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TitreEnvironmental atlas of the Beaufort coastlands
AuteurPelletier, B R (éd.); Medioli, B E (éd.)
SourceCommission géologique du Canada, Dossier public 7619, 2014, 271 pages, (Accès ouvert)
LiensOttawa Citizen article
ÉditeurRessources naturelles Canada
Documentdossier public
CartesCette publication contient 26 cartes
Info. carteenvironmentale, 1/7,500,000
Info. cartebotanique, 1/4,000,000
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Info. cartebiologique, 1/6,000,000
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Mediaen ligne; numérique
Référence reliéeCette publication remplace Pelletier, B R; (2000). Environmental Atlas of the Beaufort Coastlands
ProvinceYukon; Région extracotière du nord; Territoires du Nord-Ouest; Colombie-Britannique; Alberta; Nunavut
SNRC66; 67; 68; 69; 76; 77; 78; 79; 86; 87; 88; 89; 96; 97; 98; 99; 73M; 74D; 74E; 74L; 74M; 83M; 83N; 83O; 83P; 84; 85; 93M; 93N; 93O; 93P; 94; 95; 106; 116; 103N; 103O; 103P; 104; 105; 114; 115; 117; 107
Lat/Long OENS-170.0000 -96.0000 80.0000 55.0000
Sujetsvégétation; terres humides; palynologie; faune; elements glaciaires; topographie glaciaire; dépôts glaciaires; pergélisol; pingos; dépôts de glissement de terrain; glissements de terrain; glace fossile; glace massive; hydrate; hydrocarbures; gaz; études côtières; érosion côtière; milieu côtièr; congélation du sol; variations du niveau de la mer; changements du niveau de la mer; antecedents thermiques; action du gel; temperature; températures au sol; mouvement de la glace; transport par radeaux de glace; retrait de la glace; directions du transport de la glace; directions des mouvements de la glace; milieu hydrologique; climat arctique; climatologie; climat; poisson; baleine; oiseau; phoque; changement climatique; géologie de l'environnement; géologie des dépôts meubles/géomorphologie; paléontologie; combustibles fossiles; Économie et industrie; Nature et environnement; Cénozoïque; Quaternaire
Illustrationsphotographs; location maps; photomicrographs; cross-sections; block diagrams; drawings; location maps
ProgrammeDivision de la CGC du nord du Canada, Environnement et hydrogéologie du Nord
Diffusé2014 07 15
Résumé(disponible en anglais seulement)
The Beaufort Coastlands, lying adjacent to the southeastern Beaufort Sea, include the northern basin of the Mackenzie River drainage area. These lands are home to more than 7500 people, most of whom are aboriginal residents. Natural conditions, particularly the climate, seriously affect the livelihood of these Arctic dwellers in both a beneficial and calamitous manner. For example, fair conditions can introduce a bountiful wildlife harvest everywhere, but a harsh climate can forestall both land and marine migrations and interfere with hunting activities. This latter event may produce a low yield of much-needed animal resources. Reports on climate warming are based on observations of a shrinking volume of sea ice, and the drilling records and instrument readings that show a deepening summer thaw of permafrost. Several years of continuous thermistor records, during the last two decades of the 20th century, fully attest to these warming phenomena. These signs of change are not catastrophic at present, nor is the debate on their origin entirely resolved. The period of time in which the warming effect is taking place, as well as its projected length and intensity, are also unknown. In the matter of slope stability, human livelihoods and wildlife habitats can be adversely affected. Therefore it is essential that many aspects of the terrain such as slope failure, coastal processes involving erosion, coastal retreat, and weather elements including precipitation, air temperatures and wind variables be monitored daily and monthly. To be most useful in monitoring exercises, hazardous natural events and changes to the environment must be recorded concurrently. Wildlife on land, marine mammals at sea and on the ice, and the fisheries and their harvests are the entities that must be included in these environmental studies because of their essential role in the welfare of aboriginal people, as well as their ecological relationships. More than four million birds visit the area each year for purposes of migratory staging, nesting and feeding. These activities occur along the coastal zone and the lower waterways that empty into the Beaufort Sea, mainly where wetlands, sandbars, inlets, headlands and cliffs provide habitats for avian existence. The entire community of birds must also be considered in plans designed to protect both inland and coastal living niches. It is essential that contingency planning be continued, or introduced in regions that must be protected. This Atlas is designed to serve as a background for such studies that will be beneficial for the occupants and visiting users of this varied suite of habitats. The infrastructure of the Coastlands must be maintained, expanded and protected due to the growing population. Such necessities as transportation and communications corridors must undergo a similar protective attention in order that the safety and security of the region is maintained. Roads, cable routes and fuel transportation lines all require safe rights-of-way; therefore, to address these potential exigencies and the demand for utilities, the need for safe routes are included in the overall hazards-avoidance plans. These practices will require a cadre of professional and technical specialists, and a pool of workers prepared to perform assignments as required. Such a work force will require considerable background information, some of which is provided in this Atlas. In the past, the petroleum industry has engaged northerners in training and production programs, as well as in active employment in the exploration of hydrocarbons. Thus, a wage economy for the native community was fostered, and this led to a support infrastructure for the petroleum industry and the community alike. Today some of that infrastructure is devoted to an entirely new industry throughout the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and northern mainland that venture is now called Eco-Tourism (see Frontispiece). Fleets of marine vessels, ice-breaking equipment and search-and-rescue activities may need to be expanded which, in turn, will be a further boost to the economy of the Far North. Should climate warming ensue, this industry may grow; however, it is likely to increase even if present conditions prevail into the near future. A recreational industry is also thriving in the Coastlands and its surrounding fluvial and hilly regions to the south. This new industry is supported in an administrative sense by the offices of the territorial governments responsible for separate regions such as Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. For example, in the matter of publications and the maintenance of an infrastructure, support is afforded for such activities as hiking, fishing, boating, and touring. The recipients of these services and participants in these activities include nature lovers, visitors to heritage and historical sites and museums, entrepreneurs of small commercial ventures, and numerous recreational business people. Another important aspect to consider in the further development of the Beaufort Coastlands is the issue of governance. This thrust will create its own momentum as local municipalities at the territorial level seek self-government, even though the aegis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has provided security for the region since later historical times. Members of this agency are continuing these duties, as selfgovernment is sought and northern municipalities move toward that goal. As eco-tourism and other employment opportunities increase, and should climate warming provide easier access to the marine and coastal areas adjacent to the northlands, the political expedience of self-governance may become less of an option and more of a necessity. To achieve these progressive goals and adjust to evolving natural hazards, it is necessary to assess the dominant factors in the area that would culminate in these objectives. As a first approach, an inventory of critical information on natural science, sociology, and associated oil-spill problems was achieved by the petroleum and related industries in liaison with the Canadian government during the mid-1970s, when the Beaufort Sea Project was organized and carried out. It resulted in a series of excellent studies and accompanying reports that were published by Environment Canada (Ottawa). This was the beginning of a major effort to address deficiencies in existing coastal offshore technology and the tremendous gap in oceanographic science extant at that time. Two comprehensive works dealing with logistics of oil spill remediation have been published by the Arctic Petroleum Operators Association in 1979, and D.F. Dickens Associate Ltd., and ESL Environmental Science Ltd for Environment Canada in 1987. During this period, several papers dealing with the marine sciences of the Beaufort Sea were published in two atlases by the Geological Survey of Canada (Natural Resources Canada). Since then several hundreds of excellent topical papers by workers in industry, universities and government have contributed to a considerable scientific, sociological and industrial knowledge base of the area. An exceptional collection of papers published in 2000 deals with the physical environment of the Mackenzie Valley and an assessment of its environmental change. This compendium is edited by L.D. Dyke and G.R. `Brooks 2000 of the GSC, Ottawa. The present volume, an extension of the Marine Sciences Atlas series, deals mainly with natural environmental issues of the Beaufort Coastlands, and has been assembled to assist workers and agencies in various fields who are involved in the protection and the development of the area. A summary of these environmental topics is given in the INTRODUCTION that follows this PREFACE. The full account is presented in the 70 essays, 98 maps, and more than 200 captioned photographs that form the main body of the Atlas. Collectively the main thrust of this atlas, exclusive of adding to our scientific and developmental inventory, is to signal awareness of potential harm to the physical environment, whether it occurs through economic development or climate change, by outlining potential damage and prevention, and by indicating applicable measures pertaining to restoration and preservation. As well as focusing on the three major settings, which include the inland areas, the coastal features and the immediate inshore of the Beaufort Sea, emphasis is placed on the damage to the land features associated with the profusion of wildlife habitats. All these features must be scrutinized carefully and thoroughly as they represent potential harm to the way of life of the native inhabitants.
Résumé(Résumé en langage clair et simple, non publié)
Cet Atlas présente le contexte de l'environnement physique des zones littorales Beaufort. De plus, il est conçu pour montrer la relation entre la faune et les caractéristiques physiques des zones littorales, avec considération vers la compréhension de la faune comme une ressource durable pour les gens de la région. Le changement climatique est une préoccupation majeure dans la région Arctique occidentale du Canada et cet Atlas présente des informations de base importante pour comparer les changements futurs. L'Atlas met aussi en évidence de nombreux aspects environnementaux, y compris le pergélisol, l'érosion des côtes et le faune sauvage, qui peuvent être particulièrement sensibles aux changements climatiques.