Mackenzie Delta shallow gas and permafrost studies

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: environmental impact, geology, petroleum industry, gas seep

Principal Investigator: Dallimore, Scott R (17)
Licence Number: 14569
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2004
Issued: Jul 18, 2009
Project Team: Robert Bowen (Co-Investigator, Diversified Scientific Solutions), Fred Wright (Co-Investigator, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): Field research for 2009 will concentrate on three tasks: 1) Continued characterization of three of the larger gas seeps observed and reported by the National Energy Board, GSC and Inuvialuit; 2) Identification of additional seeps in the region through aerial surveys; and 3) investigation of permafrost anomalies and the development of taliks as a mechanism for the development of pathways for the gas discharge by non-invasive geotechnical/geophysical methods (subject to additional funding approval and equipment availability).

Project Description: Field research for 2009 will concentrate on three tasks: 1) Continued characterization of three of the larger gas seeps observed and reported by the National Energy Board, GSC and Inuvialuit; 2) Identification of additional seeps in the region through aerial surveys; and 3) investigation of permafrost anomalies and the development of taliks as a mechanism for the development of pathways for the gas discharge by non-invasive geotechnical/geophysical methods (subject to additional funding approval and equipment availability).

Methodology:
1. Collection of water and gas samples by-hand for subsequent laboratory analysis for comparison with previous years’ results.
2. Measurement of gas discharge using portable/hand-held flow measurement devices for comparison with previous years’ results to evaluate possible changes in gas flow rates.
3. Identify possible thermal anomalies through direct temperature measurement and/or remote infra-red techniques.
4. Assess local/regional geology to identify the geologic origins of these active gas flows.
5. Conduct non-invasive geotechnical methods to determine the base of permafrost (potential activity if funding and resources permit).

The researchers communicate with the communities near the area of study through this application process, including the report on licensed research. During these communications we have offered to provide any additional information required in any practical way. When there are published results, we send these to the communities and regional governing organizations. The geocomplexity program has been described on posters designed for the public (northerners in particular) and displayed at the Inuvik Research Centre. Any paper or digital products produced from this research will be offered to the local libraries and community associations for inclusion in their archives.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 01 to October 20, 2009, on the outer Mackenzie Delta in Camp Farewell and Mallik areas; Richards Island; Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula.