Project Dashboard

Investigating the Devon Ice Cap subglacial lakes (149426)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: Amendment
Proponent name: Siobhan
Company: University of Waterloo
Schedule:
Start Date: 2021-04-01
End Date: 2021-07-31
Operation Type: Seasonal
Project Description:
A recent study revealed the first evidence for a hypersaline subglacial lake complex beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic using airborne geophysical survey methods. These lakes are salty enough that they can exist at temperatures of -10.50C where freshwater would rapidly freeze. As such, the lakes are globally unique and may represent a microbial habitat, which makes them compelling targets to ask fundamental questions about the existence, evolution and diversity of life in extreme environments on Earth and on other icy planetary bodies in the Solar System. The airborne geophysical data collected to date is highly effective at locating the upper surface of the lakes however, the airborne geophysical signals cannot penetrate through the lake. Therefore, to map the lake thickness, properties (e.g. salinity) and investigate the structure beneath the lake, multiple surface-based geophysical methods must be used. On Devon Ice Cap we plan to acquire three ground-based geophysical techniques: acoustics to map the lake thickness, time-domain electromagnetics to determine the lake properties, and magnetotellurics to investigate the structure and hydrology system beneath the lakes. Additional, the field team who are working on the Devon Ice Cap project are also part of a major geothermal energy initiative funded by NSERC. Geothermal energy can provide an efficient and low carbon source of energy. In the Canadian Arctic, ongoing research is investigating how subsurface heat could be used in Nunavut for direct heating of buildings which would greatly reduce oil and gas consumption. The electromagnetic instruments can image the subsurface to ~2 km depths and greatly assist in the selection of locations for drilling geothermal wells. This geophysical survey around Resolute Bay would also provide opportunities for outreach to the community and school.
Summary of Modifications:
- Change in geophysical data acquisition: The previous fieldwork used airborne geophysical surveying methods. For this project, we plan to use non invasive ground-based geophysical methods: acoustics, time-domain electromagnetics and magnetotellurics. - Remote field camp: Previous fieldwork was based out of the Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) in Resolute Bay. For this project, we will perform the ground-based surveys from a field camp on Devon Ice Cap. Our camps are minimal with no permanent buildings or structures. To minimize the impacts of our research activities every effort is made to keep the camp clean. - Water use: We estimate a total water use for our five person field party of 0.15 cu m/day (for ~16 days in the field). Melted snow is used to provide water for domestic use.
Personnel:
Persons: 5
Days: 27
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
6938 polygon New project geometry
Planning Regions:
Kivalliq
Affected Areas and Land Types
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
NRI: Scientific Research Licence
NWB: Approval to Use Water/Deposit Water Without a Licence
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Equipment
Type Quantity Size Use
Twin Otter on wheel skies 1 - Mobilize and de-mobilize 5 personnel and equipment to and from field camp
Time-domain electromagnetic 1 - PROTEM 67 used to image the resistivity and salinity of the subglacial lakes
magnetotellurics 1 - To investigate the structure and hydrology system beneath the subglacial lakes
PEG-40kg propelled weight drop and 48 geophones 1 - Used to image and map the thickness of the subglacial lake
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Diesel 1 55 Gallons Diesel heater for camp
Gasoline 2 55 Gallons Generators and 2 skidoos
Propane 1 100 Lbs For cooking
Other 1 10 Liters Skidoo oil for 2 skidoos
Other 1 6 Liters Motor oil
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
36 Melting snow Snow accumulated on Devon Ice cap
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
none
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Sewage (human waste) 5 people for 16 days We will use commode field bags to be taken back to Resolute Bay. We will use commode field bags to be taken back to Resolute Bay.
Category: Imported geometry - proect geometry
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18040
Document Size: 0.24 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - License/ Authorization
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18045
Document Size: 126.99 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18041
Document Size: 12.45 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18042
Document Size: 24.7 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18043
Document Size: 1448.42 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2020-11-12
Originator: Siobhan
Public Registry ID: 18044
Document Size: 2034 Kb
2020-11-11 18:20:27, from: Goump Djalogue
 Hi, Could you please fill out the North Baffin Questionnaire? Also, I am wondering if you do not need the Nunavut Research Institute license for this project? If you do, please add it as well in the authorizing agencies section. Thanks

2020-11-12 05:18:06, from: Siobhan
 Thanks a lot for letting me know and apologies for missing this out. I have completed the questionnaire and the rest of the form for our proposed work and uploaded our project proposal technical and non-technical documents. Please let me know if there is anything else I have missed out. Thanks a lot! Siobhan

NORTH BAFFIN QUESTIONAIRE

GENERAL
Environmental Protection:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.
YES

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.
YES

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.
YES

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.
YES

Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?
YES

Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?
YES

Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified
YES

Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?
YES

HERITAGE RESOURCES
Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?
YES

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Scientific Research:
s3.9.3: Does the project proposal involve scientific research?
YES
If yes, will the applicant integrate all available and relevant local and traditional knowledge when conducting its research?
YES

Consultation with Nunavut Research Institute:
s3.9.5: Has the applicant consulted with the Nunavut Research Institute about research topics that would benefit or interest local residents?
NO
ii. If no, explain why.
Not yet, however we expect the Resolute Bay geothermal project will be of interest to the local residents and we will communicate our plans and any results to the Nunavut Research Institute.
Local Services and Local Employment:
s3.9.4: Will the applicant rely on local services and employment where possible?
YES
i. Describe the services retained and the people to be employed.
Additional, the field team who are working on the Devon Ice Cap project are also part of a major geothermal energy initiative funded by NSERC and ongoing research is investigating how subsurface heat could be used in Nunavut for direct heating of buildings. After the Devon ice cap field work we plan to acquire an electromagnetic survey around Resolute Bay which would provide outreach to the local community and school and potentially some local services.

Communication on Scientific Research:
s3.2.8: The applicant will, at minimum, translate a summary of its work into Inuktitut and communicate with communities using language that is clear and non-technical. The results of all scientific re
YES