Beaufort Shelf Seabed Mapping Project

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, bathymetry, sea ice, marine ecosystem, mapping, seabed

Principal Investigator: Blasco, Steve M (9)
Licence Number: 14048
Organization: Natural Resources Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: Aug 03, 2006
Project Team: Robert Harmes (Survey Technician, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Tony Atkinson (Electronics Technician, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Walli Rainey (GIS Specialist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Pat Campbell (Survey Navigation, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Blaine Carr (Electronics Technician, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Don Locke (Electronics Technician, Geologial Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Erin Oickle (Marine Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Kevin MacKillop (Geotechnical Engineer, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Vladimir Kostylev (Benthic Ecologist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Christine McClelland (Marine Biologist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Megan Foss (Marine Biologist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)), Andrew Campbell (Marine Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic))

Project Description: The Beaufort Seabed Mapping Project is designed to assess the environmental impact of offshore hydrocarbon exploration and transportation on the renewable resources of the Beaufort Sea. Knowledge of ice scour depths and distribution of ecologically-sensitive areas and permafrost will constrain sub-sea pipeline burial depths and offshore development. In addition, seabed mud volcanoes and gas seeps will be investigated to determine if they are venting biogenic or petrogenic gases which may form the basis of a unique ecosystem. Artificial islands will be investigated as hazards to navigation and impediments to ice flow.

Seabed sediment samples will be collected, the bottom photographed, and offshore acoustic/sonar surveys of the seabed conducted. A short range multibeam echo sounder will be used to produce maps of the seabed. A sidescan sonar will map the distribution of ice scours, and a single beam echo sounder will map their depths. Sub-bottom profilers will map the distribution of sediments to 100m below seabed, investigating mud volcanoes, gas vents, artificial islands, permafrost, and habitat sites. A drop camera and a bottom towed video camera will photograph the nature of the seabed and benthic habitat. Sediment grab samples and sediment cores of the upper 2 m of seabed will be collected to provide controls and calibrate data. About 80-100 samples will be taken. Sea-ice and sea-state conditions and the distribution of marine mammals will affect access to research sites. The Coast Guard vessel CCGS Nahidik will be mobilized out of Inuvik and survey the Canadian Beaufort continental shelf as bounded by 131° to 141° West longitude and 69° 30' to 71° 00' North latitude. The results of the research will be presented to each of the six communities and traditional knowledge input into research activities solicited.
Research activities will be carried out from August 2 to September 24, 2006.