Mackenzie Mountains Expedition

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, geology, deformational history

Principal Investigator: Enkelmann, Eva (1)
Licence Number: 15491
Organization: University of Cincinnati
Licensed Year(s): 2014
Issued: Jul 04, 2014
Project Team: Jenny Arkle (Scientist, Rafting guide, University of Cincinnati), Benjamin Dreher (Field assistant, High school in Mannheim, Germany), not known so far (Rafting guide, Nahanni River Adventures)

Objective(s): To collect field observations and rock samples for various dating techniques that allow quantification of the rates and timing of surface uplift over thousands and million year time scales.

Project Description: The research team plan to test the hypothesis that the reactivation of mountain building processes in the Mackenzie’s is due to the growth of the St. Elias Mountains. The research team will collect field observations and rock samples for various dating techniques that allow quantification of the rates and timing of surface uplift over thousands and million year time scales. The results will be compared with the timing of deformation in the St. Elias Mountains, which is well studied.

The research team will work along the Mountain River that crosses several large fault zones and various rocks as it is flowing across the Mackenzie Mountains. The research team will use 2 rafting boats and make stops to collect rock samples (2-3 kg per sample), observe the rocks, take pictures and if possible take measurements of the structures. The field equipment is very light, and instruments will not be installed or left in the field. Besides the equipment for the rafting boats and camping, the team will have only rock hammer, structural geology compass, cameras, books to make field notes and hand lens.

As part of the effort to communicate the research plans to the local communities the Principal Investigator offered to give a public talk when in Norman Wells.

The research team are planning to publish the scientific results in peer-reviewed international journals. However, the team will write a report about the expedition to the funding agency not later than 6 month after the travel. The Principal Investigator established a good relationship with the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board (SRRB). The SRRB is very interested in this work and the research team will be sharing the outcome of the expedition to the community through them.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 25, 2015 to August 11, 2014.