Coastal Impacts of Climate Change
Principal Investigator: Solomon, Steve (3)
Licence Number: 12929
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2000 1999 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992
Issued: Jul 14, 1997
Project Team: Fred Jodrey

Objective(s): Objectives of study are to understand and predict the impacts of changing past and future climates on arctic coasts and how these differ from changes on temperate coasts. The feasibility and sustainability of future development on western arctic coasts is dependent on our ability to understand and predict the effects of natural forces and human activities. For instance, eroding coasts are typical of much of western Canadian Arctic, however there are also locations where the coasts are stable or growing. Some coastlines erode much more quickly than others. An understanding of why these differences occur and how the coasts have responded in the past are keys to the predicting the future impacts of predicted climatic changes. Data required for understanding impacts of climate change on coast includes weather and climate information, topographic and bathymetric data, the types of sediment and ice present on short and nearshore, water mass information and tidal data.

Project Description: A 16 foot inflatable boat and 40 hp motor will be used in junction with helicopters to transport 2 people and assorted equipment to coastal locations along the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, North Head and Mackenzie Delta. Each location is the site of long-term monitoring where repeat surveys are performed. The surveys are done to measure changes in water depth, erosion rate, sediment type and permafrost's distribution. The measurements are made with small echosounders, tape measures and surveying equipment, including GPS, for navigation. Permafrost distribution is measured by using a water pump to jet a small hole into the beach until permafrost is reached. In some places, samples of sediment are taken to measure the size of the particles. Small cigar-sized probes are moored in shallow water to measure water temperature and another probe is lowered from the boat to measure temperature and salinity changes with depth.