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TitleGreat Slave TRACS - transportation risk in the Arctic to climatic sensitivity
AuthorWolfe, S A; Fraser, R; Kokelj, S V
Source39th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, abstracts of talks and posters; by Fischer, B J; Watson, D M; Northwest Territories Geoscience Office, Yellowknife Geoscience Forum Abstracts Volume vol. 2011, 2011 p. 124
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110262
Meeting2011 Yellowknife Geoscience Forum; Yelloknife; CA; November 15-17, 2011
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
AreaGreat Slave Lake
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; engineering geology; glacial deposits; glacial features; glacial landforms; permafrost; terrain sensitivity; terrain types; terrain management; mapping techniques; computer mapping; remote sensing
ProgramProgram Management - Climate Change Science, Climate Change Geoscience
LinksOnline - En ligne
AbstractGreat Slave - TRACS (Transportation Risk in the Arctic to Climate Sensitivity) is a collaborative project established to reduce the costs and risk of transportation infrastructure in the resource-rich area of the Northwest Territories, north of Yellowknife. Ground transportation infrastructure is critical to northern development. Economic development in the North is largely centred on mineral resources in the Slave Geological Province, north of Yellowknife, NWT. Ground transportation to the south requires all-weather road access across discontinuous permafrost terrain and winter-road access primarily across frozen lakes. Climate warming in the region poses risks to existing road and highway road infrastructure and requires adaptation measures to find alternatives to increasingly unreliable ice-roads.
Despite the mineral-rich nature of this region, surficial sediment maps, knowledge of permafrost, land cover, and geotechnical conditions are still rudimentary. This lack of basic geoscience information hinders the understanding of present and future terrain risks to roads, airports and other infrastructure which are vital to northern development. Through TRACS, federal, territorial, industry and academic collaborators will provide the geoscientific expertise to reduce risks and aid in adaptation solutions for land-based transportation infrastructure. This project aims to develop a geoscientific approach for terrain-climatic risk mapping to aid in maintenance and remediation of existing road infrastructure and land-based options to the present winter road corridor.
Four main activities represent the focus of TRACS over the next five years. These include a surficial geological context for terrain stability in the Great Slave region; land cover and change mapping for permafrost terrain conditions; permafrost sensitivity analysis to complex thermal and hydrological changes via modeling and field investigations; and risk assessments of highway infrastructure and proposed transportation corridors.
These activities require a range of geoscience data integration, including remote predictive mapping of surficial sediments and predictive ecological mapping using Landsat 7 and SPOT 5 satellite imagery; subsidence and lake ice mapping using RADARSAT-2; and detailed terrain mapping and using LiDAR and related optical imagery. These mapping initiatives are supported by field validations, geophysical surveys and measurements of permafrost geothermal and geotechnical characteristics to provide geoscience information needed for adaptation planning.