Permafrost Monitoring and collection of baseline terrain information in Mackenzie Valley Corridor, NWT

Regions: Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region

Tags: physical sciences, environmental impact, active layer, permafrost, climate change, land use planning

Principal Investigator: Smith, Sharon S (16)
Licence Number: 14391
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Issued: Jul 14, 2008
Project Team: Larry Dyke (Advisor, Geological Survey of Canada), Mark Nixon (Team Member, Geological Survey of Canada), Dan Riseborough (Team Member, Geological Survey of Canada), Mark Ednie (Team Member, Geological Survey of Canada), Caroline Duchesne (Team Member, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): The three main goals of this research are: 1) to provide baseline knowledge of permafrost and terrain conditions (specifically ground temperature) and improve characterization of terrain sensitivity in the Mackenzie Valley; 2) monitor ground temperature and active layer to detect changes in permafrost conditions resulting from surface disturbance or climate change and to improve prediction of future response; 3) provide information which contributes to environmental impact assessment and mitigation of northern development, land use planning and to climate change assessments.

Project Description: The three main goals of this research are: 1) to provide baseline knowledge of permafrost and terrain conditions (specifically ground temperature) and improve characterization of terrain sensitivity in the Mackenzie Valley; 2) monitor ground temperature and active layer to detect changes in permafrost conditions resulting from surface disturbance or climate change and to improve prediction of future response; 3) provide information which contributes to environmental impact assessment and mitigation of northern development, land use planning and to climate change assessments.

On an annual basis the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), in collaboration with other government departments, has been developing and maintaining a network of active layer and permafrost temperature monitoring sites in the Mackenzie region including 20 permafrost thermal monitoring sites along the Norman Wells pipeline corridor. These were established to investigate the impact of the pipeline project on permafrost and terrain conditions beneath the right-of-way. The research will make short visits (less than hour per site) at the monitoring sites to retrieve data from instrumentation. Access will be mainly by helicopter and/or road (if near town, or in winter) and by foot. Visits will cause no disturbance.

Information generated by the project will be made available through GSC publications (available for free download) and scientific publications. Permafrost temperature data will be disseminated through the Canadian Permafrost Monitoring Network website (www.canpfnetwork.com). Communities can contact the researcher for more specific information on reports and/or presentations.
Fieldwork will be conducted from August 01 to October 06, 2008 at 29 active layer and permafrost temperature monitoring sites along the Mackenzie Valley. More specifically the sites are near: Norris Creek, Campbell Lake, North Caribou, Hill Lake, Wood Bridge Lake, Jackfish, Fort Good Hope South, Snafu Creek, Chick Lake, Gibson Lake, Hanna River, Elliot Creek, Oscar Creek, Billy Creek North, Vermillion Creek, Police Island-1, Old Fort Point, Little Smith, Saline River, Steep Creek, River Between Two Mountains, Willowlake River, Ebbutt Hill, Trail River, Harris River, Manners Sources, Jean Marie Creek, Trout River, Trout Road Crossing.