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TitleReconnaissance assessment of landscape hazards and potential impacts of future climate change in Arviat, southern Nunavut
AuthorForbes, D LORCID logo; Bell, T; James, T SORCID logo; Simon, K M
SourceSummary of Activities 2013, Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office; Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2013 p. 183-192 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne[PDF,5.61MB]
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130289
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS -94.5000 -94.0000 61.2500 61.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; Nature and Environment; climate effects; climatic fluctuations; climate, arctic; permafrost; ground ice; slope stability; coastal studies; runoff; drainage; Holocene; sea level fluctuations; Climate change; Quaternary
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience
Released2013 01 01
AbstractThis paper summarizes observations of surficial geology and landscape hazards relevant to infrastructure stability and community sustainability in Arviat,Nunavut. It is based on a site visit and rapid reconnaissance survey in July 2009 in support of climate-change adaptation planning. The scientific work focused on surficial deposits, permafrost and ground ice, slope stability, runoff and drainage, sea-level change, and coastal processes in relation to building foundation stability, building pad construction, safety and viability of coastal infrastructure, and land-use planning for community expansion. These issues were addressed by mapping surficial materials and landscape units based on a brief reconnaissance survey and interpretation of high-resolution optical imagery. Through a classification of relative risk to infrastructure for various surficial materials, a preliminary map of foundation stability risk was developed to support adaptation planning under the Nunavut Climate Change Partnership and to provide general guidance on the challenges facing future development in various parts of the community.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This report considers environmental conditions in Arviat, including issues of building on permafrost, slope failure, poor drainage, and land uplift. By mapping ground conditions in and around the community, we identify areas with ice-rich soils that may destabilize foundations in a changing climate and other areas where these problems are less likely to occur. By building a better understanding of the environmental setting, the map can help to guide future development and land use. A better estimate of future sea-level change is important for planning port facilities and identifying challenges to navigation. This work led to measurement of the land uplift rate and has shown that over 90 years from 2010 to 2100, local sea level in Arviat could continue falling (more slowly) by 70 cm or could rise by as much as 25 cm. These results will help to guide future work and assist the Government of Nunavut and the hamlet in building a more resilient community.

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