Summer 2001 Hydrology Surveys Within the Sahtu Settlement Region: Biophysical Baseline Studies in Support of the Mackenzie Delta Gas Feasibility Study
Principal Investigator: Sawetsky, Les (3)
Licence Number: 13260
Organization: Golder Associates Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2001
Issued: Sep 14, 2001
Project Team: one river engineer or fluvial geomorphologist, one survey assistant

Objective(s): Imperial Oil Resources, Gulf Canada Resources Limited, Shell Canada Limited, and ExxonMobil Canada are planning to initiate a number of Biophysical Baseline Studies during 2001-2002 as part of a feasibility study for the Mackenzie Delta Gas Opportunity. Local knowledge and technical/scientific research will be used to assess potential impacts and develop environmental protection plans. TERA Environmental Consultants (TERA), in association with Kavik-AXYS Environmental Consulting Ltd., AMEC Earth and Environment Ltd., and Golder Associates Ltd., have been retained to conduct the baseline hydrology studies which will include: (1) consultation with community residents (e.g., RRC's), Teritorial government agencies, Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), independent researchers and DFO; (2) determination of how local knowledge and western science could be employed in the development of the environmental database, the future assessment of effects, and the design of environmental protection measures; (3) characterization of channel geomorphology by stream class; (4) characterization of stream thaw and breakup conditions; and (5) characterization of stream flow, sediment and hydraulic conditions.

Project Description: A detailed data collection program will be undertaken on all major streams in the proposed pipeline corridor. The proposed survey will begin in mid-September and continue until late December, 2001 and will consist of comprehensive studies at selected streams, as discussed below, to define how the streams behave and how they change in time. The focus of the hydrology component is on describing hydrologic conditions, stream stability and erosion and sediment conditions. Hydrologic fieldwork will include the following: (1) identification of river bed and bank material, focusing on data collection pertaining to erosion and sediment transport during flood events; (2) assessment of river stability and channel regime (sinuosity, meander wave length, width to depth ratio, entrenchment, active floodplain, sediment transport capacity, bed mobility, aggradation or degradation, potential for avulsions, bank erosion and regime equilibrium); (3) surveying of river cross sections and profile to supply data for assessing hydraulic conditions; (4) characterization of sediment transport and erosion; (5) description of flood levels, flow velocities and roughness, to calculate flow depths and velocities during variable hydrologic conditions; (6) documentation of evidence of ice dams, aufice, and ice erosion which may have occurred during previous snowmelt events; and (6) installation of 8 river crest gauges at river(s) located close to settlements. During these above described studies, the following measures will be employed to minimize environmental impacts. Field crews will be required to pack out all materials used during ground and aerial surveys. All refueling of aircraft used in the study will occur at existing airfields (e.g., Inuvik, Ft. McPherson, and Ft. Good Hope). Additionally, all staff will take steps to minimize the potential for wildlife interactions. CONDITION: The licence under which this research may be conducted is only valid only on Crown Lands within the Sahtu Settlement Region. Unanimous written permission must be obtained from the Tulita Land Corporation, Fort Norman Metis Land Corporation and Ernie McDonald Land Corporation for any research work that will be conducted on Private Lands within the Tulita District Land Trust. The written permission of the Ft. Good Hope Metis Land Corporation is required for any research work that will be conducted on Private Lands within the K'ahsho Gotine District Land Trust.