Ecological & geomorphological investigations in the alpine tundra of the western Mackenzie Mountains
Principal Investigator: Kershaw, G. Peter (38)
Licence Number: 12856
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Issued: May 24, 1996
Project Team: Wendy Davis, Jennie Christensen, Michael Smilski, Taly Drezner

Objective(s): The main objectives of this study are to: 1. determine the status of permafrost landforms in the study area, and 2. determine the long-term recovery after abandonment of the CANOL No.1 project. Both of these objectives are part of long-term studies in the area that were initiated in 1974. Intensive investigations were carried out in 1974, 1977-82 and since 1990. With climate change potentially resulting in warming in the north it is important to know the current condition of permafrost landforms. Since 1945 disturbances have been affected by natural processes of revegetation and studies have been underway since 1977 to determine the nature of this process.

Project Description: Access during the summer is via the Yukon along the Canol Road through Macmillan Pass. In the spring and winter fixed wing access is arranged from Tulita. Automated microclimate stations powered by solar energy cells operate year-round. The base camp at Camp 222 includes solar cells to power laptop computers. Three field data collection visits are planned: May-June, July-August and February. Movement on site is via mountain bike along the abandoned Canol Road. Limited soil sampling will be conducted and a small amount (<25 kg) will be returned to University of Alberta for analysis. Studies will encompass the area between Caribou Pass and Macmillan Pass.