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TitleEnvironmental Impacts of permafrost degradation / Impact environnementaux de la dégradation du pergélisol
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorDuchesne, M JORCID logo
SourcePublic presentations of May 21st, 2019: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects for the 2019-2024 program cycle; by Jacob, N; Bringué, MORCID logo; Galloway, J MORCID logo; Gammon, P R; Outridge, P MORCID logo; Desbarats, A JORCID logo; Rivard, CORCID logo; Ahad, J M EORCID logo; Duchesne, M JORCID logo; Geological Survey of Canada, Scientific Presentation 103, 2019 p. 46-50, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Lang.English; French
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Public presentations of May 21st, 2019: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects for the 2019-2024 program cycle
RelatedThis publication is related to Environmental impacts of permafrost degradation
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut; Canada
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; hydrogeology; surficial geology/geomorphology; geophysics; geochemistry; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; Government and Politics; Health and Safety; environmental studies; environmental impacts; permafrost; ground ice; temperature; ground temperatures; pollutants; methane; heavy metals contamination; mercury; organic carbon; microorganisms; fluid migration; fluid flow; climate; sampling techniques; health hazards; Environmental Geoscience Program (EGP); cumulative effects; Climate change; environmental baseline studies; Methodology; monitoring; Environmental impact assessment
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Program Management
Released2019 10 10
AbstractPermafrost underlies approximately 50% of the Canadian landmass and is found in offshore areas beneath the Arctic shelf. Permafrost is warming at depth through taliks, along faults and methane leakage maybe enhanced from historical exploration wells and is also degrading in some areas as the surface active layer is thickening. As permafrost warms and degrades, contaminants including heavy metals, trapped greenhouse gases and saline pore fluids are being naturally released into the environment and the liberation of organic carbon through permafrost degradation stimulates microbial activity. Recent estimates also suggest that permafrost represents the largest global reservoir of mercury, with active pathways for migration and uptake in the food web. This project is striving to assess the environmental implications of warming terrestrial, coastal and offshore permafrost and therefore provide a baseline to better appraise the environmental consequences of resource development. Active permafrost-related geological processes and their impacts on the environment will be assessed using a broad and various suit of geophysical, sampling and monitoring techniques. Key outcomes will include; 1) improved and adapted environmental practices for resource development projects in permafrost settings allowing industry to follow safer and more cost efficient practices and regulators to better appraise development projects, 2) improved environmental assessment of cumulative effects of resource development, and 3) assessment of permafrost environmental considerations within the broad context of human health.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This presentation was an introduction about the research that will be undertaken over the next 5 years under the Environmental Geoscience Program. The goal is to distinguish the environmental effects of natural resources development of those from natural processes. This new phase of research will be looking at marine spills, Canada's largest watershed, permafrost geochemistry, volcanic mercury contribution, mining impacted watersheds, assessments of aquifers, diluted bitumen and permafrost degradation.

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