Active Layer Monitoring Network in the Mackenzie Valley

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

Tags: physical sciences, active layer, permafrost degradation

Principal Investigator: Nixon, Fredrick M. (2)
Licence Number: 14393
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada, NRCan
Licenced Year(s): 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990
Issued: Jul 14, 2008
Project Team: William Hurst (assistant, Aurora Research Institute)

Objective(s): The goal of this research is to understand how the active layer, which overlies the permafrost and thaws and re-freezes every year, will respond to environmental change, including climate warming.

Project Description: The goal of this research is to understand how the active layer, which overlies the permafrost and thaws and re-freezes every year, will respond to environmental change, including climate warming. Active layer thickness can influence hunting, fishing, gathering and forestry through vegetation and soil conditions. The character of the active layer affects transportation and construction, while changes in the active layer can contribute to landslides which may damage structures and hamper transportation.

The researcher will survey from Fort Simpson to the Arctic Coast in August. Commercial contractors may also take August or September measurements near Inuvik and Norman Wells. Data will be collected from a network of thaw depth measuring devices (thaw tubes) and temperature data loggers along a transect extending from Fort Simpson to Tuktoyaktuk. Travel will be by road, small boat on the river or helicopter. Access to the sites is always on foot from road or river.
This fieldwork will be conducted from August 11 to September 01, 2008 at 60 sites from Fort Simpson to Tuktoyaktuk (coordinates are on file). The researcher will be working out of the towns of Inuvik, Norman Wells and Fort Simpson.