Beaufort Sea Coastal and Nearshore Geoscience Research 2017

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, sediment chemistry, oceanography, monitoring, ocean chemistry

Principal Investigator: Whalen, Dustin JR (6)
Licence Number: 16073
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Apr 07, 2017
Project Team: Scott Dallimore (Scientist, NRCan ), Michelle Cote (Scientist, NRCan), Peter Morse (Scientist, NRCan), Angus Robertson (Field Technician, NRCan), Paul Fraser (Field Technician, NRCan), Roger Macleod (Field Technician, NRCan), Patrick Potter (Field Techician, NRCan), Lisa Loseto (Scientist, DFO), Shannon Macphee (Scientist, DFO), Ellen Lea (Scientist, DFO), Kevin Scharffenberg (Student, University of Manitoba), Michael Lim (Scientist, Northumbria University), Samuel Hayes (Student, Northumbria University)

Objective(s): To improve the knowledge of physical conditions in the Arctic coastal zone in order to help government agencies, corporations and local residents understand mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate driven changes.

Project Description: The objective of this project is to provide the means to improve the knowledge of physical conditions in the Arctic coastal zone in order to help government agencies, corporations and local residents understand mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate driven changes.

Field surveys will be undertaken in consultation with Hunters and Trappers Committees (HTCs) in order to ensure the timing of work is compatible with local use of land, water and ice.

Sediment Sample Coring (March 2017): A track mounted geotechnical drill rig will be used to core frozen permafrost and collect sediment samples in the nearshore region where thawed sediments will be present at the seabed. The research team anticipate drilling 3 20-30m core holes near the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk; one on land on Tuktoyaktuk Island, one on the shoreline (just in front of the island and one approximately 500 m from shore. Each hole will be cased with 2” PVC tubing to allow installation of a temperature cable. Temperature cables will consist of 20-25 thermistors on an electrical cable. A data logger will be installed to capture temperature readings several times per day at depth in the borehole.

Coastal Monitoring (June and August 2017): High resolution global positioning system (GPS) surveys will take place at a number of coastal locations throughout the Mackenzie Delta, Richard Island, Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and Cape Bathurst region. The surveyor at each location will walk along the coastline recording positional data from a real time kinematic (RTK-GPS) system corrected to a previously established local GPS base position. In addition to the GPS work a number of UAV (unmanned aerial surveys) will be conducted. The surveys will employ a small quad copter style UAV that will fly no greater than 50 m above the ground and nearshore coastal area for periods up to 25 min. Aerial photos from UAV work will be used to create a digital surface and thermal models of the coastline. Helicopters and small boats 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.

Sediment and Ocean Dynamics (June and August 2017): Deployment of non-invasive seabed instruments to measure sediment mobility, waves, noise in the water column, currents and water chemistry. The instruments will be deployed in Tuktoyaktuk Harbour, Cape Bathurst, Pelly Island and Kugmallit Bay mid-June and remain on the seabed until August. Instruments are housed on small mooring that either consists of a flat plate or a small tripod (> 90 cm high). Some of the moorings will be able to broadcast live data through a cable or radio telemetry beacon connected to the weather station located at East Whitefish as part of the monitoring work.

In addition to the summer field work a number of community members throughout the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in Settlement Region have become interested and involved in our Spring Breakup newsletter. This is strictly on a volunteer basis and provides near real-time photographs and observations during ice breakup. The newsletter is distributed to over 400 people and is now available for public access on Facebook. Now in its 10th year the success and interest in the newsletter would not be possible without local participation. As always the research team will continue to provide technical advice and present the results to the communities within the region.

This is a multi-disciplinary project, portions of this work have been presented through on-site consultation and results reporting to all communities and to the Inuvialuit Game Council, Inuvialuit Land Administration, Hunters and Trappers Committee and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee (FJMC) by the Geological Survey of Canada (Dustin Whalen), and project collaborators from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Loseto and Lea) 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 Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik during the 2017 field campaigns.

In 2017, the project will be presented as a public research talk and or school presentations as well as more formal presentations to the Inuvialuit Game Council (March or June meeting), the FJMC and at the Beaufort Sea Partnership meeting. Consultation and discussion to the Tuktoyaktuk Hamlet Council and the Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committees will take place in March and recent field work updates will be presented (by Dustin Whalen) in August. This work continues to work closely with the Inuvialuit Land Administration and the Government of the Northwest Territories to allow for meaningful discussion and data sharing in support of coastal mitigation and adaptation. Results of this and past field work are to be shared directly with Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities through various hardcopy products and digital products.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from April 10, 2017 to August 26, 2017.