Hazards, Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts on Arctic Coasts
Principal Investigator: Forbes, Donald L (9)
Licence Number: 13948
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
Issued: Feb 27, 2006
Project Team: Steven Solomon (coastal scientist, GSC), Gavin Manson (coastal scientist, GSC), Dave Frobel (coastal technologist, GSC), Dustin Whalen (GSC, coastal scientist), JC Lavergne (surveyor, Geodetic Survey of Canada), Trevor Bell (marine scientist, Memorial University of Newfoundland), Bob Taylor (coastal scientist, GSC), Rod Smith (paleoenvironmental specialist, GSC), Brian Moorman (ground penetrating radar, University of Calgary), Chris Stevens (ground penetrating radar, University of Calgary), Wayne Pollard (electircal resistivity, McGill University), Greg De Pascale (electrical resistivity, McGill University)

Project Description: This project is aimed at examining coastal change in the Beaufort Sea region. The primary objectives of the research are: 1) monitoring coastal stability and the processes which affect it (winds, waves, sea ice, etc.), 2) mapping coastal features, sediment properties, and ice conditions in the near-shore regions of the Mackenzie Delta and at coastal monitoring sites, 3) monitoring vertical ground motion (subsidence and uplift) both regionally and locally, and 4) studying past rates of relative sea-level rise and estimating future rates of sea-level rise in the region.

Winter field activities will consist of conducting geophysical surveys of the sea-ice surface, including coring from the ice surface. Collection of ice thickness data will be carried out using small-diameter hand and truck-mounted augers as well as ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Cores will be collected in the Kittigazuit area, Sachs Harbour and possibly Cape Parry. Following the extraction of cores, the seabed will be examined using a small camera, and water depth measurements and grab sampling will be carried out. In addition, electrical resistivity surveys, involving the injection of small amounts of current through the ice into the sediments beneath, and ice surface elevation surveys using GPS, will be conducted. Access to sites will be by snowmobile and truck.

Summer field activities will involve surveys of near-shore areas in front of cliffs and beaches using echo-sounding, side-scan sonar and high-resolution acoustic sub-bottom profilers in Tuktoyaktuk and areas offshore from Middle Channel. Acoustic equipment to be used is designed for small boats and is of moderate frequency and low power. Surveys of coastal beaches and cliffs using high resolution GPS receivers will be conducted in the Pingo Canadian Landmark (in collaboration with Parks Canada) and at sites along the Mackenzie Delta and North Head on Richards Island. High-resolution GPS equipment will be used from a stationary base station and often from a mobile rover unit that is either backpack or boat-mounted. Additional activities may include airborne photography of the coast, maintenance of existing continuous monitoring sites at Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, and Sachs Harbour, and establishment and reoccupation of geodetic benchmarks for mounting GPS antennas and recording data for a period of several days. Access to sites will be by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft and boat.
The study will be conducted from March 1 to April 30 and August 1 to October 31, 2006 on the western Arctic coastline, including the mainland coast, Mackenzie Delta and Banks Island.