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TitleGeohazard analysis of the Arctic Inter-island Channels
AuthorBennett, R; Piper, D J W; Hill, P R
SourceArctic Change 2014, poster abstracts; 2014 p. 10-11
Year2014
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140377
PublisherArcticNet
MeetingArctic Change 2014; Ottawa; CA; December 8-12, 2014
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceOffshore region
AreaArctic
Subjectsgeophysics; marine geology; health hazards; arctic geology; arctic expeditions; climate, arctic; channels; geological hazards
ProgramMarine Geohazards, Public Safety Geoscience
LinksOnline - En ligne
AbstractThe Government of Canada's Northern Strategy envisions resource-driven development of the north, increased usage of transportation routes through the Canadian Arctic, and economic benefits flowing to northern communities. The safe and secure development of marine areas in the North requires an assessment of the potential for hazardous geological events (geohazards) such as earthquakes, submarine landslides and tsunamis. Marine geohazards are difficult to assess in the Arctic inter-island channels however due to the fundamental scarcity of data. Archived data at the Geological Survey of Canada and more recent data acquired during ArcticNet expeditions has resulted in a collection of multibeam, sub-bottom profiler, high-resolution seismic and sediment cores that is widely scattered over the region.
The current understanding of the geologic framework is that the Arctic inter-island channels are comprised of bedrock overlain by discontinuous till. Thin glaciomarine sediments drape the till and/or bedrock. Discontinuous localized accumulations of Holocene sediment infill depressions with thickness varying from <1 to 10 m.
Hydrocarbon venting features have been observed using multibeam and sub-bottom imagery in Barrow Strait. Understanding these features is important to establishing a baseline of natural hydrocarbons present in the waters of the Arctic inter-island channels. Multibeam and sub-bottom data can be used to determine the extent if the venting features on the seabed and their level of activity or inactivity.
Glacial lineations are present on the seafloor of several of the inter-island channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The high slope angles associated with these features (which can be up to 60°) could pose a hazard to potential seabed infrastructure such as communication cables. Ice scours caused by icebergs or sea ice have been observed to water depth of 850m at the mouth of Lancaster Sound. These scours are of interest as present day iceberg keels have been observed to have a maximum draft of 450 ¿ 500 m in the Arctic. Ice scours in 850 m water depth may have been caused during the last glaciation when sea level was about 100 m lower and glacial ice up to 1000 m thick was present in the area. The study of these deep water scours is important in order to distinguish them from the scours that are being generated from the present ice conditions.
Slope failures have been observed in Eclipse Sound in north eastern Nunavut but additional multibeam data is required in areas where high seabed slope angles are present in order to determine the distribution of sediment failure in the region.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Government of Canada's Northern Strategy envisions resource-driven development of the north, increased usage of transportation routes through the Canadian Arctic, and economic benefits flowing to northern communities. The safe and secure development of marine areas in the North requires an assessment of the potential for hazardous geological events (geohazards) such as earthquakes, submarine landslides and tsunamis. Marine geohazards are difficult to assess in the Arctic inter-island channels however due to the fundamental scarcity of data. Geohazards observed in the study area based on the small amount of exsisting data are gas vents, rough and uneven seafloor, ice scours, and submarine landslides. Additional data is required to better understand the distribution and magnitude of these hazards.
GEOSCAN ID295691