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Preliminary examination of glacial-marine coupling in a seasonally ice covered High Arctic Fjord (149655)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: David Babb
Company: University of Manitoba
Start Date: 2022-04-06
End Date: 2022-04-20
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
As part of Dr. Dorthe Dahl-Jensen’s Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program in Arctic Ice, Freshwater-Marine Coupling, and Climate Change, we at the Centre for Earth Observation Science of the University of Manitoba are focused on improving our understanding of glacial-marine coupling. These two systems are coupled through both the atmosphere (e.g., moisture fluxes and snow deposition) and the marine system (e.g., glacial discharge of both solid and liquid freshwater). As the Arctic warms, sea ice and glaciers are both in a state of decline, hence the interactions between these two systems are being rapidly modified, with changes to precipitation patterns and freshwater discharge further affecting biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes. One issue with studying these processes is finding a suitable study area that is accessible and covers the appropriate scales. Within the Canadian Arctic, Expedition Fjord on the southern end of Axel Heiberg Island has been proposed to be a uniquely suited area as it connects an extensive marine system to several tidewater and land-terminating outlet glaciers of the much larger Muller Ice Cap. Additionally, the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) is nearby and provides access to this remote part of the Canadian Arctic. Following cancelled programs in 2020 and 2021, we are proposing to return to MARS during spring 2022 and conduct a marine and glacier survey as a first examination of these processes and characteristics of snow, sea ice and ocean in the region. As part of this work we are collaborating with Dr. Laura Thomson (Queen’s) and Dr. Luke Copland (University of Ottawa) who have worked on the glaciers around MARS for years and will compliment our marine focused team. Additionally, Dr. Fei Wang and Dr. Soren Rysgaard (Manitoba) will collaborate and assist with chemical analysis of the various tracer samples collected from the snow/ice/water during this program. Finally, pending the results from this program in 2022 there may be follow-in programs in the coming years to further our understanding of processes related to glacial-marine coupling.
Persons: 5
Days: 14
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
8128 polyline Expedition and Strand Fjord to be accessed from the McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS).
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Marine-Based Activities
Marine-Based Activities
Licensing Agencies
NRI: Scientific Research Licence
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Aircraft - Twin Otter 2 0 Used to fly personnel, equipment and fuel into the MARS base on Axel Heiberg from Resolute. Logistics coordination from PCSP.
Snowmobile 4 0 Used by the scientific personnel to travel on the ice covered fjord and access study sites.
Ice augers 2 0 Various gas ice augers to be used to drill through the sea ice and access the underlying water column for sample collection. Augers will have diameters of 8 and 10.
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Gasoline 3 208 Liters Fuel will be used to run snowmobiles, augers and small portable heaters for enclosed sampling tents.
Propane 2 100 Liters Used for heating the MARS research station on Axel Heiberg. This will be provided by PCSP and coordinated by the MARS logistics person who is there to run the camp.
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
2 Ice or snow will be gathered and melted for drinking water. Several outlet glaciers and lakes are located near MARS and will be used to provide water.
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
Given our small field party and short duration of the field program the environmental impacts are projected to be quite small. Following procedures established by MARS, waste will either be burned in an incinerator, or flown out with us and dealt with in Resolute. As arctic scientists we have a true desire to minimize our impact and maintain the pristine Arctic environment, particularly in remote areas such as Axel Heiberg Island, and will make all efforts to minimize our impact.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Combustible wastes Limited to small field consumables (syringes and bags) and food packaging. - Following MARS procedure this waste will be incinerated at the site.
Hazardous waste 2-4 fuel barrels and propane containers - We will follow the suggested procedure from the MARS personnel and PCSP who handle this waste every year. Barrels will either be flown out with us, or on a separate flight later in the season.
Category: Application form attachment - Fuel Use
Recieved: 2022-01-05
Originator: David Babb
Public Registry ID: 19327
Document Size: 45.2 Kb
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2022-01-05
Originator: David Babb
Public Registry ID: 19326
Document Size: 1671.45 Kb
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2022-01-13
Originator: Goump Djalogue
Public Registry ID: 19357
Document Size: 257.34 Kb


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

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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?

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)?

s3.5.11, s3.3.5.12: Does the proposal consider the development of a transportation and/or communications corridor?

Code of Good Conduct for Land Users:
Appendix H: The applicant undertakes to adhere to the code of Good Conduct at all times.