Synthesis of Glacial History and Dynamics in the Western Rae Geological Province

Regions: South Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, glaciology, soil chemistry

Principal Investigator: Campbell, Janet (1)
Licence Number: 16299
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2018
Issued: May 04, 2018
Project Team: Janet Campbell (Lead Research Scientist , Geological Survey of Canada), Philippe Normandeau (Research Scientist, Northwest Territories Geological Survey), TBD (Student, Geological Survey of Canada)

Objective(s): To compile and understand the history of ancient glaciations in mainland Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Project Description: The overall goal of this activity is to compile and understand the history of ancient glaciations in mainland Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

A field team of 3 people will undertake the work proposed. The field work will be based out of Aylmer Lake Lodge, Aylmer Lake, NWT with the entire crew returning to the lodge at the end of each field day. The field survey will be supported by one helicopter stationed with the field crew at the lodge. The helicopter will refuel mainly at the lodge. There will be also be 2 small caches of 5 sealed drums each that will be positioned by Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) using a Twin Otter. These fuel caches will be located in 76B-NW corner and in the SE near Moraine Lk, outside of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. The exact location coordinates will be provided once the fuel caches are in place. The drums will be removed at the end of the field program.

Fieldwork will be done with one (3 person) or two 2-person teams at pre-selected sites and along foot traverses. Access to field sites and travers will be by helicopter. Field work at each site will involve making observations of the glacial landscape, collecting GPS locations and hand-held compass measurements (i.e. striations), taking digital photographs and collecting samples of surface earth materials. Small samples of surface soil will be collected with a hand shovel; small rock samples from glacially transported boulders or bedrock surfaces will be taken using a small portable rock saw. The soil sample holes will be filled in. The sediment samples will be submitted for analysis of their composition. The rock samples will be submitted for dating how old the bedrock surface is or when it was ice free.

Information from this research will be of interest to communities, organizations and others (e.g., researchers, land-use planners, exploration companies, government and environmental assessment). It may help to define areas are promising for mineral exploration. It can help communities and organizations to understand the land’s resource potential, make land-use management decisions and develop it wisely, both socially and environmentally. This work will also provide educational information about the land's history and how the ice sheets sculpted the landscape.

A communication plan that engages northern residents and communities will be delivered through awareness of the project results and outcomes. Letters of intent are being sent out to surrounding communities, First Nations and Metis associations prior to starting the field work. Interested communities will be visited in the winter/spring of 2018 to inform and identify interests from local groups and associations. A report of the 2018 field activities will be provided to local communities. Results and data will be published later as publically available maps reports and scientific journal papers. The maps and data will be released in user-friendly formats, and available through an outreach plan that introduces geoscience knowledge to northerners. Visits to communities are planned for the future to present the results and outcomes of the project.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 4, 2018 to July 17, 2018.