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TitleReconnaissance assessment of landscape hazards and potential impacts of future climate change in Whale Cove, southern Nunavut
AuthorAllard, M; Manson, G K; Mate, D J
SourceCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2013, 2013 p. 171-182
LinksOnline-Enligne[PDF,5.94MB]
Year2013
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130302
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper
File formatpdf
ProvinceNunavut
NTS55K/02
AreaWhale Cove
Lat/Long WENS -93.0000 -92.5000 62.2500 62.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; coastal studies; climatic fluctuations; climate, arctic; climate effects; permafrost; sea level fluctuations; temperature; isostasy; Quaternary
ProgramCoastal Infrastructure, Climate Change Geoscience
AbstractAn assessment of terrain and coastal sensitivity to climate change in Whale Cove, Nunavut, on the west coast of Hudson Bay, was completed in 2009. Available climate data from 1986 to present show that significant warming is taking place and that inter-annual climate variability has increased. Community members reported on the impacts of these changes on living conditions and their traditional activities. The community was first established on low elevation beaches near the seashore and a small pond was filled to make room for early buildings. Currently, the community is expanding on relatively flat, glacially polished, bedrock surfaces,which make solid ground and are at little risk to be impacted by climate warming. Adapted foundations for buildings on unconsolidated surficial sediments will be necessary in the older part of the hamlet in preparation for warming permafrost and increased active layer depth. The shoreline in the townsite is primarily made of bedrock, but there are small pocket beaches, which host much of the coastal infrastructure. Sea-ice concentration is expected to decrease over the next few decades and it is anticipated that Whale Cove will experience higher and more frequent waves, which may cause localized erosion. With possible changes in storminess, storm surges may also become more frequent but will likely be no higher because storms are not expected to be significantly stronger. Relative sea level is falling in the area at a rate of approximately 6.4 mm/yr due to crustal uplift and sea-level change. This presents an issue for coastal infrastructure that will slowly be stranded above a lowering water line; wharfs may need to be lowered and extended. Accelerating global and regional sea-level rise may cause a slowing of the rate of emergence at Whale Cove in the future.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The community of Whale Cove lies on the west coast of Hudson Bay. An assessment of the terrain and coastal sensitivity of the community of Whale Cove to climate change was completed in 2009. Significant warming has been taking place since 1982 and inter-annual climate variability has increased. Presently the community is expanding on bedrock surfaces that are at little risk to climate warming but thawing of permafrost in may become a problem in the older part of the hamlet. The shoreline in the townsite is primarily bedrock, but small pocket beaches host coastal infrastructure. Sea ice is expected to decrease over the next few decades and Whale Cove may experience higher and more frequent waves and localised erosion of beaches. Storm surges may also become more frequent. Relative sea level is expected to continue in the area, but at a slower rate. This presents an issue for coastal infrastructure that will slowly become higher above the water line and may require extension.
GEOSCAN ID293276