Northwest Territories Ice Patch Study - Geophysical Project

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, climate change, glaciology, archaeology, geophysics, ice thaw

Principal Investigator: Moorman, Brian J (5)
Licence Number: 14228
Organization: University of Calgary
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Aug 02, 2007
Project Team: Graduate Student (Research Assistant, University of Calgary)

Objective(s): Ice patches in the Mackenzie Mountains are areas of permanent ice that last through the summer months and often contain frozen caribou remains (mostly dung) and archaeological artifacts such as hunting weapons and tools. As the climate warms, these ice patches are beginning to melt, and there is a risk of losing the biological and archaeological information they contain. Using a technique known as ground penetrating radar, this study is designed to determine how fast these ice patches are melIce patches in the Mackenzie Mountains are areas of permanent ice that last through the summer months and often contain frozen caribou remains (mostly dung) and archaeological artifacts such as hunting weapons and tools. As the climate warms, these ice patches are beginning to melt, and there is a risk of losing the biological and archaeological information they contain. Using a technique known as ground penetrating radar, this study is designed to determine how fast these ice patches are melting.

The geophysics team and gear will be transported by helicopter from Norman Wells to a base camp at O'Grady Lake (August 13-17), and ferried by helicopter to the ice patch study sites on a daily basis. Midway through the project (August 17-22) the team will move to a base camp at Godlin Lakes. At the end of the program the research team will be transported back to Norman Wells by helicopter. The GPR survey of each ice patch will involve walking transects across the ice patches with the GPR instrument. This technique is non-invasive. Ice coring (2-4 cores measuring ~10 cm in diameter/ice patch) will also be undertaken at the two ice patches. In addition, small weather stations will be set up at each ice patch study site to monitor local climatic conditions.

Research results will be disseminated to the community through an education program (another component of the overall NWT Ice Patch Study), annual oral presentations by the research team in Tulita (with translator) and annual plain language reports submitted to the Tulita Dene Band and Tulita District Land Corporation.

The Geophysical Project will run concurrent to the NWT Ice Patch Study Science Camp. As part of the Science Camp, which is being offered to high school students from Tulita, students will observe and participate in the geophysical research, and will receive instruction in the geology of the Mackenzie Mountains.

Fieldwork will be conducted from August 13 to 22, 2007 on two Ice Patch study sites in the Mackenzie Mountains (63.235332 N 129.513992 W and 62.966117 N 129.334767 W), near O'Grady Lake camp and Godlin Lakes camp .

Project Description: Ice patches in the Mackenzie Mountains are areas of permanent ice that last through the summer months and often contain frozen caribou remains (mostly dung) and archaeological artifacts such as hunting weapons and tools. As the climate warms, these ice patches are beginning to melt, and there is a risk of losing the biological and archaeological information they contain. Using a technique known as ground penetrating radar, this study is designed to determine how fast these ice patches are melting.

The geophysics team and gear will be transported by helicopter from Norman Wells to a base camp at O'Grady Lake (August 13-17), and ferried by helicopter to the ice patch study sites on a daily basis. Midway through the project (August 17-22) the team will move to a base camp at Godlin Lakes. At the end of the program the research team will be transported back to Norman Wells by helicopter. The GPR survey of each ice patch will involve walking transects across the ice patches with the GPR instrument. This technique is non-invasive. Ice coring (2-4 cores measuring ~10 cm in diameter/ice patch) will also be undertaken at the two ice patches. In addition, small weather stations will be set up at each ice patch study site to monitor local climatic conditions.

Research results will be disseminated to the community through an education program (another component of the overall NWT Ice Patch Study), annual oral presentations by the research team in Tulita (with translator) and annual plain language reports submitted to the Tulita Dene Band and Tulita District Land Corporation.

The Geophysical Project will run concurrent to the NWT Ice Patch Study Science Camp. As part of the Science Camp, which is being offered to high school students from Tulita, students will observe and participate in the geophysical research, and will receive instruction in the geology of the Mackenzie Mountains.
Fieldwork will be conducted from August 13 to 22, 2007 on two Ice Patch study sites in the Mackenzie Mountains (63.235332 N 129.513992 W and 62.966117 N 129.334767 W), near O'Grady Lake camp and Godlin Lakes camp.