Teleseismic investigations of the crust and mantle structure beneath Banks Island, NWT

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, geology, earthquake, seismology

Principal Investigator: Audet, Pascal (10)
Licence Number: 16303
Organization: University of Ottawa
Licenced Year(s): 2018 2017 2016 2015
Issued: May 31, 2018
Project Team: Andrew Schaeffer (Postdoc & Field Technician, University of Ottawa), Scott Cairns (Field assistant, Northwest Territories Geological Survey), Clement Esteve (Student & field assistant, University of Ottawa)

Objective(s): To understand the structure and evolution of the crust and mantle beneath Banks Island in the western Arctic by analyzing new seismic data collected from an array of broadband seismic stations.

Project Description: This project is aimed at understanding the structure and evolution of the crust and mantle beneath Banks Island in the western Arctic by analyzing new seismic data collected from an array of broadband seismic stations. The objective is to provide information on crustal and mantle structures to determine whether Banks Island forms a rifted margin, or forms the northern extension of the Canadian Shield.

This project requires the continued operation of a small network of seismograph stations across Banks Island and Victoria Island that record distant earthquakes. Each station consists of a sensor buried <1 m in gravel, a data recorder or satellite dish, solar panels and battery/electronics boxes. Each site is autonomous and no chemical product is used around the site. Seismic waves travel from distant earthquakes occurring around the globe to be recorded by the sensor. The data are then downloaded onto a disk taken to Ottawa where they can be processed, analyzed, archived and made publicly accessible via the Internet.

Currently, two seismic stations located at Sachs Harbour and Paulatuk were installed in August of 2013 as part of the Transportable Array of USArray. The research team installed additional seismic stations at Nelson Head, Bar Harbour and Johnson Point in 2014, and one station in Ulukhaktok in 2016. In this project the team propose to deploy 1 new seismograph station at a site called Muskox. The seismic equipment first needs to be shipped to Inuvik for pre-assembly. The stations would remain operational for the duration of the project (2 years). The data are recorded and stored on site - each site requires one annual visit to retrieve the data disk and carry out any required repair.

Community members from Sachs Harbour or Ulahuktok are expected to be participating through the GEM-2 project that this activity will be a small part of. Other community members will also be arranged through the ESCAPE project. No additional community members will be required.

The project results will be presented at the Geoscience Forum in Yellowknife. The results will be communicated to the communities and band councils in plain language summaries.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 7, 2018 to July 14, 2018.