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, 2020 and 2021. 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, the Coppermine River and Freshwater Creek are proposed as alternative locations, with mooring deployments conducted using small aluminum boats. If deployed, the location of mooring placements in the Coppermine River and Freshwater Creek will be determined in collaboration with the Kugluktuk Hunters' and Trappers' Organization and the Cambridge Bay Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, respectively, and positioned so as not to interfere with local use of the rivers 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 NPC#149146 [Monitoring Seasonal Environmental Change in Rivers of the Kitikmeot Region; original file NPC #148835] to include Freshwater Creek as another potential site to place one (1) of the four (4) river moorings described in the original permit. Our flight plans are not yet confirmed for the 2020 summer field season, so in the event that we are not able to access river sites in Bathurst Inlet (Tree River, Burnside River, Hood River, Western River), we'd like to amend our permit to include Freshwater Creek as another potential location for mooring placement. This would provide another mooring location with easy access from a community (in addition to the Coppermine River, which was added with our previous permit amendment; NPC File # 149146), where mooring deployment and recovery would not require the use of aircraft. The Cambridge Bay Hunters' and Trappers' Organization will be consulted to determine the best location to place the river mooring in Freshwater Creek to collect observations 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 Freshwater Creek mooring design will be the same as what has been described in the original permit (NPC #148835), with deployment and recovery carried out with by small aluminum boat. We also request to extend the duration of this project to the end of September 2021.