- May 2017
Slope instability occurs when mass-movement of rock, snow, or oil move downward due to gravity (Heritage). The types of slope instability are avalanches, landslides, rock fall, and rock slip, Slope instability can be detrimental depending on the infrastructure in that region. Water movement significantly contributes to slope instability. Water from snow or permafrost melt soaks into the soil, replacing air pockets and making the soil heavier (Nelson). Heavy soil on a steep slope can cause the soil to become dislodged and cause slope instability. The amount of water in the soil can also determine the slope angle. Too little water keeps the slope shallow, but some water can allow for a steeper slope due to changes in surface tension. Too much water caused a landslide because the excess water turns the soil into a fluid. Additional, unexpected permafrost melt can put too much water in the soil and lead to slope instability. Cold mountainous regions are often at risk for slope instability (Gruber). Permafrost exists in steep bedrock, which is categorized by a slope angle greater than 37 degrees. Ridges, spurs, and peaks are subject to increased permafrost melt that can lead to slope instability. Heat transfer by advection, or horizontal convection, is unpredictable and can occur through nearby ground water movement. This heat transfer leads to an increased rate of permafrost melt and can cause greater slope instability that heat transfer through the soil itself. Slope instability due to permafrost is directly influenced by climate change effects and could be detrimental to nearby populations and communities.
References: "Slope Instability." Heritage-Newfoundland and Labrador. Accessed May 06, 2017. http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/environment/slope-instability.php.
Nelson, Stephen A. "Slope Stability, Triggering Events, Mass Movement Hazards." Tulane EENS 3050. December 10, 2013. Accessed May 06, 2017. http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/Natural_Disasters/slopestability.htm.
Gruber, S., and W. Haeberli. "Permafrost in steep bedrock slopes and its temperature-related destabilization following climate change." JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH 112, no. F02S18 (June 8, 2007). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1029/2006JF000547/asset/jgrf280.pdf;jsessionid=4ACF5A28370C79D8882CD5745BE13C0B.f02t03?v=1&t=j2dliru8&s=9d3e555adabe5cef09dd53635b4830823d3afa9d.
The Medvezhye pipeline
The Medvezhye Pipeline is a pipeline built on the Medvezhye oil and gas field (Shabad). This naturally occurring gas field is located in Northern Siberia. Officials hoped the institution of the pipeline would provide industrial Russian communities with oil by the late 1970s. Siberia also signed contracts with Italy, France, and West Germany and agreed to provide natural gas in exchange for pipes. The pipeline was built in a sub-Arctic region with harsh weather and frozen ground and many worried that the pipeline would not be constructed according to schedule. The Medvezhye pipeline was constructed on warming, unstable permafrost. The pipeline was commissioned in 1972 and is Russia’s third most highly producing pipeline (Seligman). In 1977, a study was performed to measure pipe deformation due to warming permafrost conditions. No deformation was found due to the pipe’s thickness. As of 2011, the pipeline’s managers, Victoria Oil and Gas PLC, reported that the pipeline had 400 million barrels of oil in place (Victoria Oil and Gas). In continued monitoring and development of the pipeline, Victoria Oil and Gas also performed studies to determine possible new drilling and well sites, production infrastructure, and downstream hydrocarbon emissions effects. Victoria Oil and Gas also studied oil export from the pipeline to Siberia and other parts of Russia. Today, the pipeline is still a major source of oil and gas for Russia. A map of the Medvezhye oil and gas field can be found below. http://images.energy365dino.co.uk/standard/126082_7a87a50d3cd24d7da925.jpg
References: Selgiman, Ben J. "Long-Term Variability of Pipeline±Permafrost Interactions in North-West Siberia." PERMAFROST AND PERIGLACIAL PROCESSES, 22nd ser., 11, no. 5 (2000). Accessed May 05, 2017.
Shabad, Theodore. "Siberia Pipeline Crews Advance." The New York Times. September 21, 1971. Accessed May 06, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/1971/09/21/archives/siberia-pipeline-crews-advance-western-europe-to-buy-gas-delays-are.html?_r=0.
"Victoria Oil and Gas." West Medvezhye Operational Update | Victoria Oil and Gas. July 07, 2011. Accessed May 06, 2017. http://www.victoriaoilandgas.com/investors/news/west-medvezhye-operational-update.
West Medvezhye and Surrounding Areas.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Project began construction on March 27, 1975. The pipeline was constructed in response to the discovery of oil under the Purdhoe Bay (Alaska Public Lands Information Centers). The project was controversial because environmentalists worried about earthquakes and the effects on elk migrations (Wells). The pipeline is almost 800 miles long and includes pumping stations that connected other pipelines. The pipeline was constructed by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which was created by seven oil companies (Wells, Alaska Public Lands Information Centers). The pipeline is mostly below ground, except in areas of permafrost. The sections of pipe that were built above ground were built in a zigzag pattern to account for expansion due to temperature changes (Wells). In unseasonably warm areas, the pipeline is supported by two thicker “heat pipes.” The pipeline was completed on May 31, 1977 (Alaska Public Lands Information Centers). The pipeline first contained oil on June 20, 1977. The pipeline carries about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. In March of 1989, an oil tanker leaked over 260,000 barrels of oil into the Prince William Sound. This was the second largest oil spill in the United States. The spill covered 1300 miles of land and 11,000 miles of ocean. Images of the pipeline can be seen below. http://aoghs.org/transportation/trans-alaska-pipeline/
"Trans-Alaska Pipeline History." American Oil & Gas Historical Society. June 21, 2016. Accessed May 05, 2017. http://aoghs.org/transportation/trans-alaska-pipeline/.
"The Trans-Alaska Pipeline." The Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.alaskacenters.gov/the-alyeska-pipeline.cfm.
The Dempster Highway begins in the Yukon and ends in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (Government of Northwest Territories). It is the only Canadian highway that crosses the Arctic Circle (Northwest Territories Parks). The Dempster Highway was named for a Northwest Mounted Police officer Sgt. W.J.D. Dempster who traveled down this road in the winter of 1910 in search of a “Lost Patrol”. The Lost Patrol was a group of mounted police who lost their way on the way back to Fort McPherson and all members died (Yukon). The highway is entirely gravel except for the last 10 kilometers in Inuvik (Government of Northwest Territories). The Dempster Highway was started in 1959, but was not completed until 1979 (Yukon). The Dempster highway is known for its ecology, including caribou, sheep, eagles, falcons, butterflies, bears, coyotes, foxes, and others. The highway passes through Angelcomb Peak, or sheep mountain, which is the breeding ground for the Dall’s sheep. The highway passes a region of “drunken” boreal forest, which got its name because it is located on an area of shifting permafrost that continuously thaws and freezes. The Dempster Highway crosses 217 of Canada’s ecoregions. After 405.5 kilometers on the highway, travelers will reach the Arctic Circle. After 465 kilometers, the highway enters the Northwest Territories. The highway ends after 272 kilometers in the Northwest Territories in Inuvik. A full map of the Dempster Highway can be found below.
References: "Dempster Highway Travelogue." Yukon. Accessed May 05, 2017.
"Highway 8." Transportation-Government of Northwest Territories. Accessed May 05, 2017. http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway_System/NWTHwy8.
"Dempster Highway." Dempster Highway | Northwest Territories Parks. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://nwtparks.ca/explore/dempster-highway.
Northern Transportation Company Limited (NTCL)
Northern Transportation Company Limited, which began as Northern Waterways Limited, was a transportation company that assisted in the radium and uranium mining on Great Bear Lake (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre). The company had little assets including two barges and a tugboat. They were acquired by White Eagle Mines in 1934 and their name was changed to Northern Transportation Company Limited (NTCL). In 1936, NTCL was acquired by Eldorado Gold Mines Limited, which also used NTCL to service their mining sites. In 1937, NTCL purchased steel hulled boats for transport. An Eldorado mine closed in 1940, so NTCL began working on the Canol Project in 1942 to transport materials to build a new pipeline. In 1944, the Canadian government took control of NTCL and the company became the main transporter of uranium ore. NTCL took control over the Hudson Bay Company’s transport system in 1947. NTCL also assisted with construction of the DEW line. NTCL was sold to the Inuvaluit Development Corporation and Nunasi Corporation in 1985. NTCL’s main fleet was located at the Port of Hay River in 2015. NTCL was responsible for providing goods to 22 communities through specially designed shallow barges (Government of Canada). NTCL declared bankruptcy on December 30, 2016 and were acquired by Alvarez and Marsal Canada Inc.( Alvarez and Marsal Holdings, LLC).
References: "1934 Northern Transportation Company Limited." Historical Timeline of the Northwest Territories. Accessed May 05, 2017. http://www.nwttimeline.ca/1925/NTCL_1934.html.
"Northern Transportation Company Ltd." Alvarez & Marsal. January 03, 2017. Accessed May 05, 2017. https://www.alvarezandmarsal.com/NTCL#intro.
"Northern Transportation Company Limited." June 22, 2015. Accessed May 05, 2017.
Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line)
The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line was a chain of 63 radio and communication centers that spread from Alaska to the Canadian Arctic to Greenland. The DEW line was an American defense project to protect them from Russian threat. The DEW line was the first joint American and Canadian defense project (Lajeunesse). Because the majority of the project was paid for and spearheaded by the United States, Canada feared losing sovereignty in the Arctic. The United States did not wish to control Canadian land, but would control military forces in that region. Canada feared American presence and demanded that any American military air force bases be located away from densely populated areas. The DEW Line was functional by 1957. The DEW line was primarily controlled by the American Air Force, as the Canadian Air Force personnel did not have proper training or manpower to serve the DEW line. The Canadian presence on the DEW line was largely ceremonial to display Canadian approval and control of their land. The Canadian government pushed for the DEW Line to become NATO territory to minimize American dominance of the region, but this hope was never realized. In order to regain control over their Arctic territory, Canada constructed its own radar line called the Mid-Canada Line. Constructing their own line allowed Canada to regain recognition as a powerful ally and partner to the United States.
References: Lajeunesse, Adam. "The Distant Early Warning Line and the Canadian Battle for Public Perception." Canadian Military Journal. Accessed May 04, 2017. http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo8/no2/lajeunes-eng.asp.
Northwest Staging Route
The Northwest Staging Route was an airfield between Alaska and Alberta. The airfield was used for military personal to transfer supplies from Canada to Alaska in World War II (Christie). The string of airfields along the Northwest Staging Route were responsible for great contributions to the North American war effort. The earliest records of the Northwest Staging Route are from a survey by the Canadian Department of Transportation in 1935, but the Northwest Staging Route only consisted of a few airstrips by the 1940s. The Route was not used until right before the attack at Pearl Harbor. After the attack, America greatly increased their work on the Route and prepared the airfields due to fears that the Japanese would attack Alaska. The first few tests of the Northwest Staging Route airfields were unsuccessful and several planes were crashed in the process. The airfields were undeveloped and the pilots untrained. The Canadian government attempted to fix the Staging Route alone, but received pressure from the United States. Canada and the United States worked together on improving the airfields in 1943. Overtime, the Canadian government feared permanent United States presence along the Route. The two governments eventually came to an agreement where Canada would reimburse the United States for any permanent improvements to the airfields. At the conclusion of the war, the United States ceased military action in Canada. Canada then struggled with documentation of aircraft along the Northwest Staging Route, which was resolved after a conference with American air force members in August of 1943.
Reference: Christie, Carl A. "The Northwest Staging Route." Homefront in Alberta - The Northwest Staging Route. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://wayback.archive-it.org/2217/20101208171343/http://www.albertasource.ca/homefront/feature_articles/northwest_staging_route4.html.
York Boats are long, canoe-like, inland boats utilized in the 19th century for fur trading. The boats received their name because they were produced at the York Factory and travelled to inland fur trading posts and back to the York Factory (HBC). Contractors for the Hudson’s Bay Company built the York boats because the birch trees needed to build canoes were not prevalent in York (Morton). Because the Hudson’s Bay Company was already in competition with the North West Company to be the biggest trading company, they attempted to build a new type of boat. York boats soon surpassed canoes in the fur trading business because they could carry more goods. The boats were “clinker-built”, meaning that the heavy wood panels overlapped on the sides to make the boats strong (HBC). The boats were long with flat bottoms and the stern of the boat was angled upward at 45 degrees so that it was easy for the boats to be transferred into and out of water. Each boat fit 8 men, where 6 men paddled the boat down the river and two additional men steered the boat (Morton). Along with their ability to carry more goods, York boats were able to withstand harsh winters and could contact ice patches without destruction (HBC). York boats were no longer produced for trade after the 1870s, but are still used today for an annual heritage festival in Norway House, Manitoba. York boats can be seen below. http://www.hbcheritage.ca/hbcheritage/history/transportation/yorkboat/home
References: Hbc Heritage | The York Boat. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.hbcheritage.ca/hbcheritage/history/transportation/yorkboat/home.
Morton, W. L. "The York Boat." Manitoba Historical Society . June 30, 2009. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/pageant/02/yorkboat.shtml.
Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake is located near the Arctic Circle in the Norwest Territories (Kujawinski). Great Bear Lake is the eighth largest lake in the world and spans more than 12,000 square miles. The only residents near the Great Bear Lake are the Sahtuto’ine, which means the “Bear Lake people.” They reside in the town of Deline and the population is about 500. In March of 2016, Great Bear Lake was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, which acts to conserve the lake. Great Bear Lake is the first Biosphere Reserve to be controlled by an indigenous group. The Sahtuto’ine were granted self-government by the government of Canada and are now the sole people responsible for the happenings at Great Bear Lake. Great Bear Lake is a significant part of Sahtuto’ine culture. The Lake is viewed as essential for human life, based on a prophecy from the 1930s. The prophecy holds that the Great Bear Lake has the purest water in the world and that people will migrate from all over the world to drink its water and catch its fish. Climate change effects have already been witnessed at the Lake and locals believe that the prophecy will come true sooner than expected. These fears pushed the locals to have the lake preserved. Some locals believe that the Great Bear Lake gave life to every other lake and for that, it must be protected. Images of Great Bear Lake and its people can be found below: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/travel/great-bear-lake-arctic-unesco-biosphere-canada.html?_r=0
References: Kujawinski, Peter. "Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity." The New York Times. February 07, 2017. Accessed May 03, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/travel/great-bear-lake-arctic-unesco-biosphere-canada.html?_r=0.
Norman Wells is a small trading community located along the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories (Life in Norman Wells). Norman Wells was founded due to its natural resources. The oil seepages observed at the riverbank by Alexander Mackenzie were assumed to be oil spills; however, these oil deposits were an example of a non-renewable resource in Norman Wells. Reefs and sediments that once were in the ocean create oil, which seeps to the surface of riverbanks. Alexander Mackenzie first noticed the oil seepages in the 1700s, and three land claims were staked in 1914. The town of Norman Wells prospered after this discovery and Imperial Oil staked land claims in 1918 and drilled for oil. The oil production was small, but enough to supply local towns with oil. Today, Imperial Oil and the Canadian Government share ownership of the Norman Wells oil field and employ about 90 people from Norman Wells (Quenneville). In 1994, a Sahtu Land Claim Agreement was signed, giving the Hare, Sahtu Dene, Mountain Dene, and Metis ethnic groups ownership of some land parcels in Norman Wells (Life in Norman Wells). Today, Norman Wells contains two oil pipelines and is an area of commerce and tourism with a population of roughly 800 people. Norman Wells contains its own airstrip with flights that leave daily. Tourists visit Norman Wells to experience its diverse wildlife, including birds, moose, caribou, Dall’s sheep, grizzly bears, and a variety of fish. Images of Norman Wells can be found below: http://www.normanwells.com/lifestyle/gallery/canada-day-2010
References: "Life in Norman Wells." Normanwells. 2010. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.normanwells.com/lifestyle/life-norman-wells.
Quenneville, Guy. "Imperial Oil to suspend Norman Wells production due to continuing pipeline shutdown." CBCnews. January 26, 2017. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/imperial-oil-norman-wells-suspend-production-pipeline-1.3954051.
Yukon Gold Company
The Yukon Gold Company was a gold mining company during the late 19th century, extending into the 20th century. The Yukon Gold Company was a major player in the Klondike, or Yukon, Gold Rush. When the Klondike Gold Rush began, most of the mining was performed by hand. In order to create dredges, placer gold mining machines that extract gold from sand or dirt using water and mechanical methods, miners had to find financial support (Gates). The major mining companies during the early 1900s were the Yukon Gold Company and the Canadian Klondike Mining Company. These companies merged into the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation (YCGC), or “The Company,” in 1923. By 1934, The Company was operating five dredges (Bostock). As the YCGC expanded, individuals created smaller mini gold rushes along the Indian and Stewart Rivers. During the 1930s, the general manager of the YCGC planned to expand the company by adding three additional dredges and new support facilities (Yukon Consolidated Gold Company Limited). The YCGC was largely successful in the 1930s due to the prevalence of cheap labor and materials, but the beginning of World War II quickly stunted this growth. The price of gold dropped significantly and the YCGC only briefly recovered to their pre-war prices in the late 1940s. The price of labor and materials increased until the YCGC stopped operation in 1966. Images of the gold dregs can be found below.
References: Bostock, H. S. "The Mining Industry of Yukon, 1934." Canada Department of Mines Geological Survey, 2387th ser. (1935). Accessed May 03, 2017. http://yukondigitallibrary.ca/Publications/MiningIndustryYukon1934/Mining%20Industry%20of%20Yukon%201934.pdf
"Fonds yuk-971 - The Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation Limited fonds." The Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation Limited fonds - Alberta On Record. Accessed May 03, 2017. https://albertaonrecord.ca/yukon-consolidated-gold-corporation-limited-fonds.
Gates, Michael. Yukon News. September 02, 2011. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://www.yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/when-the-monster-machines-ruled-the-creeks
Methy Portage, also known as Portage La Loche, is a passageway between the Churchill and Athabasca Rivers (Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan). The portage was the main connection between the Hudson Bay drainage area and the Athabasca-Mackenzie (Marchildon). Many traders and explorers crossed this path. The portage has 19 kilometers of flat level land before travelers reached a vertical 180 meter drop into the Clearwater River (Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan). Because the path was arduous, traders usually only spent about 2 kilometers on the portage. The portage made trading easier in terms of location, but the strenuous path made carrying furs and other goods difficult (Marchildon 112). Men crossing the portage would often have to carry their canoes along the portage. Owners of trading companies had difficulty maintaining a crew to carry goods across the portage. In the 1830s, The Council of the Northern Department banned the hiring of Indians at the portage, which many chose to ignore (Marchildon 114). In 1842, horses were introduced to carry the load, but the horses often died of emaciation. In 1850, oxen were common for moving goods along the portage. In 1870, the cart road was rebuilt. In 1883, the portage was no longer needed because of the invention of steamboats (Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan).
References: Marchildon, Gregory P. The Early Northwest. University of Regina Press, 2008. Accessed April 26, 2017.
Russell, Dale. "Portage la Loche." The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan . Accessed May 03, 2017. http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/portage_la_loche.html.
The Yukon Territory is a small, western Canadian territory with a rich history, including records dating back to 10,000 years go. In the Yukon Territory, there are a variety of languages spoken including Vunut Gwitchin, Han, Tutchone, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Upper Tanana, Kaska, Tagish, and Tlingit (Pinnacle Travel). Another small ethnic group that is French-speaking remains from those who migrated from the Gold Rush. In the late 1700s, the Yukon became a major trading area between Tlingit and other Yukon people (Government of Yukon). In 1852, Tlingit traders pushed the Hudson Bay Company out of the Yukon in 1852. In 1886, a trading post was established at the Stewart River and coarse gold was found at the Fortymile River and the Yukon Gold Rush began. In 1898, the Yukon Territory Act was passed to consider the Yukon as separate from the North-West Territories, with Dawson City as its capital. In 1972, Elijah Smith and some of the Yukon First Nations tribe went to Ottawa seeking land claims. The final agreement, The Umbrella Agreement, was signed in 1993 and was signed by the governments of Canada and Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations. The Yukon First Nations’ final land claim was complete in 1995. In 2003, the Devolution Transfer Agreement was passed, allowing the Yukon government more control over provincial programming and powers.
References: "Government of Yukon." History - Government of Yukon- Government of Yukon. January 5, 2015. Accessed May 07, 2017. http://www.gov.yk.ca/aboutyukon/history.html.
"Pinnacle Marketing Management Inc." Pinnacle Travel. Accessed May 07, 2017. https://www.pinnacle-travel.org/yukon-culture-history/.
Permafrost is ground that is permanently frozen. Permafrost contains soil, sand, and gravel, which are held together by ice (National Geographic). Permafrost can extend deep into the Earth, ranging in depths from 1 to 1000 meters. Frozen ground can be considered permafrost if it is frozen continuously at a temperature less than 0 degrees Celsius for two or more years (International Permafrost Association). Permafrost is common to places where temperatures stay below freezing, such as Siberia, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, among others (National Geographic). Permafrost can be continuous or discontinuous. Continuous permafrost is a solid sheet of permafrost, like in Siberia. Discontinuous permafrost exists when some permafrost areas remain frozen all year, but other areas of permafrost melt for a brief period of time during the summer. Such discontinuous permafrost exists in Canada. The melting of permafrost can be dangerous due to increased water levels and levels of erosion when the soil, gravel, and sand are no longer held together by ice. Measuring the temperature of deep permafrost can provide information about temperature changes in a region due to climate change (International Permafrost Association). In the 21st century, permafrost research had focused on monitoring the boundaries of permafrost and identifying melt regions. When permafrost melts, it melts from the top and bottom simultaneously. Areas of discontinuous permafrost create the most concern when considering climate change effects. Areas of continuous permafrost are not expected to melt for a very long period. Current permafrost research focuses on areas where permafrost is thin, as these areas are most likely to create issues for infrastructure.
References: "What is Permafrost?" International Permafrost Association. Accessed May 04, 2017. http://ipa.arcticportal.org/publications/occasional-publications/what-is-permafrost.
"Permafrost." National Geographic Society. October 09, 2012. Accessed May 04, 2017. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/permafrost/.
thermal degradation of the permafrost
Thermal degradation is the process of the breaking of molecules due to heating (Zeus). In Arctic regions, thermal degradation can occur to permafrost. This can lead to uneven snowmelt and ground instability (Grandpre). The ground instability affects any infrastructure built on permafrost, including roads, buildings, or piping systems. Uneven melting of the permafrost can create holes or indentations in roadways. A study by the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences in 2011 showed that heat transfer from groundwater movement can increase the rate of thermal degradation of permafrost. In areas where wildfires are prevalent, thermal degradation of permafrost is an even greater issue (Jafarov). Climate change effects change the patterns and prevalence of forest fires. A study performed for Environmental Research Letters found that under conditions of severe fire in an upland forest where no other climate change effects are present, 18 meters of permafrost can degrade in 120 years. In lowland forests, permafrost is more resilient to thermal degradation and these effects were not found. Wildfires affect permafrost because they burn the organic layer of soil and the rate of permafrost melt is directly impacted by how much of the organic layer is burned. If a thick organic soil layer is present and the fire is short-lived, the permafrost may not melt. Climate change also increases the rate of thermal degradation in permafrost. Temperatures in northern high latitude regions are expected to rise by 2.5 to 7 degrees Celsius. The thermal degradation of permafrost is important not only due to increased carbon emissions in the air and oceans, but also for its negative effects of infrastructure.
References: Grandpré, Isabelle De, Daniel Fortier, and Eva Stephani. "Degradation of permafrost beneath a road embankment enhanced by heat advected in groundwater." Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. August 01, 2012. Accessed May 06, 2017. http://cjes.geoscienceworld.org/content/49/8/953.
Jafarov, E. E., V. E. Romanovsky, H. Genet, A. D. McGuire, and S. S. Marchenko. "The effects of fire on the thermal stability of permafrost in lowland and upland black spruce forests of interior Alaska in a changing climate." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 3 (August 27, 2013). Accessed May 06, 2017. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035030/pdf.
"Thermal Degradation of Plastics." Zeus Industrial Products Inc. 2005. Accessed May 06, 2017.
- discontinuous permafrost
- Trans-Alaska Pipeline
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Klondike Gold Rush
- Yukon Consolidated Gold Company Limited
- gas field
- Canadian air force
- land claims
- oil field
- Angelcomb Peak
- Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
- Lost Patrol
- York Factory
- Methy Portage
- thermal degradation
- slope instability
- Cold War
- Imperial Oil
- Yukon First Nations
- York boats
- American air force
- Northwest Staging Route
- Medvezhye pipeline
- oil seepages
- Alexander Mackenzie
- ground instability
- Distant Early Warning Line
- Yukon Gold Company
- Yukon Gold Rush
- steep bedrock
- Eldorado Gold Mines Limited
- Arctic Circle
- Dempster Highway
- tug boat
- continuous permafrost
- oil spill
- Norman Wells
- Portage La Loche
- Northern Transportation Company Limited
- Unesco Biosphere Reserve
- Great Bear Lake
- World War II
- Apr 2017
Sir Alexander Mackenzie was a Scottish man famous for his North American expeditions. Mackenzie was a fur trader and explorer, who originally resided at the North West Company trading post. Mackenzie is famous for believing in the existence of the Northwest Passage, an Alaskan canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Northwest Passage would provide opportunities for trade (PBS). In 1789, Mackenzie organized a crew of French-Canadian explorers and Native American interpreters to travel by canoe from Fort Chipewyan in search for the Northwest Passage. This expedition helped to create records of the northern parts of North America in the Arctic, rather than prove the existence of a Northwest Passage. In 1973, Mackenzie led a second voyage from Fort Fork along the Peace River. Mackenzie’s crew crossed the Rocky Mountains to the Fraser River. Mackenzie relied on Native Americans for support and guidance throughout his travels. Shuswap Indians warned the crew of the dangers of the river, causing Mackenzie’s crew to take a shorter route overland (CBC). Mackenzie’s party eventually reached the Pacific Ocean and encountered the Bella Coola Indians, who were upset about the presence of Mackenzie’s crew. Despite the concern of an attack from the Bella Coola Indians, Mackenzie became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico on land. Lewis and Clark did not reach the coast until 1805(PBS). King George III knighted Alexander Mackenzie in 1802 for his efforts and success in traversing the North American continent.
"Alexander Mackenzie-From Canada, by Land." CBCnews. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPCONTENTSE1EP6CH3PA4LE.html.
"Empire of the Bay: Alexander Mackenzie." PBS. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.pbs.org/empireofthebay/profiles/mackenzie.html.
Great Slave Lake
The Great Slave Lake was found in 1771 by Samuel Hearne (Ernst). Many others passed through during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896-1899, but the region surrounding the Great Slave Lake remained greatly unoccupied. In 1930, a radioactive uranium mineral called pitchblende, or uraninite, was discovered on the shore of the Great Slave Lake and incentivized colonizers. 1934, gold was discovered on Yellowknife Bay, which led to a Yellowknife community settlement. Today, additional communities in this region include Hay River, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, and Behchoko. The Great Slave Lake is the fifth largest lake is North America and is part of the Mackenzie River System. The Lake gets its name from a tribe of Native Americans called Slavery First Nations (National Geographic). This tribe fished for sustenance and did not explore farther than their immediate surroundings. Their neighbors, the Cree, thought the tribe was weak and often called them awonak, which means slaves. Explorer Peter Pond named the lake the Slave Lake in 1785 and then the Great Slave Lake in 1790. The Lake is known for its variety of types of fish, including trout, pike, and Arctic grayling. The Great Slave Lake is covered in snow and ice 8 months out of the year. The Great Slave Lake region is also the home to the largest intact forest in the world, the Boreal Forest, which contains evergreens, bogs, shallow lakes, and ponds (Pala). This Great Slave Lake cove is the habitat for caribou, waterfowl, beavers, and many fish species.
Ernst, Chloe. "The History and Sites of Great Slave Lake: A Visitor's Guide.” PlanetWare.com. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.planetware.com/northwest-territories/great-slave-lake-cdn-nt-ntgs.htm.
National Geographic, February 2002, 1. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed April 5, 2017). http://find.galegroup.com/grnr/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=6f8f4a3faafd67e66fa023866730b0a1&prodId=GRNR&userGroupName=bucknell_it&tabID=T003&docId=A83374988&type=retrieve&PDFRange=%5B%5D&contentSet=IAC-Documents&version=1.0.
Pala, Christopher. "Forests forever. (Forest conservation in Canada)." Earth Island Journal, September 22, 2010.
Fort Chipewyan is located on the northwest shore of Lake Athabasca. Fort Chipewyan was founded in 1788 by the Northwest Trading Company and is the oldest settlement in Alberta (Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo). The North West Company and Hudson Bay companies established the first fur trading post at Fort Chipewyan because of its proximity to three rivers (Alberta Museum Association). These rivers provided easy opportunity for trade. Today, Fort Chipewyan has 1,261 residents made up of Mikisew Cree First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Metis ethnic groups. Trapping and fishing are popular resident activities, which continue Fort Chipewyan’s longstanding tradition that was established by the original trading post. Lake Chipewyan is a tourist destination that gives opportunity for visitors to enjoy the outdoors and visit a professional sized synthetic ice rink (Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo). Fort Chipewyan is isolated by water and can only be reached by visitors in a plane or boat during the summer months. In the winter, an ice road can be used to access Fort Chipewyan. In 2009, a recreation center was created with an ice rink, fitness center, youth center, playground, and office space, which led to increased community involvement (Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre). In 2016, an aquatic center, including pools and a water park, was opened for community use. Since it’s original establishment, Fort Chipewyan has created community development and fostered tradition.
"Fort Chipewyan." Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.rmwb.ca/living/Communities/Fort-Chipewyan.htm.
"Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre." Fort Chipewyan Aquatic Centre | Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.rrcwb.ca/fort-chip-aquatic.
"Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum." Alberta Museum Association - Museums. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://public.museums.ab.ca/museums.cfm?ItemID=46
Pointed Mountain pipeline
The Pointed Mountain Pipeline is a 34.2-mile long natural gas pipeline that connects a dehydration plant at Beaver River in British Columbia, with another plant at Pointed Mountain in the Northwest Territories (Landeen, Brandt). The pipeline extends across British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. The pipeline crosses the Kotaneelee and La Biche Rivers. Construction on the pipeline began January 24, 1972 and the pipeline was completed in March of 1972, but was not in operation. Throughout the construction of the pipeline, scientists worried about the environmental factors of the pipeline, such as permafrost melting, bank instability, and siltation of rivers. The pipeline was built through a permafrost region. Because the natural gas has the ability to melt the permafrost, weights were attached to the pipe to prevent it from surfacing. Scientists were concerned about bank instability due to erosion when the pipeline crossed the Kotaneelee River. Sandbags supported the pipeline in order to increase stability. Drainage pipes were also added to prevent erosion. Scientists were also concerned about the high water levels in the rivers during spring thaw. The pipes were placed in a deep trench, surrounded by concrete to prevent rising of the pipes during flooding. The trench then fills in with water to prevent river overflow. A map showing the installation of the pipeline can be found below:
Landeen, B. A., and W. C. Brandt. "Impressions on the construction of the Pointed Mountain Gas Pipeline." Environment Canada Fisheries and Marine Service, November 1975. Accessed April 06, 2017. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/15011.pdf
North West Company
The North West Company (NWC) was founded in 1779 in Montreal, Canada by a group of men from Scotland (The North West Company). The company was created in competition with the already established Hudson Bay Company (HBC). Both companies were fur traders, but the NWC had swift, lightweight boats that allowed them to travel faster than the HBC and the NWC became the leading fur trading company. The success of the NWC relied on merchant partners, agents, voyageurs, and aboriginal trappers. In 1821, NWC and HBC combined resources and became The Hudson’s Bay Company (The Company), with a total of 173 fur trading posts. This merger allowed Britain to retain control over the western provinces of Canada. In 1881, The Company moved toward agriculture and land and transportation development. In 1935, radiotelephone technology became available and The Company received increasing demand from a larger service region. This led to a period of technological advancement. In 1943, Northern Canada was open and many migrated to the area in search of wealth and opportunity. The Company opened community based retail stores in an effort to increase profit and namesake. As advertisements became abundant, the demand for retail stores increased. In 1953, The Company began trading Inuit art at its regional trading posts, which introduced a new art form. In 1987, the Northern trading posts, entitled the Northern Stores Division, were purchased and renamed The North West Company. A complete timeline of the history of the North West Company can be found below.
"History, About Us, The North West Company." The North West Company. Accessed April 06, 2017. Description
- trading post
- Slavery First Nations
- NorthWest trading company
- North West Company
- Fort Chipewyan
- fur trading
- Pointed Mountain pipeline
- Hudson Bay Company
- Northwest Passage
- Mackenzie River System
- Beaver River
- Alexander Mackenzie
- Great Slave Lake
- Mar 2017
Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary
The Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary is 600 square kilometers of land located in the Mackenzie Delta, bordering the Beaufort Sea. The topography of the sanctuary is beaches with open water, tundra lowlands, and freshwater lakes. The sanctuary was started in 1961 as a home for Lesser Snow Geese. Now, the sanctuary houses over 100 bird species including Lesser Snow Geese, White-fronted Geese, Black Brants, Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, and other songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Lesser Snow Goose reside on small islands in the northwest section of the sanctuary, while Greater White-fronted Geese, Black Brants, Tundra Swans, Sandhill Cranes, and dabbling ducks roam throughout the entire sanctuary. Some endangered shorebirds, such as Hudsonian Godwits and Long-billed Dowitchers nest in and migrate through the sanctuary. The sanctuary serves as a place of protection for migratory birds and their offspring; however, permits to enter Kendall Island Migratory bird Sanctuary can be obtained. Inuvialuit have the right to access the land without permit for the sole reason of subsistence hunting. No other person or group is permitted to hunt or capture migratory birds, their eggs, or their offspring without specific permission by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Destroying or removing the nest of a migratory bird is also prohibited under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations. The sanctuary is managed and owned by the Canadian Wildlife Service-Prairie and Northern Region. The Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary serves to house and protect over 400,000 birds and their offspring in order to address detrimental climate change and environmental effects that have already affected Kendall Island as a whole (Government of Canada 2016).
Source: Government of Canada. "Environment and Climate Change Canada - Nature - Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary." Government of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada. April 25, 2016. Accessed March 05, 2017. https://www.ec.gc.ca/ap-pa/default.asp?lang=En&n=A885ADAF-1.
Beaufort Sea Project
The Beaufort Sea Project for Climate Change began as a research project in Canada in 2002. The project was started by Magdalena A.K. Muir and Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists with support from the Fisheries and Joint Management Committee and governmental organizations. The focus of the project from 2002 to 2007 was to study the effects of climate change on marine mammals and fish in the Beaufort Sea. In conjunction, the research studied the effects of using, managing, and allocating marine resources. After 2008, the research has focused on identifying species of marine wildlife that could be at risk in the future due to overfishing and climate change related effects. This research continues to study the effects of climate change on the health of marine species and management of marine resources. The management of these resources includes gaining species knowledge, setting limits on the number of marine mammals and fish that are allowed to be captured and killed per year, and enforcing legislature about managing marine resources. Specifically, researchers are studying the effects of climate change in marine mammal migrations patterns. The specific environmental effects are changes in the fresh water Mackenzie River inputs, sea and land ice, and water circulation. Researchers plan to use these changes to catalogue direct effects of climate change on migration. Sea and land ice changes will be detrimental to ice dependent animals. This research will provide information for scientists, researchers, organizations, charities, and government officials so that appropriate laws and regulations can be established (Muir n.d.).
Muir, Magdalena A.K. "Beaufort Sea Project for Climate Change." Arctic Institute of North America. Accessed March 05, 2017. http://arctic.ucalgary.ca/beaufort-sea-project-climate-change.
Canadian Arctic Resources Committee
The Canadian Arctic Resource Committee (CARC) is an organization that is run by and serves the citizens of Canada in regard to environmental and social changes. CARC was originally developed in 1987 in response to The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Proposal and contributed significantly to the Commissioner’s Inquiry. CARC has been involved in subsequent pipeline initiatives on the quest to find an optimal, sustainable solution. If it had been successful, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline would be the largest infrastructure in the North. CARC assisted in stopping the implementation of this pipeline due to the environmental detriments, which are further described in Chapter 6 (CARC-Canadian Arctic Resource Committee 2017). CARC works to defend and protect the interests of natives and residents of Canada. CARC encourages northern development, while still maintaining the natural landscape and environmental advantages that native people depend upon. CARC acts as a mediator between governmental advancement and native opinions in order to protect both interests and assist in creating appropriate legislature. After its creation, CARC worked on a national treaty for toxic chemicals and ensured that the Canadian diamond mines were made to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. CARC works as an advocate for Northern natives and develops policy for conscientious use of Arctic resources. CARC supports industrialization and development that works with the environmental conditions and contributes positively to the lives of those who reside in that area. In order to help developers understand native land claims, CARC provides cultural information about native peoples. In addition, CARC releases publications including Northern Perspectives, Northern Minerals Program, Compass, and Voices from the Bay, which provide context into the main issues facing the Arctic and its people (Canadian Arctic Resources Committee 2010).
Sources: "About CARC." Canadian Arctic Resources Committee. 2010. Accessed March 05, 2017. http://www.carc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=181.
"CARC-Canadian Arctic Resources Committee Inc." CanadaHelps. 2017. Accessed March 06, 2017. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/carc-canadian-arctic-resources-committee-inc/
Banks Island is the 5th largest western Arctic island in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The island was discovered by Lieutenant Frederick Beechey on Sir William Parry’s expedition in 1820. Parry named the island after Sir Joseph Banks, who was the president of the Royal Society in England. The island was first inhabited by Europeans in 1850 by the crew of Robert McClure after their ship, the Investigator got trapped. His men inhabited the island for two months before they were discovered and rescued. The island has been inhabited for different periods of time for roughly 3000 years by the Pre-Dorset, Thule, and Copper Inuit people, but now mainly houses trappers (Marsh 2010). Banks Island is well known for its wildlife, including Arctic foxes, wolves, caribou, polar bears, and a diverse bird population (Encyclopedia Britannica 2005). A bird sanctuary is located on Banks Island to protect bird breeding grounds from physical disturbances associated with thawing permafrost (Banks Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary n.d.). Banks Island is bordered by the Beaufort Sea, Amundsen Gulf, McClure Strait, and Prince of Wales Strait, as shown on the attached map. The topography of Banks Island varies between a northern and southern plateaus and low lands in between. Many glacier lakes can be found on Banks Island due to glacier erosion (Marsh 2010). Map: Description
Sources: “Banks Island.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. May 19, 2005. Accessed March 04, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/place/Banks-Island.
Marsh, James H. "Banks Island." The Canadian Encyclopedia. November 30, 2010. Accessed March 04, 2017. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/banks-island/.
"Banks Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (NT017)." Banks Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (NT017). Accessed March 04, 2017. http://www.ibacanada.ca/mobile/site.jsp?siteID=NT017.
- mackenzie valley pipeline
- Canadian Arctic Resource Committee
- subsistence hunting
- Beaufort Sea
- Bird sanctuary
- marine resources
- migratory bird sanctuary
- marine mammals
- Climate Change