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TitleDetecting massive ice using ground-penetrating radar in the Northwest Territories
AuthorOdell, D E; Moorman, B J; Smith, I RORCID logo
Source40th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum, abstracts of talks and posters; by Watson, D M (ed.); Northwest Territories Geoscience Office, Yellowknife Geoscience Forum Abstracts Volume 2012, 2012 p. 64 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En Ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120290
Meeting40th annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum; Yellowknife; CA; November 13-15, 2012
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
AreaLittle Chicago
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geophysics; Nature and Environment; ice; massive ice; ground probing radar; permafrost; ground ice; Cenozoic; Quaternary
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
AbstractMassive ice and related thaw subsidence present a significant challenge to the geotechnical engineering and design of infrastructure such as roads, pipelines and buildings in permafrost regions. Development in these areas requires an understanding of the distribution of massive ice and the establishment of effective methods for its quantification at a local scale. The research discussed here demonstrates the application of Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), seismic shothole drillers¿ lithostratigraphic logs, and other complimentary data in the identification of massive ice along recent seismic cutlines at Little Chicago and Lac des Bois, central Northwest Territories.
Three occurrences of massive ice along 58 km of ground traverses were identified using 100 MHz GPR data, velocity analysis, shothole drillers¿ logs and air photos. At Little Chicago (120 km north of Fort Good Hope), an ice body measuring 55 m in lateral extent and having a maximum thickness of 2.6 m was identified. Inverse modeling of the propagation velocity from a hyperbolic return below the ice yielded a calculated velocity of 0.16 m/ns, supporting the conclusion of massive ice. A second example of massive ice, measuring 90 m in lateral extent, was also identified at Little Chicago using data interpreted from 2008 drillers` logs in conjunction with GPR facies analysis. In the Lac des Bois, Colville Hills area, massive ice measuring 50 m horizontally and with a maximum thickness of 1.7 m was detected in an area of active thermokarst.
The successful identification of massive ice at three sites from two different field areas highlights the effectiveness of GPR in detecting and mapping such occurrences, while emphasizing the importance of complementary data in studies using GPR as a primary methodology.

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