Examining Spatial and Temporal Variation of Ground Temperatures in the Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, ground temperature, soil, vegetation, climate change, snow

Principal Investigator: Kanigan, Julian (6)
Licence Number: 13994
Organization: Carleton University
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2006
Issued: Jun 05, 2006
Project Team: Thai-Nguyen Nguyen (Carleton University), Les Kutny (Inuvik)

Project Description: The Mackenzie Delta is sensitive to both climate warming and human development. This project will contribute to a better understanding of ground temperatures in the Mackenzie Delta and will provide a baseline from which to assess future changes and cumulative impacts. Ground temperatures will be collected from the southern, central and outer delta regions.

In the summer, about 30 boreholes (located well away from water bodies) will be drilled by water jet to a depth of 20 meters. Temperature probes will be put in each borehole to measure deep ground temperature. Vegetation surveys will be conducted around each borehole, and the thickness of the organic moss layer will be measured. A small surface soil sample will be taken for soil moisture analysis. In winter, snow surveys will be done within 20 m of the drill hole. Snow surveys include measurement of temperature, snow depth, and snow density.

Travel to sites will be by boat in summer. A no-trace philosophy will be followed when camping, and all waste will be packed out. In winter travel will be by truck, snow-machine or on foot to the same borehole sites. A local field assistant will be hired.
The study will be conducted from June 15 to August 31, 2006 in the vicinity of Inuvik and Aklavik:

Taglu (Latitude 690 22´ Longitude 1340 57´)
Reindeer Station (Latitude 680 41´ Longitude 1340 11´)
Rengleng River (Latitude 670 52´ Longitude 1340 45´)