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TitleLocal and traditional knowledge in conjunction with geoscience data to understand permafrost conditions and guide research activities, Rankin Inlet area, Nunavut
AuthorLeBlanc, A -M; Oldenborger, G A; Bellehumeur-Génier, O
SourceArcticNet: Abstracts, 2017 International Arctic Change Conference; 2017 p. 237-238
LinksOnline - En ligne (complete volume - volume complet, pdf, 3.89 MB)
Year2017
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170236
PublisherArcticNet
MeetingArcticChange 2017: 2017 International Arctic Change Conference; Québec, QC; CA; December 11-15, 2017
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNunavut
NTS55K/16
AreaRankin Inlet; Kivalliq
Lat/Long WENS -92.5000 -92.0000 63.0000 62.7500
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geophysics; permafrost; ground ice; periglacial features; thermokarst; geological research; cold regions research; drainage; slope stability; vegetation; climate; surface waters; lakes; shoreline changes; rivers; water levels; sea level changes; precipitation; glacial deposits; tills; marine sediments; geophysical interpretations; radar methods; local knowledge; traditional knowledge; community infrastructures; northern studies; landscape change; ground movement; anthropogenic alteration; DInSAR
ProgramPermafrost, Climate Change Geoscience
Released2017 12 01
AbstractPermafrost is an important factor in the development, planning and maintenance of infrastructure in Canada's North. In the Kivalliq region, limited historical or contemporary permafrost information is available, and few permafrost maps and monitoring stations cover the study area. To initiate permafrost studies in this context, a community workshop which included a participatory mapping exercise, was organized for gathering local and traditional knowledge (LTK) on permafrost in the Rankin Inlet area and the Kivalliq region in general. The workshop was used as a scoping activity with the idea that the results would be useful to understand permafrost conditions and develop long term research activities. Participants were given a series of maps and asked to identify landscape features and areas of landscape change that might be related to permafrost and permafrost processes, including observations such as ground ice, change in drainage, and slope movement. Participants were also asked to consider how permafrost-related landscape changes might be important to them. Observations identified in the workshop were classified into categories related to water-level changes, ground movement and ground ice, slope movement, and vegetation. The workshop was followed by a preliminary field campaign to visit areas identified by the workshop participants in order to reconcile LTK observations and potential permafrost processes. In parallel, LTK observations were analysed in conjunction with geoscience data including surficial geology, climate data, ground movement based on DInSAR mapping, and historical dynamics of lake shorelines. For example, the most frequent LTK observations involved low water level in rivers, lakes, ponds and streams particularly noticed in recent years (since 2005 or 2010). Many hypotheses could explain this behavior such as falling relative sea level in the region, anthropogenic alteration of water levels or drainage patterns, changes in the precipitation regime, or active thermokarst processes. Based on an analysis of the historical dynamics of lake shorelines, the behaviour of some lakes identified by the LTK observations is consistent with lake evolution by thermokarst processes. Furthermore, analysis of the LTK observations in conjunction with geoscience data revealed that surficial geology of undifferentiated till and marine sediments is of particular interest for further permafrost characterization due to their recurring association with LTK observations, their wide distribution in the region, their association with thermokarst terrain, and with ground movement as measured by DInSAR. LTK observations supported the development of hypotheses on permafrost conditions and processes. The juxtaposition of LTK observations with field validation and geoscience data allowed testing of these hypotheses and some interpretation of permafrost conditions. However, not all LTK observations were as useful for interpreting permafrost conditions. Nevertheless, the approach has proven useful in initiating and guiding permafrost studies in the area of Rankin Inlet.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A community workshop on permafrost was held in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut to gather local and traditional knowledge (LTK) on permafrost. The purpose of the workshop was to see if the results could be useful to 1) understand permafrost conditions in areas where limited historical or contemporary permafrost information is available and 2) develop long term research activities. Results were used to support the development of hypotheses. However, it is the juxtaposition of LTK observations with field validation and geoscience data that allowed some interpretation of permafrost conditions. One example is the low water level in some lakes interpreted as thermokarst processes. Thermokarst in the region is important to identifying potential infrastructure hazards. Results also revealed that surficial geology of undifferentiated till and marine sediments is of particular interest for further permafrost characterization. The approach has proven useful in initiating and guiding permafrost studies.
GEOSCAN ID306086