Ecological and geomorphological investigations in the alpine tundra of the Mackenzie Mountains, NWT.

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: site remediation, permafrost, revegetation, climate change

Principal Investigator: Kershaw, G. Peter (38)
Licence Number: 12928
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Issued: Jul 14, 1997
Project Team: Rob Young, Stewart Brown, Linda & Eric Kershaw

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: The main study objectives are to: 1) determine the status of permafrost landforms in the study area, and 2) determine long-term recovery after abandonment of the CANOL No. 1 project. Access during the summer is via the Yukon along the Canol Road through Macmillan Pass. Access to the study area between Mile 53 and 113 will be via fixed wing originating 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. The field season will start in late-June and end in late-August. Movement on site is via mountain bike along the abandoned western end of the Canol Road. On the east end of the Canol Heritage Trail access via float plane and hiking will be the modes of transport. Limited soil sampling will be conducted a small amount (<25 kg) will be returned to University of Alberta for analysis. Studies will encompass the area between Norman Wells and Macmillan Pass.