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TitleCoastal hazard assessment for adaptation planning in an expanding Arctic municipality
AuthorHatcher, S V; Forbes, D L; Manson, G K
SourceProceedings of sustainable development of coastal communities: challenges and solutions; 2011 p. 1-15
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110074
MeetingSustainable Development of Coastal Communities: Challenges and Solutions; Port-of-Spain; TT; June 1-3, 2011
NTS25J; 25K; 25L; 25M; 25N; 25O; 25P; 26A; 26B; 26C
AreaIqaluit; Frobisher Bay; Baffin Island
Lat/Long WENS-72.0000 -63.0000 65.0000 61.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; climate; climatic fluctuations; climate, arctic; environmental impacts; environmental studies; environmental analysis; coastal studies; coastal environment; sea ice; sea level fluctuations; storms; floods; flood potential; climate change
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; tables
ProgramBuilding Resilience to Climate Change in Canadian Communities, Climate Change Geoscience
AbstractIqaluit (population 6182 in 2006, projected ~13,000 in 2030) is the expanding political and logistical capital of Nunavut in Arctic Canada. The city is experiencing a population influx with associated housing demand, planning and infrastructure pressures, and a growing volume of marine freight landed by barges across flats with a tidal range of 11 m. In addition, the city is faced with environmental changes which need to be better understood for appropriate planning in the waterfront area. The 2010 General Plan calls for a precautionary approach to climate change and special protection for culturally important coastal sites. In support of these objectives, we assess and map present and future flood probability and other hazards such as wave and ice impacts in the context of changing climate, including relative sea-level trends, possible changes in storm climatology, and changes in sea-ice break-up or freeze-up dates (associated with longer open-water seasons and increased exposure to waves and storm surges). Waterfront infrastructure planning in the City of Iqaluit requires robust understanding of present and future coastal hazards. Storage sheds and sea-cans for equipment used in subsistence and recreational hunting and fishing represent an important component of community infrastructure and are among the most directly exposed to current hazards. The capacity for this 'traditional economy' sector to adapt to future rising water levels or higher run-up may be inadvertently constrained by backshore urban development. Using climate-change scenarios, updated projections of changing sea level, digital topography from satellite imagery and field surveys, supplemented by historical investigation of past storm events using instrumental and anecdotal data, this research is providing one element of a broader assessment to support informed waterfront planning in Iqaluit.