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TitleGeophysical monitoring of permafrost conditions at Iqaluit International Airport, Baffin Island, Nunavut
AuthorOldenborger, G AORCID logo; LeBlanc, A -MORCID logo; Sladen, W E
SourceSummary of Activities 2013, Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office; Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2013, 2013 p. 129-138 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne[PDF,4.39MB]
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130218
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaIqaluit International Airport
Lat/Long WENS -70.0000 -69.5000 63.5000 63.2500
Subjectsgeophysics; surficial geology/geomorphology; Nature and Environment; permafrost; subsidence; geophysical surveys; resistivity surveys; electrical resistivity; Quaternary
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2013 01 01
AbstractIqaluit International Airport presently suffers from instability and subsidence along its runway, taxiways and apron. Instability may be related to permafrost, permafrost degradation and associated drainage conditions. In particular, Taxiway Alpha is significantly impacted by permafrost degradation and thaw settlement. Asuite of geophysical data was collected in 2012 - 2013 along a selected section of Taxiway Alpha to characterize permafrost conditions and investigate active permafrost processes, including seasonal changes in unfrozen water content. Even with cold permafrost temperatures, the data indicatematerial types with low electrical resistivity, suggesting fine-grainedmarine sediments and/or saline porewater with the potential for freezing-point depression and significant unfrozen water content. Observed seasonal changes in the data indicate that subsurface temperature fluctuations may result in significant ice formation near the thaw table and changes in unfrozen moisture content in the permafrost.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Iqaluit International Airport is a critical component of Nunavut's infrastructure for activities in Iqaluit, the Qikiqtaalik region and across Canada's North. Considerable action is planned by the Government of Nunavut to upgrade and repair Iqaluit International Airport including runway resurfacing, apron expansion and new facility construction. However, Iqaluit International Airport presently suffers from instabilities and subsidence along its runway, taxiways and apron. These instabilities may be related to permafrost, permafrost degradation and associated drainage conditions. The Geological Survey of Canada and the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office have ongoing geoscience and geophysics activities to better characterize permafrost conditions and to investigate active permafrost processes that may contribute to deterioration of land-based infrastructure such as airport facilities. This report summarizes current research and activities and presents preliminary results.

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