Permafrost and climate change, Western Arctic Canada

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, permafrost, climate change, glaciology

Principal Investigator: Burn, Chris R (31)
Licence Number: 14383
Organization: Carleton University
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
Issued: Jul 07, 2008
Project Team: Dr J. Ross Mackay (Collaborator, UBC), Douglas Esagok (Collaborator/Assistant, Inuvik HTC), Pascale Roy-Leveillee (Graduate student, Carleton), Logan Roots (Assistant, FH Collins, Whitehorse), Jocelyn Rose (Assistant, Carleton), Blayne Brown (Assistant, Carleton)

Objective(s): The overall goal of this research is to determine how permafrost conditions in the western Arctic will respond to climate change.

Project Description: The overall goal of this research is to determine how permafrost conditions in the western Arctic will respond to climate change. The researchers will investigate the behaviour of permafrost after it is disturbed, and how it changes as it freezes and thaws, or warms and cools each year. This will help to determine how the ground will be able to support development projects in the future. The researchers will be collecting data on ground temperatures in the region and finding out how they have changed over the last 35 years. They are also collecting data at sites where the snow cover is always different, in order to determine the influence of snow depth on ground temperature. They are examining causal link for ground warming and climate change.

The researchers will travel to Illisarvik by helicopter and to Paulatuk by charter plane. At each site the researchers will conduct surveys with levelling equipment and measure ground temperatures with data loggers and on thermistor cables. In the winter the researchers will also determine snow depths by probing, and lake-ice thickness by drilling a hole.

Posters will be distributed to agencies throughout the western Arctic. Like past research, these posters will be on display in the Aurora Research Institute, at Parks Canada offices in Inuvik and Paulatuk, and at the Herschel Island Territorial Park.
Fieldwork will be conducted from July 07 to December 31, 2008 in Illisarvik and near Paulatuk and Inuvik.