Beaufort Sea Coastal Geoscience Research 2013
Principal Investigator: Whalen, Dustin JR (6)
Licence Number: 15294
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Issued: Jul 19, 2013
Project Team: Paul Fraser (Physical Scientist, Natural Resources Canada), Donald Forbes (Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada), Gavin Manson (Coastal Geologist, Natural Resources Canada), Chelsea Smith (Field Technician, Natural Resources Canada)

Objective(s): To ensure safe and sustainable industrial and community development by improving the understanding of coastal and nearshore seabed processes and properties.

Project Description: The primary objective of this research is to ensure safe and sustainable industrial and community development by improving the understanding of coastal and nearshore seabed processes and properties. The research provides the means to improve the 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. This research has 3 targeted objectives to 1. monitor coastal change along the Beaufort sea coastline; 2. monitor delta subsidence in the modern Mackenzie Delta climate change; and 3. expand the knowledge of nearshore sedimentation in Kugmallit Bay in particular the approaches to Tuktoyaktuk Harbour.

1. Coastal Monitoring
High resolution GPS surveys will take place at a number of coastal locations throughout the Mackenzie Delta, Richards Island and Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula area. Helicopters 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.

2. Delta Subsidence
High resolution GPS loggers will be positioned on permanent markers that have been placed throughout the Mackenzie Delta. Loggers will record positional information for a total of 3 days. A helicopter will be used as the primary means of transportation to and from each site. Researchers will only be on site for less than 1 hour during deployment and retrieval.

3. Nearshore Sedimentation
Deployment of non invasive seabed instruments to measure sediment mobility, waves, currents and water chemistry. In order to alleviate any negative interactions with ship traffic the instruments will be tagged with a time release buoy that will only surface once the program is over and instruments are ready for pick up. Two instruments will be placed no more than 500 m from the shores of Tuktoyaktuk.

Fuel, material and fabrication needs will be required from various local merchants (mainly Inuvik) during the field season. A small portion of the trip (1-2 days) may be based out of Tuktoyaktuk where accommodation, fuel and other logistics will be required. In addition to the summer field work a number of community members from Inuvik and Aklavik have become interested and involved in the Spring Breakup newsletter. This is strictly on a volunteer basis and provides near real-time photographs and observations during ice breakup. The newsletter would not be successful without this local involvement. As always the research team will continue to provide technical advice and present the results to the communities within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

On-site consultation and results reporting has been undertaken in all communities and to the Imagery & Geospatial Community (IGC), Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA) and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee by the Geological Survey of Canada at various times over the past several years. 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. The project was presented to the IGC in March 2013, at the Yukon Coastal Monitoring Workshop (Aklavik) and to the ILA (Tuktoyaktuk) in February 2013. A partnership with the Inuvialuit Land Administration will allow the results of this and past field work to be shared directly with the Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities through various hardcopy products (maps and brochures). This BREA funded project has a number of outreach opportunities within the ILA in the upcoming year that will be focused on community consultation.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 6, 2013 to August 30, 2013.