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TitleCo-design of coastal risk assessment for subsistence infrastructure in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, western Arctic Canada
AuthorForbes, D LORCID logo; Whalen, D J R; Jacobson, B; Fraser, P; Manson, G K; Couture, N JORCID logo; Simpson, R
SourceArcticNet (ASM2013), programme; 2013 p. 141-142
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130230
MeetingArcticNet Annual Science Meeting 2013; Halifax, NS; CA; December 9-13, 2013
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Yukon
NTS86M; 86N; 96M; 96N; 96O; 96P; 106M; 106N; 106O; 106P; 116O; 116O; 87B; 87C; 87F; 87G; 88B; 88C; 97; 98A; 98B; 98C; 98D; 107; 117A; 117D; 117E; 117H
AreaInuvialuit Settlement Region; Mackenzie-Beaufort
Lat/Long WENS-140.0000 -115.0000 74.0000 67.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; environmental geology; Nature and Environment; coastal environment; coastal studies; coastal erosion; shorelines; shoreline changes
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2013 01 01
AbstractThe coast of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in the Mackenzie-Beaufort region of the western Canadian Arctic is characterized by rapid erosion of ice-bonded sediments with abundant excess ice, resulting in widespread landward retreat of shorelines. Many of the hunting and fishing camps belonging to ISR residents are located along the coast, as are whaling camps and cultural resource sites such as Kittigazuit, Hendrickson Island, Shingle Point and Herschel Island. People in Tuktoyaktuk are familiar with the coastal erosion problems faced by that community and the several decades of research by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) to document shoreline retreat, protection measures, impacts of erosion, and implications for further loss of land in the hamlet. Under the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) program (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) and the Climate Change Geoscience Program (Natural Resources Canada), the GSC is leading a coastal geoscience project to synthesize existing knowledge of coastal erosion rates and processes in the region and to partner with ISR organizations in the distribution of resulting map products. Through a number of meetings between GSC staff and the Inuvialuit Game Council, Joint Secretariat, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and Inuvialuit Land Administration (ILA) over the past couple of years, we have developed a partnership to produce and deliver map products to inform ISR residents about coastal erosion and flood risks to existing subsistence infrastructure. A pilot project was initiated in 2013 to map rates of coastal erosion in relation to camp locations and distance from the shore in Kugmallit Bay. This will enable a risk assessment involving scenarios of future climate and coastal erosion rates and provide a tool to assist in selection of safe sites for future camp development. The erosion rates are derived from analysis of shoreline change from historical air photographs and more recent satellite imagery and are plotted on an up-to-date high-resolution shoreline. Subsistence infrastructure is mapped on the basis of ILA data, field observations, and interpretation of high-resolution satellite imagery. The maps are produced in ESRI ArcGIS, hosted in Dartmouth and Tuktoyaktuk, and plotted as wall-size posters and in pamphlet format for hard-copy distribution, the preferred medium in the community. Future enhancement should include storm-surge flood risk in addition to coastal retreat, but this will require high-resolution digital topography derived from airborne LiDAR or stereo-imagery. At present, LiDAR coverage for coastal regions of the ISR is limited to the vicinity of Tuktoyaktuk, northern Richards Island, parts of the outer Mackenzie Delta, and Shingle Point. Mapping of prominent driftwood lines on high-resolution imagery provides an alternative means of estimating the level of historic extreme surge events, in particular from the September 1970 storm, when the peak water level was approximately 2.5 m above mean sea level in this area. Horizontal distance from the upper driftwood may serve as a qualitative proxy for flood risk in extreme events. This collaboration between research and land management agencies has identified and responded to information requirements and delivery mechanisms that meet northern stakeholder needs.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A collaboration between the Geological Survey of Canada and the Inuvialuit Land Administration is leading to joint planning and implementation of coastal hazard risk assessment for subsistence infrastructure in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR). Mapping of infrastructure location in relation to present shoreline position and rates of landward retreat and to driftwood markers of historic extreme storm-surge flooding is filling a recognized knowledge gap and delivering information to meet the needs of northern stakeholders.

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