Enhancement of Permafrost Monitoring Network and Collection of Baseline Terrain Information in the Mackenzie Valley Corridor
Principal Investigator: Smith, Sharon S (19)
Licence Number: 13933
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Issued: Feb 01, 2006
Project Team: Dr. Sharon Smith (Principal Investigator , GSC), Dr. Shiqiang Ye (Team Member, GSC), Dr. Larry Dyke (Advisor, GSC), Mark Nixon (Team Member, GSC), Dr. Dan Riseborough (Team Member, GSC)

Project Description: Extensive gaps exist in the Mackenzie monitoring network including both the continuous and discontinuous permafrost zone north of Norman Wells, the Mackenzie Delta region and dynamic permafrost shorelines and coastlines. Enhancement of the network to address these gaps is essential to provide additional baseline information for design of future development such as pipelines, highways and power lines, and to assess the impact such development and/or climate change may have on the natural environment. Ten sampling sites in the Sahtu Settlement Area have been selected for this project, with preferred locations chosen near existing winter roads for continuous site accessibility and to minimize disturbance to the environment. Two to six boreholes up to 20 m in depth will be drilled at each site in order to capture local environmental variability. Air rotary drills will be used and no drill fluids will be required. Temperature cables will be installed in boreholes. Data loggers connected to the cables will provide a continuous record of ground temperatures and reduce the need for frequent site visits. Soil samples will also be obtained from selected boreholes to characterize the ground ice and geotechnical conditions. In total up to forty boreholes will be drilled in winter of 2006. Additional instrumentation may be installed at certain sites to record climate related information.

The crew will be mobilized and operated from a trailer along the winter road. Other travel between Norman Wells and Tulita, and the sampling sites will be by truck. Some travel will be by helicopter. A typical crew will involve three to six pieces of equipment and four to eight people. It is estimated that site access and preparation will require up to one day, and drilling operation and installation of instruments will take two to five days for a total of three to six days for each site. The total duration of fieldwork will be up to two months. Following site establishment, on an annual basis, a short visit lasting a few hours at each site will be required to retrieve data from instrumentation. Access will be by helicopter and/or road (if near town or in winter) and by foot.

Data generated by the project will be made available through Geological Survey of Canada publications. Permafrost temperature data will be disseminated through the Canadian Permafrost Monitoring Network website (www.canpfnetwork.com). The results of this project will be presented at community meetings, and copies of ensuing publications will be sent to the regional regulatory organizations.
The study will be conducted from February 5 to December 31, 2006 at the following sites:
Elliot Creek (65°31’20" 127°37'13")
Oscar Creek (65°26'24" 127°26'29")
Billy Creek North (65°24'09" 127°19'06")
Vermillion Creek (65°05'41" 126°08'06")
Police Island-2 (64°52'46" 125°06'35")
Police Island-1 (64°50'09" 125°00'48")
Old Fort Point (64°39'09" 124°50'50")
Little Smith (64°25'59" 124°44'24")
Saline River (64°17'37" 124°30'56")
Steep Creek (64°11'06" 124°22'11")