eSpace - Emergency Spatial Pre-SCAT for Arctic Coastal Ecosystems

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, coastline, arctic ecosystems, environmental sensitivity index

Principal Investigator: Duffe, Jason A (3)
Licence Number: 14736
Organization: Environment Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2012 2011 2010
Issued: Jun 09, 2010
Project Team: Jason Duffe (Manager, Environment Canada), Sarah Banks (Field staff, Carleton University), Sonia Laforest (Field staff, Environment Canada), Evan Seed (Field staff, Environment Canada)

Objective(s): To produce a land cover classification that is comparable to satellite radar imagery in terms of the number and accuracy of identified shorelines based on the tradition method of Environmental Sensitivity Index Mapping.

Project Description: The objectives of this study are to:
(1) Fly oblique helicopter videography for two study sites (i.e. the outer Mackenzie River Delta and Kugmallit Bay) and collect field data at various locations, as identified in the map provided.
(2) Interpret helicopter videography and create an Environmental Sensitivity Index map. This will consist of a vector file of shoreline types, which will be drawn on to topographic maps.
(3) Using satellite radar imagery, attempt to produce a land cover classification that is comparable in terms of the number and accuracy of identified shorelines based on the tradition method of Environmental Sensitivity Index Mapping. Interpretation and analysis will be aided by helicopter videography and collected field data.

Field sampling methods will consist of small soil samples taken at the given locations, which will be later analyzed for bulk density and moisture content. Both of these greatly affect surface-signal interaction and so determine the brightness of imagery over specific areas. Small canisters will be used for this purpose, which will hold approximately 500 grams of soil per sample. The number of samples taken at each site will be determined based on the spatial complexity of that location.

In addition, transects will be completed at these sites. They will start at the shore and will move inland taking vegetation height and percent cover estimates based on a visual interpretation. Each transect will be approximately 50 m long, however this too will depend on the spatial complexity of the area. No vegetation samples will be taken.

Negotiations have been started with the Joint Secretariat to organize community meetings and communications products as required. INAC and the MacKenzie Delta Oil Spill Co-op will be engaged to inform communities of significant results and knowledge transfer and training for on-site emergency spill response. The Environmental Emergencies Section of Environment Canada works as a team member in the event of a spill response, training and tool provision will improve EC's ability to respond quickly and effectively, so community benefits of this project are significant.

Results of this analysis will be provided to community members within the study site region. The researchers will share data with the Joint Secretariat, will also present the database during the Regional Environmental Emergency Team meeting in the north, and will also share data during the oil spill exercise in the North (ex. Nanook 2010) with the stakeholders and communities. INAC has been engaged in the project to interface with the communities for spill preparedness training and knowledge transfer from Environment Canada.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 19, 2010 to September 3, 2010.