Late Cretaceous Palaeontology of northwestern Northwest Territories, Canada

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, fossils, paleontology, biodiversity, archaeology, vertebrate fossils

Principal Investigator: Vavrek, Matthew J (3)
Licence Number: 15293
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2013
Issued: Jul 11, 2013
Project Team: Dr. Kevin Seymour (Project Collaborator, Royal Ontario Museum), Caleb Brown (Graduate Student, University of Toronto ), Dr. David Evans (Project Collaborator, Royal Ontario Museum)

Objective(s): To continue the collaborative research program on ancient biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic.

Project Description: This project is a continuation of the collaborative research program on ancient biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic. Recently, the group completed work supported by Polar Continental Shelf Project in the Brackett Basin in the westcentral Northwest Territories and the Bonnet Plume Basin in northeastern the Yukon Territory, during which the research team recovered both new vertebrate (dinosaur) fossils as well as a new Paleogene plant macrofossil locality. The Tent Island formation is a logical continuation of the work in this region, as it represents a more coastal locality that would have experienced a different climate than that of the more inland areas the research team has previously prospected.

The research team will be prospecting the areas by foot, searching for any vertebrate or plant macrofossils. Any fossils on the surface will be marked by GPS and the local setting will be noted in field notes. Unbroken fossils will be collected and placed in bags or vials (depending on size) with accompanying labels noting their provenance. Broken fossils may be glued in the field using standard paleontological glues, or if larger, may be collected using small plaster bandages. Larger fossils requiring excavations will be recorded with a GPS in order to be collected at a later date. No excavations will be undertaken during the course of the present survey, unless the fossil is at severe risk of complete loss. If any of these fossils to be excavated in the future are in danger of breaking or may be destroyed by erosion, they will be stabilized as best as possible (i.e. through reburial, or gluing) before being left.

This work will help to better understand the paleontological resources within this portion of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The fossils from this area can help to understand how changing climates at high latitudes may have affected species diversity in the past and how ecosystems may respond in the future.

Previous paleontological work the research team have done in the Arctic has attracted the attention of local news outlets. The research team will publicize the importance of these northern field regions to the understanding of biodiversity through time.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 13, 2013 to July 20, 2013.