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 (16)
Licence Number: 15004
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2004
Issued: May 18, 2012

Objective(s): To continue characterization of gas seeps observed and reported by the National Energy Board, Geological Survey of Canada and Inuvialuit; and to retrieve and redeploy the Data logger (measuring water temperature, level, conductivity and dissolved oxygen).

Project Description: Field research for 2012 will concentrate on two tasks: 1) Continued characterization of gas seeps observed and reported by the National Energy Board, Geological Survey of Canada and Inuvialuit. 2) Data logger (water temperature, level, conductivity and dissolved oxygen) retrieval and redeployment.

The objectives of this program are:
1. to collect water and gas samples by-hand for subsequent laboratory analysis for comparison with 2006 and 2007 results;
2. to measure gas discharge using portable/hand-held flow measurement devices for comparison with 2006 and 2007 results to evaluate possible changes in gas flow rates; and
3. to conduct non-invasive geotechnical/geophysical methods to determine the base of permafrost (potential activity if funding and resources permit).

During spring thaw, the research team will conduct a helicopter-based aerial survey to identify, inventory, and photography additional seeps in the study area. Water geochemistry will be characterized, through collection of samples for subsequent laboratory analysis for comparison with 2006 and 2007 results. Gas discharge will be measured using portable/hand-held flow measurement devices for comparison with 2006 and 2007 results to evaluate possible changes in gas flow rates. Possible thermal anomalies will be identified through direct temperature measurement and/or remote infra-red techniques. Local/regional geology will be accessed to identify the geologic origins of these active gas flows. Non-invasive geotechnical methods will be conducted to determine the base of permafrost (potential activity if funding and resources permit). The research team intends to involve an Aurora Research Institute (ARI) technician in the field work, if someone is available.

The research team communicates with the communities near the area of study through this application process, including the report on licensed research. During these communications the team has offered to provide any additional information required in any practical way. When there are published results, these are sent 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 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 July 15, 2012 to August 15, 2012.