Electromagnetic Studies of Permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, permafrost, glaciology

Principal Investigator: Craven, Jim (1)
Licence Number: 14461
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2009
Issued: Feb 06, 2009
Project Team: Jessica Spratt (Field Help, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): The primary objective of this study is to field test and assess the utility of an electromagnetic (EM) geophysical technique called magnetotellurics (MT), as an inexpensive method for mapping spatial variations and changes within permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta area.

Project Description: This licence is being issued for the scientific research application no. 956.

The primary objective of this study is to field test and assess the utility of an electromagnetic (EM) geophysical technique called magnetotellurics (MT), as an inexpensive method for mapping spatial variations and changes within permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta area. Due to the large change in soil electrical resistivity, electromagnetic geophysical techniques are important and established tools for mapping permafrost. These methods have also a great potential to provide accurate mapping of resistivity changes related to physical or geological heterogeneities in the permafrost. The researcher hopes to demonstrate that MT as a useful technique, which can be used as a complement to other studies to interpret the complex permafrost environment of the Mackenzie-Beaufort area.

Using a helicopter, instruments will be transported and set up to the research area. The instruments will be left on the snow overnight while it takes the measurements and then it will be retrieved or moved a short distance the following day. The instruments record the magnetic field and natural voltages in the ground. The researcher will also be testing non-invasive imaging equipment to measure the thickness of permafrost. Wildlife monitors will be used when appropriate.

Any reports or published results will be sent to relevant communities and regional governing organizations.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted on the Northern end of Richard’s Island (69o27’40.7”N and 134o39’30.4”W) from March 23 to March 31, 2009.