Soil Carbon in the Mackenzie Delta Region

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, ground temperature, soil, sedimentology, carbon

Principal Investigator: Phillips, Marcus R (3)
Licence Number: 15599
Organization: Carleton University
Licenced Year(s): 2015 2014 2013
Issued: Feb 11, 2015

Objective(s): To understand how landscape processes influence the quantity and quality of soil carbon in the Mackenzie Delta Region.

Project Description: The goal of this research is to understand how landscape processes influence the quantity and quality of soil carbon in the Mackenzie Delta Region. Particular attention will be paid to the depth distribution of soil carbon and how it is affected by differences in vegetation and soil forming processes. Key environmental differences that will be examined include forest vs. tundra and delta vs. uplands.

Field methods will include collection of samples from small, shallow soil pit approximately 100 cm long, 75 cm wide, and 100 cm deep. Pits will be excavated with hand shovels until frozen soil is encountered, and further excavation will be done using a small, hand-held, gasoline-powered jackhammer. Cores of frozen soil will also be extracted from sampling locations using a hand-held, gasoline-powered coring drill. At some locations, soil temperatures, air temperatures, and snow depth will be measured using automated sensors installed in narrow boreholes. At some locations in the central Mackenzie Delta and the Delta near Inuvik natural soil profile exposures in river cutbanks will be examined and sampled, reducing the need for pits and cores.

Transportation to and from Illisarvik and Garry Island will be contracted through Polar Continental Shelf Project using a local company. Nearly all food and fuel, as well as some equipment, will be purchased locally. There may be circumstances where a local guide will be consulted to provide transportation and guiding services in the Inuvik area. The researcher is also open to allowing a student to accompany the team on some field excursions.

The researcher is happy to prepare plain-language posters explaining the research and results for posting and distribution at the Aurora Research Institute. The researcher is also willing to present and explain of the research and results at Aurora Research Institute or another community venue if there is interest. Any publications or reports resulting from this research will be distributed to the Inuvik and Alklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee’s.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 20, 2015 to September 15, 2015.