Coastal Geoscience Research in the Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, environmental monitoring, climate change, oceanography, coastline

Principal Investigator: Lintern, Gwyn (2)
Licence Number: 14935
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2011
Issued: Jul 12, 2011
Project Team: Donald Forbes (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Dustin Whalen (Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Gavin Manson (Coastal Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada), JC Lavergne (Geodetic Support, Geodetic Survey of Canada), Nicole Couture (Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada), Angus Robertson (Technical Support, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): To improve our knowledge of physical conditions in the coastal zone in order to help government agencies, corporations, and local residents understand, mitigate and reduce the impacts of natural changes and industrial or community development.

Project Description: The western Arctic coast is a rapidly changing coastline and one of the most sensitive to climate change in the world. The research objective is to improve our knowledge of physical conditions in the coastal zone in order to help government agencies, corporations, and local residents understand, mitigate and reduce the impacts of natural changes and industrial or community development.

The project consists of helicopter reconnaissance work over the outer Mackenzie Delta. Stationary instrumentation will be deployed on the seabed to record changes using non-invasive and passive measurements for periods lasting several days or several months. Each logger is battery operated and no greater than 12 cm in diameter and housed within stainless steel 1-2 m mounting frames. Loggers will be deployed in locations and at depths to pose no hazard to shipping or boat traffic. A buoy will be placed at each location while it is on the seabed. These instruments will be deployed in open water at locations in Shallow Bay, Garry Island area, North Head and Kugmallit Bay by helicopter. The project will use previously proven and approved methods only.

High resolution GPS surveys will take place at a number of coastal locations throughout the Mackenzie Delta, Richards Island, and Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula area. Helicopter will be used as the primary means of transportation to and from each site. No more than a few hours will be spent at each site. The surveyor at each location will walk along the coastline recording positional data from a RTK-GPS system corrected to a local base station. A helicopter will be used to recover stationary instruments from the seabed at the locations listed above. In order to ensure the timing of surveys is compatible with local use of the land and water.

The research team will provide technical advice and present our results to the communities of Inuvik, Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk.

On-site consultation and results reporting has been undertaken in all communities and to the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC) and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee by Don Forbes and Steve Solomon at various times over the past five years. This consultation will occur annually prior to initiation of field programs. Project participants will be available to present past results and future project plans to the local communities of Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik during the field campaign. Don Forbes has communicated the results of this continued study to the IGC in February 2011.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 12, 2011 to August 31, 2011.