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TitlePermafrost-related landforms and geotechnical data compilation, Yellowknife to Grays Bay corridor region, Slave Geological Province
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorMorse, P DORCID logo; Parker, R J HORCID logo; Smith, S LORCID logo; Sladen, W E
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 8986, 2023, 41 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediadigital; on-line
RelatedNRCan photo(s) in this publication
File formatreadme
File formatpdf; rtf; docx; xlsx; cpg; dbf; prj; sbn
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Nunavut
NTS75L; 75K; 75M; 75N; 85I; 85J; 85K; 85N; 85O; 85P; 76C; 76D; 76E; 76F; 76K; 76L; 76M; 76N; 86A; 86B; 86C; 86F; 86G; 86H; 86I; 86J; 86K; 86N; 86O; 86P
Lat/Long WENS-118.0000 -108.0000 68.0000 62.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; sedimentology; permafrost; landforms; satellite imagery; climate effects; Slave Province; Climate change impacts
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; photographs; graphs
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Permafrost
ProgramGEM-GeoNorth: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Permafrost Geoscience
Released2023 08 01
AbstractPermafrost conditions in the Slave Geological province are not well understood. Thaw of permafrost and associated ground ice can reduce ground stability, which modifies terrain and drainage patterns and affects terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This presents critical challenges to northern resource development and societies where thaw of ice-rich permafrost negatively affects the integrity of ground-based infrastructure. In an effort to address this knowledge gap, this report presents a digital georeferenced database of landforms identified in permafrost terrain using high-resolution satellite imagery and provides information on geomorphic indicators of ground ice presence and thaw susceptibility. Digital georeferenced databases compiled from sedimentological and cryostratigraphic records are also provided. The landform database is focused on mapping within a 10 km-wide swath of land (8576 km2 area of interest) centred on the proposed corridors for the 773 km-long Slave Geological Province Corridor Project, NT, and the Grays Bay Road and Port Project, NU. The geomorphic features were classified and digitized using high-resolution (0.5 m) satellite imagery following an existing protocol, which was modified by using a very high-resolution (2 m) digital elevation model (DEM), and by including mapping criteria for additional features. A total of 1393 geomorphic features were mapped comprising 10 different types, which were categorized into 3 classes that include periglacial (1291), hydrological (88), and mass movement (14) features. Data from 254 geotechnical boreholes and 2243 granular deposits were compiled. Information from the compiled databases was analyzed with surficial geology information. Results indicate that the distributions and densities of mapped landforms varied substantially according to surficial geology. High ground ice contents may be quite common in glaciofluvial deposits where creep of frozen ground affects about 30% of eskers. And ground ice may be more extensive overall than the available geotechnical data indicate. Borehole and granular deposit data suggest that overburden thickness above bedrock was up to 25.5 m, and visible ground ice contents were generally between 10% and 30%, but were up to 60% in glacial blanket and glaciofluvial sediments.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Permafrost conditions in the Slave Geological province are not well understood. Thaw of permafrost and associated ground ice can reduce ground stability, modify terrain, and reconfigure drainage patterns affecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and presenting challenges to northern infrastructure and societies. The proposed corridors for the Slave Geological Province Road, NT, and the Grays Bay Road and Port Project, NU crosses variety of surficial geology terrain units in the central Slave Geological Province, where variation in climate, relief, ecology, and disturbance have produced variety periglacial conditions. This Geological Survey of Canada Open File presents a spatial database of landforms identified in permafrost terrain along this corridor, as well as databases of georeferenced data compiled from geotechnical reposts on the region that are not widely available and are in printed form.

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