurray region. There are a wide varieties of landform construction practices, resulting in upland and wetland systems that vary widely depending upon soil material, vegetation and their regional setting. The broad goal of the group’s research is to work with industry to understand the hydrology of reclamation watersheds and provide guidance as to the best practices to ensure their success. Currently there are two major foci: i) water and carbon balances of upland systems and comparing these with natural and post-disturbance (forestry) landscapes, and ii) constructed wetland hydrology and carbon balance research. These projects are collaborative efforts with researchers at the University of Waterloo, Carleton University and the University of Alberta.



Current Courses

Earth Sc/Envir Sc 2W03 Physical Hydrology, (Term Two) 2015-16
Earth Sc/Envir Sc 3N03 Cold Environments, (Term Two) 2015-16
Earth Sci 718 Advanced Hydrology, (Term Two) 2015-16




Selected Publications (Peer reviewed)

Click Here for Full Publication List

(* denotes student, PDF or other HQP)

Wellen C*, Shatilla NJ*, Carey SK. 2015. Regional scale selenium loading associated with surface coal mining, Elk Valley, British Columbia, Canada.Science of the Total Environment, 531, 791-802. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.040.

Williams TJ, Pomeroy JW, Janowicz JR, Carey SK, Rasouli K*, Quinton WL2015. A radiative-conductive-convective approach to calculate thaw seasonground surface temperatures for modelling frost table dynamics. HydrologicalProcesses. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10573.

Lessels JS*, Tetzlaff D, Carey SK, Smith P, Soulsby C. 2015. A coupledhydrology-biogeochemistry model to simulate dissolved organic carbon exportsfrom a permafrost influenced catchment. Hydrological Processes. doi:10.1002/hyp.10566. Contributed ~20% of the manuscript writing.

Ali G, Tetzlaff D, McDonnell JJ, Soulsby C, Carey SK, Laudon H, McGuireK, Buttle J, Seibert J, Shanley J. 2015. Comparison of threshold hydrologic response across northern catchments. Hydrological Processes. doi:10.1002/hyp.10527

Tetzlaff D, Buttle J, Carey SK, van Huljgevoort HJ*, Laudon H, McNamara J, Mitchell CPJ, Spence C, Gabor RS*, Soulsby C. 2015. A preliminary assessment of water partitioning and ecohydrological coupling in northern headwaters using stable isotopes and conceptual runoff models. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10515

Huang M*, Barbour SL, Carey SK. 2015. The impact of reclamation coverdepth on the performance of reclaimed shale overburden at an oil sands minein Northern Alberta, Canada, Hydrol. Process., doi: 10.1002/hyp.10229

Tetzlaff D, Buttle J, Carey SK, McGuire K, Laudon H, Soulsby C. 2014.Tracer-based assessment of flow paths, storage and runoff generation in northern catchments. Hydroogical. Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10412.

Debeer CM, Wheater HS, Quinton WL, Carey SK, Stewart RE, Mackay MD, Marsh P. 2014. The changing cold regions network: Observation, diagnosis and prediction of environmental change in the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie River Basins, Canada. Science China Earth Sciences, 1-15.

Faubert J-P*, Carey SK. 2014. Growing season water balance of wetland reclamation test cells, Fort McMurray, Alberta. Hydrological Processes. 28: 4363–4376. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10240. Zanatta is former MSc student.

Rasouli K*, Pomeroy JW, Janowicz JR, Carey SK, Williams TJ. 2014. Hydrological sensitivity of a northern mountain basin to climate change. Hydrological Processes. 28: 4191–4208. doi: 10.1002/hyp.10244

Ali G, Tetzlaff D, Kuitbos L*, Soulsby C, Carey SK, McDonnell J, Buttle J, Laudon H, Seibert J, McGuire K, Shanley J. 2014. Analysis of   hydrological seasonality across northern catchments using monthly precipitation-runoff polygon metrics. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59: 56-72 , doi: 10.1080/02626667.2013.822639 Contributed ~15% of the manuscript  9 of 18 writing.

Carey SK, Tetzlaff D, Buttle J, Laudon H, McDonnell J, McGuire K, Seibert J, Soulsby C, Shanley J. 2013. Use of color maps and wavelet coherence to discern seasonal and inter annual climate influences on streamflow variability in northern catchments. Water Resources Research,

Zanatta RC*, Carey SK, Richardson M. 2013. The influence of hyporheic exchange on reach-scale water budgets in a Precambrian Shield catchment, Quebec, Canada. Hydrological Processes, 27, 1890-1900. Doi: 10.1002/hyp9873.

Tetzlaff D, Soulsby C, Buttle R, Capell R*, Carey SK, Laudon H, McDonnell JJ, McGuire K, Seibert J, Shanlty J. 2013. Catchments on the cusp?  Structural and functional change in northern ecohydrology. Hydrological Processes, 5, 766-774, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9700

Laudon H, Tetzlaff D, Soulsby C, Carey SK, Seibert J, Buttle J,Shanley J, McDonnell JJ, McGuire K. 2013. Change in winter climate will affect dissolved organic carbon and water flux in mid-to-high latitude catchments. Hydrological Processes, 27, 700-709 doi: 10.1002/hyp.9686

Carey SK, Boucher JL*, Duarte CM*. 2013. Inferring groundwater contributions and pathways to streamflow during snowmelt over multiple years in a discontinuous permafrost environment (Yukon Canada). Hydrogeology Journal, 21, 67-77, doi: 10.1007/s10040-012-0920-9







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Updated January 28, 2016

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