Project Dashboard


  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Scientific Research

  • Project Name:

    Keewatin Glacial Dynamics

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Regulatory Authorities

The landscapes we see today in northern Canada are a product of what happened during and since ancient glaciations. Whether it is the land, the forests or the animals, everything evolved with the rhythm of growth and decay of the ice sheets. It is therefore important to understand the history of these glaciation and deglaciation cycles to provide a context for studies on climate change, archeology, geology, ecology, etc. Much is known about these glaciations in the south, but in northern Canada, extensive regions remain poorly studied because of their remoteness and hence knowledge there is limited. Therefore, the Geological Survey of Canada initiated in 2022 a 4-year research project to compile and understand the history of ancient glaciations in mainland Nunavut and Northwest Territories. The project titled “Synthesis of the glacial dynamics of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the west-central Keewatin” and led by GSC researchers Janet Campbell and Etienne Brouard, aims to provide the age of the glacial terrains and the composition of materials that lay over bedrock. The project also aims to map the glacial landforms using satellite imagery and to model glacial history using new and published data. This knowledge will help to show how sediments were transported by ice and help trace how glaciers disappeared. To provide the data for the study, two 2.5-weeks fieldwork seasons have been planned: one from July 27th to August 13th, 2023, and one in 2024. The area of interest extends along the NWT border, southwest of Baker Lake, stretching from the east part of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary to north of Ennadai Lake. The field work will be based out of Tukto Lodge, Mosquito Lake, NWT (closest accommodation to the field area) with the entire crew returning to the lodge at the end of each day. The field survey will be supported by one helicopter stationed and refueling at the lodge. There will also be 2 small fuel caches of 5 sealed drums located outside of the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary and will be removed at the end of the fieldwork. To access sites on the ground, the helicopter will fly high (>1000 ft) to avoid disturbance to wildlife. Field work at each site will involve making observations, collecting GPS locations and hand-held compass measurements, taking photographs, and collecting samples of surface earth materials. Small soil samples will be collected with a hand shovel and small bedrock samples from will be taken using a small rock saw. The soil sample holes will be filled in. Hence, minimal environmental, wildlife and human impact will result from the proposed field work. A field assistant or wildlife monitor from one of the communities is proposed if available. Field work will be followed by analytical, compilation and publication work in Ottawa. All data will be published in geodatabase and shapefile formats and will be available in future on NRCan open geoscience portal. Results will be shared with affected communities digitally, in print form, and by in-person sharing sessions upon request.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • NOI Issued 2023-06-26
  • SDR Issued 2023-06-26
  • Board voting 2023-06-22
  • Board voting 2023-06-08
  • Extention to Screening Deadline requested 2023-06-02
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2023-05-24
  • Commenting period 2023-05-24
  • Application screening started 2023-04-21
  • Transboundary
  • Kivalliq
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