Rivers directly link the land and the ocean by delivering freshwater, heat, nutrients, and carbon to the coastal system. Observing river systems is therefore key to understanding the impacts of terrestrial environmental change on Arctic ocean health. This project aims to enhance our capacity to directly observe the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of rivers across the Kitikmeot Region by developing in-situ observational systems (“river moorings”) to carry out these measurements continuously. These river moorings will provide the first time series observations of river physical and biogeochemical parameters in the Kitikmeot Region, observations that are crucial to understanding and predicting the impacts of terrestrial change on the Kitikmeot marine system.
This project proposes to deploy four (4) autonomous observational systems (moorings) in rivers throughout the Kitikmeot Region for the continuous measurement of physical and biogeochemical properties of these rivers over the summers of 2018, 2019, and 2020. Moorings will record measurements of the river’s physical conditions, including temperature, conductivity, and water level, as well as biogeochemical parameters, including dissolved oxygen content, turbidity (cloudiness), and coloured dissolved organic material (CDOM) concentration.
The proposed project has three main parts: (1) deployment; (2) recovery; and (3) assessment for future applications.
Deployment: River moorings will be deployed within four (4) rivers throughout the Kitikmeot Region, including the Tree River, Hood River, Burnside River, and Western River. Each river mooing will be deployed from a float plane, within the river’s main channel, close to the river mouth. Each mooring will be held in place by a river-bottom anchor, as well as a shore line fixed with a metal stake. In the event that proposed flight plans do not permit us to deploy all four (4) moorings around Bathurst Inlet, we propose to deploy one of the moorings in the Coppermine River using a small aluminum boat. If deployed, the location of the mooring placement in the Coppermine River will be determined in collaboration with the Kugluktuk Hunters' and Trappers' Organization and positioned so as not to interfere with local use of the river over the summer months.
Recovery: After approximately 2-months of measurements, river moorings will be completely removed from all four river locations. Access to the sites for recovery will be carried out either by float plane or by a small aluminum boat.
Assessment: A primary goal of this project is to develop observational arrays that can be used by community-directed research programs in Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay to inform community concerns around environmental stewardship. Lessons learned during the development, deployment, and recovery of the river mooring arrays will be discussed with local community groups to develop river mooring systems that directly meet community monitoring needs.
This project contributes directly to Polar Knowledge Canada’s research priorities to collect observations on the present state of the Kitikmeot Marine Region. Results from this project will be shared with the communities of Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay, as facilitated through local contacts such as the Kugluktuk HTO, Cambridge Bay HTO, and Canadian High Arctic Research Station.
Summary of Modifications:
We wish to modify our current permit 148835 (Monitoring Seasonal Environmental Change in Rivers of the Kitikmeot Region) to include the Coppermine River as a potential site to place one (1) of the four (4) river moorings described in the original permit. In the event that our flight plans do not permit us to deploy all four (4) moorings around Bathurst Inlet, we'd like to amend our permit to include the Coppermine River as a potential location for mooring placement. The Kugluktuk Hunters' and Trappers' Organization will be consulted to determine the best location to place the river mooring to collect observations of river physical and geochemical properties from July to September. The proposed location would be upstream of the mouth, in the main stem, and positioned so as not to interfere with local use of the river over the summer months. The Coppermine River mooring design will be the same as what has been described in the original permit, with deployment and recovery carried out with by small aluminum boat. We also request for our permit to be extended until the end of 2020.