The development of aggradational ice at Illisarvik, Richards Island, NWT

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, permafrost, glaciology, ground ice

Principal Investigator: O'Neill, Brendan H (1)
Licence Number: 14716
Organization: Carleton University
Licenced Year(s): 2010
Issued: May 12, 2010
Project Team: Brendan O'Neill (Principal Investigator, Carleton University), Christopher Burn (Research Supervisor, Carleton University), Graham Gilbert (Field Assistant, Carleton University)

Objective(s): To compare present ground ice conditions to those recorded thirty years ago, and from this, obtain an estimate of the rate of ground ice accumulation over the past three decades. Also, to compare ice conditions from sites within the basin to those of the surrounding tundra.

Project Description: The first objective is to compare present ground ice conditions to those recorded thirty years ago, and from this, obtain an estimate of the rate of ground ice accumulation over the past three decades. This is possible as the exact locations cored in 1979 and 1980 are marked, and new cores can be taken adjacent to these. The second objective is to compare ice conditions from sites within the basin to those of the surrounding tundra. Finally, associations between soil texture, wetness, vegetation, and organic content in the lake bed and ground ice content will be examined.

The majority of field work will comprise the use of a hand-held drilling unit to collect cores from the upper part of permafrost (0.5 to 2.5 m depth). Sample cores will be segmented and weighed in the field. The thaw depth at each site will be determined by pushing a metal rod to the depth of refusal. General field conditions and vegetation presence will be recorded. In the laboratory, cores will be dried and weighed to determine the moisture content.

This research will provide economic benefits to local businesses. Canadian Helicopters will transport equipment and crew to the study site. Supplies such as food will be purchased locally. The plan will be to discuss with the ARI the potential to bring a local student to the study site to assist with field work.

The researcher would be happy to meet with community groups over the summer to discuss the research and report on progress. A poster will be prepared for the Aurora Research Institute and local Hunter and Trapper Committees.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 15, 2010 to August 31, 2010.