Caribou crossing Alaskan Highway in front of my car - Muncho Lake, British Columbia
Figure 2. Aerial Surveys of Caribou Populations in 1948

Adapted by Eric Leinberger from A. W. F. Banfield, "The Barren-Ground Caribou," Department of Resources and Development, Northern Administration and Lands Branch, 1951.

THE IMAGE OF NORTHERN scientists, circa 1964, was said to be one of contented indifference to political matters. They were a hardy few, "plying their erudite mysteries among the natives and amid the vastness in virtual aloneness and, to them, happy anonymity."1 But the claim rang false: scientists were neither alone nor anonymous. Accompanied by pilots and administrators, guided by priorities set in southern capitals and universities, scientists had become essential to the political and economic restructuring of northern Canada. 1
Historians have described how scientists have participated in exploiting and sometimes conserving the natural environment. Scholars in other fields have complemented these efforts, charting the complexity of scientists' roles in environmental affairs. Northern Canada offers opportunities to extend this work. The region presents an unusual, sometimes extreme environment—both a challenge and an attraction to scientists; scientists have also historically played a disproportionate role in shaping attitudes and decisions regarding the North. In this article I seek to explain the paths followed by scientists in the North: the topics they studied, the ideas that guided their work, their methods, their influence on decisions, and how these dimensions of scientific work related to the northern environment. My focus will be on two distinct episodes. In the first, extending over several decades but culminating in the early 1950s, northern Canada attracted the attention of ecologists debating the existence and significance of cycles in animal populations. In the second, which took place during the 1960s and 1970s, notions of ecological fragility again drew ecologists to the North, within a political culture newly sensitive to impacts on this environment.

from Stephen Bocking, Science and Spaces in the Northern Environment
Bocking, Stephen, Science and Spaces in the Northern Environment. Environmental History 12.4 (2007): 61 pars. 17 May 2009 .


arctic terns

purple line is path aerial surveyor took, green line outlines Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary, and size of yellow dot refers to amount of Arctic Terns sited.

The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is an Arctic to
Antarctic traveler with annual migrations of up to 24,000
miles round trip. On its wintering grounds, this Olympic
flyer benefits from a “second summer” giving it more
hours of daylight than any other bird.
In addition to excellent flying abilities, this slender
tern is also known for its elegant breeding plumage. The
bill, feet, and legs are blood-red. The upper wings and
back are light gray, contrasting with a jet-black cap. The
tail is long and deeply forked. Arctic Terns often mix on
coastal breeding grounds with Aleutian Terns (Sterna
aleutica). They are similar in appearance and both have a
black cap, but the Aleutian Tern has a white forehead,
black bill, feet and legs, and the wings are a darker gray.
Nests of the Arctic Tern are commonly made near
fresh or salt water in open, usually treeless environments.
The nest is very difficult to spot unless it contains eggs; it
is little more than a shallow depression scraped in the
ground. Intruders in nesting areas are often met with
aggressive dives and pecks on the back or head

cks on the back or head.

more on my website here


burnt black spruce forest in the boreal corridor of eagle plains

more on fires impact on boreal forest and the mapping that correlates here
standard mosquito behavior for the Mackenzie Delta


animated map (still shot) showing proposed roads, pipelines and wells in NWT by 2012

NWT Promotes Pipeline in Texas
By SHAWN BELL, Slave River Journal Reporter 12.MAY.09
The Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment was in Houston, Texas last week, promoting northern gas and reassuring potential investors that the GNWT still supports the Mackenzie Gas Project. Minister Bob McLeod is especially concerned about the US government’s plans to provide more than the current $18 billion in loan guarantees for an Alaskan pipeline, a situation he says weights the playing field in favour of the Americans. “There’s a new (US) national energy security bill proposed by both Republican and Democrat senators to increase the federal loan guarantee to $30 billion,” McLeod told The Journal. “We feel the federal government should look into this very seriously, should look into raising this issue in Washington.” The primary purpose of McLeod’s Texas trip was to meet with five senior executives from oil and gas companies involved in the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP). In light of the Joint Review Panel’s delay in a decision on the MGP – the latest indication is that the JRP will release its report in December 2009 – the minister said it is important to let the companies know the GNWT still has the project on its radar. “It’s frustrating for (the companies) too,” McLeod said. “It just points out how much the delay is costing the NWT and Canada.” In a press release, the GNWT stated “the construction and completion of the Mackenzie Gas Project is a pivotal component to realizing the Legislative Assembly’s vision of a prosperous Northwest Territories.” The territory estimates that northern gas reserves could supply US markets with 8 billion cubic-feet of gas per day. When asked why the government would be promoting what is essentially a private industry enterprise, McLeod said the GNWT sees the pipeline as an opportunity to open up the entire Mackenzie basin. “We see it as a basin-opening project,” McLeod said. “If you look at a map, in Alberta they’re drilling 17,000-20,000 wells per year, and that stops right at the NWT border. The only reason it stops there is that oil/gas companies don’t have a way to get the gas south.”


Mackenzie Gas Project - Environmental Impact Statement

this is an extremely important and exhaustive report.


The genetic evolution of arctic north america and greenland by ExxonMobil

Stephen Creaney, ExxonMobil Exploration Company (United States)
Michael Sullivan, ExxonMobil Exploration Company (United States)

The sedimentary basins of Arctic North America and Greenland are extremely diverse in their modes of genesis. This controls the development of petroleum systems within these basins as well as their exposure to post-accumulation destructive forces.
The Canadian - Greenland Shield is a significant controlling influence on basin development in the area due to its 60km thick core of well-annealed, highly buoyant continental crust. During the lower Paleozoic platformal sediments accumulated around the flanks of the generally emergent craton with the reduced oxygen atmosphere being conducive to the accumulation of organic rich, oil prone source rocks of Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous age. The Caledonian suturing at the end of the Paleozoic provided erosional products to the interior forelands and drove hydrocarbon generation in some of these basins.
The Ellesmerian collision in Northern Canada quickly produces the Parry Island foldbelt and segregates the Sverdrup Basin from the Ellesmerian platform. The Caledonian suture attempted to rift open numerous times. These failed rifts were very conducive to the accumulation of source rocks with lacustrine as well as marine (Kimmeridgian) sources being deposited. The rift flank uplift along East Greenland provided a significant sediment source into the Sverdrup Basin. Rifting temporarily propagates into Labrador and opens Baffin Bay with strike slip motion along Nares Strait during the Cretaceous. The movement of the Alpha Ridge "plume" from the high arctic in the Cretaceous into the North Atlantic drives rifting to the east side of Greenland. The North Atlantic opens in the Early Tertiary with abundant associated volcanism and propagates into the arctic with the opening of the Eurasian Basin. Atlantic rifting drives Greenland back into the Sverdrup margin producing the Eurekan Orogeny.
Pacific subduction profoundly affects the western side of the craton generating the Western Cordillera and the Brooks Range. Associated forelands developed and began to be rapidly loaded with Cretaceous - Tertiary sediment. Paleozoic and Mesozoic sources were augmented with Cretaceous sources and significant generation occurred in Northern Alaska and the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. These basins are characterized by long distance migration, stratigraphic traps and significant basin margin accumulations with a risk for biodegradation. The Cordillera is a very destructive environment for hydrocarbon accumulation with interior collapse basins and transtensional pull-aparts all presenting poor targets for exploration. The final tertiary draining of the North American continent produced the Mackenzie Delta in the Canada Basin which entered an inside corner of the transform rift margin and has been constantly "forced" by ongoing Cordilleran tectonics resulting in some trap rupture.


Syncrude says duck death toll was 3 times original estimate

Three times as many ducks died in a northern Alberta tailings pond last year than the 500 originally estimated, Syncrude Canada announced Tuesday.

"We can now tell you that the final number is 1,606 birds," Syncrude president and CEO Tom Katinas said

In late April 2008, migrating ducks landed on a tailings pond on Syncrude's Aurora oilsands site.

The company failed to deploy the air cannons it uses to scare the birds away because of severe winter weather. The ducks landed on the open water and sank to the bottom of the lake after they were coated in oil.


Budget triples for Mackenzie Valley review panel


From Monday's Globe and Mail

March 16, 2009 at 3:41 AM EDT

OTTAWA and CALGARY — The budget for the panel reviewing the proposed $16-billion Mackenzie Valley Pipeline has nearly tripled amid delays that have frustrated industry and government, an internal federal report says.

The report from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency says the Joint Review Panel's costs have risen to $18-million, from the original budget of $6.8-million when it was established in the summer of 2004.

The review panel, headed by chairman Robert Hornal, is charged with assessing the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed 1,220-kilometre gas pipeline. Last December, the panel announced it would not finish its report in March as planned, but expected to release it at the end of this year.

The federal review of its work found that salaries alone have soared to $11-million, including more than $900,000 for the chairman, said a source who has been briefed on it.

In an interview, Mr. Hornal disputed that figure, saying that he has billed a total of $750,000 through the end of December, 2008. He is not paid a salary, but a standard federal rate of $650 a day for a position like his, he said.

"I don't think I'm overpaid or underpaid," he said. "I'm doing this as a citizen of the country and I'm working hard to do a good job on it."

Other members of the panel are paid $500 a day. Mr. Hornal said the panel itself does not set the budget - that is the responsibility of the federal and territorial agencies that oversee the panel - and the dramatic rise in costs can be attributed to the length of time it has taken to produce a report.

"Primarily, it's taken much longer than we anticipated to do the job," he said.

Stephen Hazell, the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada and a frequent presenter before the panel, defended the expanded budget.

"It's a lot of money," he said. "But this is a one-time decision that will decide the future of the entire Northwest Territories for decades to come. When you look at it that way, $18-million is probably not that much."

The joint review panel is the first major hurdle that the project's proponents must clear. Its report will form the basis of a regulatory review by the National Energy Board, as well as environmental reviews of local site impacts.

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice, Northwest Territories Premier Floyd Roland and the project's proponents have all expressed their frustration with the slow pace of the review panel's deliberations. They also worry that the review panel will fail to meet its December deadline.

Nellie Cournoyea, the chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corp., called the much-delayed review process, which will span more than five years before it is completed, "insanity."

"This whole process is just mind-boggling," she said. "It was supposed to be everybody sits together, it will be quicker. I don't know how this just ran away somehow."

Mr. Prentice, who also has responsibility for the Northern Pipeline Agency, has offered the consortium of companies a package of financial assistance that includes federal funding for infrastructure and some measure of assuming financial risk in return for a share of the profits.

Critics question whether the pipeline will ever be commercially viable, after technological advancements have reduced the cost of tapping vast amounts of unconventional gas in less remote areas of both the United States and Canada.

The seven-person joint review panel was established in August, 2004, by former Liberal environment minister Stéphane Dion to combine reviews by the federal government, the Northwest Territories and the Inuvialuit Game Council, which has treaty rights to conduct environmental assessments of pipeline projects through land controlled by the Inuvialuit.

The proponents of the Mackenzie Gas Project are Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited Partnership, ConocoPhillips Canada (North) Limited, Exxon Mobil Canada Properties, Shell Canada and Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Limited Partnership.

However, TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. has expressed an interest in becoming a partner in the project. TransCanada has already won the right to build the much larger Alaska Highway gas pipeline. Canadian officials have long worried that completion of the Alaska pipeline would make the building of the Mackenzie uneconomic.


map detailing Inuvaliut Settlement Region and subsurface ownership rights.


Letter to Joint Review Panel

December 23, 2008

Mr. Robert Hornal, Chair
Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project
Suite 302, 125 Mackenzie Road
Northwest Territories
X0E 0T0

Dear Mr. Hornal:

Re: Revised Date for Release of the Joint Review Panel Report
We wish to confirm that the Joint Review Panel Agreement (JRPA or Agreement) parties
have received the December 5th news release issued by the Joint Review Panel (JRP)
regarding the revised December 2009 final report release date. We assume this
announcement by the Panel is a response to the letter from the Mackenzie Valley
Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) and Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC)
dated November 26th, 2008 requesting that the JRP “determine its best estimate of a
completion date for its final report and relate that information to participants in the
environmental impact review of the Mackenzie Gas Project and the general public…”.
The JRPA requires that any revision to the schedule for the environmental impact review
of the Mackenzie Gas Project be approved by the parties to the Agreement. This letter is
to provide early notice that the revised completion date of December 2009 is not
acceptable to the MVEIRB and the IGC.
The December 2009 completion date came as a major surprise when we had recently
been led to believe that a reasonable expectation would be for the English version of the
Panel’s final report to be available by the end of March 2009 with the final published
report to be available by the end of June 2009.
The revised length of the MGP JRP environmental impact review process is now
significantly longer than that originally set out in the Agreement and the investment of
time and resources has to date been much greater than had been anticipated as being
necessary for this review.
We wish to assure Panel members that the efforts they have expended in responding to
the difficult and complex task they were assigned is appreciated as is their diligence in
meeting that challenge. We are also confident that the Panel will produce a quality final
We therefore consider it important to set out our current expectations of the Panel in
accordance with the Agreement:
Page 1 of 2
1. We suggest that the Panel make every effort to issue its final report in two phases;
a “Decision” document by March 31st, 2009, to be followed by Supplementary
Documents by August 31st, 2009.
The “Decision” document should set out the Panel’s decision, including brief
reasons and identify any mitigation measures recommended by the Panel
regarding the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project. It is not an uncommon practice
for an administrative tribunal to set out a decision and to follow up with more
explanation and detail at a later date. This approach will provide the Panel with a
means of communicating its decision with respect to the proposed project early
without the need to wait for all documents to be produced.
We believe this is a reasonable approach to maintain a schedule that will see the
Panel’s recommended decision and measures released by March 31, 2008 but still
allow the additional time necessary for the Panel to complete the text fully
describing the reasons behind its recommended decision and mitigation measures.
2. We confirm that the parties will be responsible for, and make arrangements for,
all translation and production requirements of both the final “Decision” and
Supplementary Documents through the Northern Gas Project Secretariat, once
these documents are received from the Panel.

The cooperation of the Panel would be appreciated.

Last but not least we want to wish you and the other Panel members all the best of the
season. We look forward to following up on the progress of the Panel early in the New

Mr. Frank Pokiak, Chair
Inuvialuit Game Council

Mr. Richard Edjericon, Chairperson
Mackenzie Valley Environmental
Impact Review Board

C. Northern Gas Project Secretariat
Page 2 of 2


Canada's Highway to Hell

Every day approximately 50 new fortune seekers travel north on Canada's Highway 63 to the tar sands of Alberta, to join what may be the world's last great oil rush. The two-lane all-weather highway starts about 100 miles north of the provincial capital, Edmonton, and ends at Fort McMurray, a sprawling city hastily carved out of swampy groves of spruce. The road was originally built in the 1970s to connect a marginal and experimental source of heavy oil with the rest of the country. It has since become a continental artery to a modern-day Klondike that has made Canada the number-one supplier of oil to the United States. That's right -- Canada.

from http://www.onearth.org/article/canadas-highway-to-hell


Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 13:35:22 -0700
Subject: Letter to the Editor
From: tkhalifax@northwestel.net
To: entertainment@nnsl.com; editor@nnsl.com

News North Editor

I just finished reading your article promoting France Benoit’s new “documentary” about the Mackenzie Gas Project and would like to offer the following definition from Oxford:
adjective 1 consisting of documents and other material providing a factual account. 2 using film, photographs, and sound recordings of real events.
While I have not seen this film, from what she’s said in the article gives a pretty good idea of exactly just how “factual” this film really is.
Ms. Benoit and her ilk are under the misconception that by stopping the MGP they will somehow stop production at the “tar” sands. This is an erroneous conclusion that has no basis in fact. The oil sands have done quite well without arctic gas and will continue long into the future without it. Further, there is no science or factual evidence to conclude that there are any negative effects in the downstream waters of the oil sands.
Ms. Benoit must have traveled far and wide to find people to speak out against the pipeline, but if facts matter, most people along the pipeline route are in favour of it.
Yes, Ms. Benoit may receive some attention to her “documentary” in Ottawa, Montreal and even Yellowknife, but we along the proposed pipeline route know the real facts.
The Sierra Club and her other environmental extremist cohorts have decimated the fur industry leaving these communities without an income and without hope. The social and economic impacts of those anti-fur campaigns have ruined a culture and a way of life. The pipeline has shone some glimmer of hope along the valley to these otherwise isolated and poverty-stricken communities.
I invite Ms. Benoit to bring her film to Inuvik. I’ll be standing outside, handing out rotten produce to hurl.

Terry Halifax


Sincrude Processing Plant, Fort McMurray, Alberta from louisa conrad on Vimeo.

Washington Post article on Migratory Birds dying in Tar Sands tailing ponds (as shown above, noise your hear is a blast going off to scare birds from landing)

CHICAGO -- About half of America's migratory birds fly from destinations as far-flung as Chile to nest in Canada's boreal forest. In Alberta, that forest lies above tar sands that contain oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia's.

The excavation of the tar sands -- projected to pump $2.4 trillion into Canada's economy between 2010 and 2030 -- could reduce the region's migratory-bird population by almost half, according to a peer-reviewed study released Dec. 2 by U.S. and Canadian environmental groups.

The Connecticut warbler and the blackpoll warbler, which fly through the Washington area en route from Alberta's boreal forests, are among about 300 species affected by tar sands mining. The study estimates that over 30 to 50 years, tar sands excavation will reduce bird populations by anywhere from 6 million to 166 million, including several endangered and threatened species. The world's only natural breeding ground for endangered whooping cranes, for example, lies north of the Albertan tar sands, and the Athabasca River, which feeds the cranes' wetland habitat, flows north through the sands.

Globe special on Tar Sands

info on Beaufort Sea from Arctic Report Card

Canada Basin and Beaufort Gyre

The 2007 Canada Basin and the Beaufort Gyre summer conditions exhibited very strong freshening relative to 2006 and previous years of observations (Richter-Menge et al. 2006). Data collected as part of the Beaufort Gyre Environmental Observatory (BGEO, www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre/index.html) show that in 2000–07, the total freshwater content in the Beaufort Gyre has not changed dramatically relative to climatology (although the absolute maximum was observed in 2007), but there was a significant change in the freshwater distribution (Fig. O3(c,d)). The center of the freshwater maximum shifted toward Canada and significantly intensified relative to climatology. This region of the Beaufort Gyre is much fresher than 30 yr ago.


and some more arctic maps here: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/maps.html


Inuvaliut Agrees to Access Agreement

Under Inuvialuit Regional Corporation rules, the Inuvialuit of the community closest to a development - in this case Inuvik - vote on ratifying such agreements.

The Inuvik Community Corporation has a little more than 1,000 members. At the Oct. 1 meeting, 120 people voted in favour of the deals and only seven were opposed.

"It was resounding support of the access and benefits agreements that were negotiated and for the project to proceed," said Duane Smith, chairperson of the Inuvik Community Corporation.

Smith said it was a major endorsement of the project by one of the aboriginal groups along the route.

"If we didn't vote in favour of it, it would be another hindrance to the project proceeding," he said.

The benefits of the agreements cover such things as education, training, employment, scholarships and contracting preference for Inuvialuit businesses in the Inuvialuit settlement region.

Smith said he couldn't get into specifics because the deals are "private agreements."

The multi-billion-dollar Mackenzie Gas Project, which will carry Beaufort Delta natural gas south on a pipeline, is awaiting regulatory approval after which proponents will make a final decision on proceeding.


unfinished mackenzie delta map

mackenzie confluence
another beginning of mackenzie delta drawing


gxt seismic work in Beaufort Sea

blue was phase one seismic (3,534km) green is phase two (5,561km) and red is 3d seismic being done in august.fall 2008. the blacks dots are drilled wells

and whitefish from the Beaufort drying in Tuktoyaktuk.


the yellow dot is Tuktoyaktuk. the red line is route of the northern passage. the dotted line is the arctic circle.


and the town of Tuktoyaktuk


And a view from the ground- on the shores of Tuktoyaktuk, July 6, 2008 looking out at the Beaufort Sea at midnight, 90 degrees, too hot to be in the tent.

Permafrost Map for Northwestern Canada (Mackenzie Region)

Tuktoyaktuk's permafrost made pingo

CONTINUOUS PERMAFROST: 5MH Moderate to high ice content due to presence of ice lenses - Alluvial terrace deposits: silt and silty clay - Colluvial blanket deposits: fine grained diamicton containing some lenses and beds of sand, gravel and rubble - Bedrock area of low resistance to erosion in unglaciated areas 5LH Low to high ice content in sandy sediments, as wedges; moderate to high ice content in silty and clayey sediments, as lenses and rectangular veins; massive ice commonly occurs at depth and in pingos - Lacustrine and marine deposits as plains and intertidal lagoons: interbedded silt, clayey silt, and silty sand, locally underlain by diamicton 5LM Low to moderate ice content, as lenses and reticulate veins, higher ice content with depth; massive ice may be present at base of diamicton and in underlying sediments - Alluvial deposits as fans, plains, and terraces: sands and isolated silty layers - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: stony clay diamicton; may overlie marine and glaciofluvial deposits(1,2) - Glaciated upland and piedmont complex: mainly till and disintergrated bedrock; overlies areas of moderate to low slope - Veneered bedrock: diamicton overlying low rounded hills and ridges of unglaciated bedrock - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types 5NL Nil to low ice content, as wedges - Alluvial deposits: coarse sand and gravel(3) - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, kames, and eskers: sand and interbedded sand and gravel(1,4) - Colluvial deposits as blankets and veneers: coarse diamicton; may overlie areas of unglaciated bedrock - Glacially deformed marine deposits: clay and silt, thin beds of fine sand may be present 5N Ice content Nil - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types --------------------------------------------------- DISCONTINUOUS PERMAFROST: 4MH Moderate to high ice content where material frozen, as thin seams, reticulate veins, and wedges; massive ice may occur at depth - Lacustrine and glaciolacustrine blanket deposits: primarily silt and silty clay with some fine sand and gravel; thermokarst depression common in areas of high ice content; locally underlain by diamicton(4,5,6) - Alluvial deposits as floodplains and terraces: silty sand and silt; thermokarst depressions common in floodplains(5) 4LM Ice content low to moderate where material frozen, as thin seams, reticulate veins, lenses, and wedges; massive ice may occur at depth - Morainal and colluvial deposits as veneers and blankets: diamicton - Alluvial deposits as floodplains, terraces, and fans: fine grained sand and silt(1) - Glaciofluvial and Glaciolacustrine deposits as outwash plains and plains and terraces: gravel, sand, and silt(1,3,7) - Glaciated upland and piedmont: disintergrated bedrock 4NL Nil to low ice content where material frozen - Glaciofluvial deposits as terraces, eskers, and kames: gravel and sand(3) - Landslide debris deposits: extremely variable textures - Eroded and eroding river banks: surface colluvial materials on moderate to steep valley walls and scarps - Alluvial terrace deposits: gravel(3) 4N Ice content nil where material frozen - Talus aprons: cobbles and boulders - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types(8) 4V Highly variable ice content where material frozen, depending on topographic positions: crest of prominent ridges are generally ice-free, intervening depressions have moderate to high ice content - Hummocky, ridged moraine: clayey to gravelly sandy till --------------------------------- INTERMEDIATE: 3MH Moderate to high ice content where material frozen - Lacustrine blanket deposits: silty clay, silt, and sand; locally underlain by diamicton 3LH Low to high ice content where material frozen, as thin seams, lenses, and reticulate veins - Alluvial deposits as fans and terraces: mainly silt and fine sand, locally includes gravel and clay; may be underlain with colluvium - Glaciolacustrine plain deposits: fine sand, silt, and clay 3LM Low to moderate ice content where material frozen, as thin seams, lenses, and wedges - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: diamicton - Alluvial deposits as floodplains, fans and aprons, deltas, and terraces, interbedded silt, sand, and gravel(1,3) - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, fans, and terraces: sand and gravel with veneer of silt or fine grained sand - Marine deposits as tidal flats: interbedded silt, clayey silt, and sand, generally high in organic content 3NL Nil to low ice content where material frozen, as thin seams - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, kame terraces, and eskers: gravel and sand - Alluvial deposits as deltas, floodplains, terraces: predominantly gravel(3) - Veneered bedrock: poorly sorted diamicton - Eolian deposits: sand 3N Ice content nil where material frozen - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types - Talus aprons: cobbles and boulders 3V Variable ice content where material frozen, depending on topographic position: crests of prominent ridges are generally ice free, intervening depressions have moderate to high ice content, as seams and lenses - Hummocky, ridged moraine: clayey to gravelly sandy till --------------------------------- SPORADIC: 2LM Low to moderate ice content where material frozen, as lenses and wedges - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: diamicton 2L Low ice content where material frozen 2NL Nil to low ice content where material frozen - Glaciofluvial as outwash plains, drumlins, kames, hummocks, and eskers: sand and interbedded sand and gravel - Veneered bedrock: colluvium - Alluvial deposits and fans, terraces and floodplains: gravel, sand, and silt - Landslide debris deposits: variable textures - Marine beach deposits as spits and bars: sand and gravel 2N Ice content nil where material frozen - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types - Alluvial deposits as plains, fans, and terraces: gravel, sand, and silt(3) ------------------------------------ ISOLATED PATCHES: 1L Low ice content where material frozen, as lenses - Eolian deposits as dunes: sand; generally overlies glaciofluvial outwash and lacustrine deposits - Alluvial fan deposits: sand and gravel - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains and kame terraces: gravel and sand with few beds of silt 1NL Nil to low ice content where material frozen - Ridged glaciofluvial deposits such as eskers: gravel and sand 1N Ice content nil where material frozen - Alluvial deposits as active floodplains, terraces, and fans: gravel, rarely sand and silt(9) MG Modern glaciers MGM Modern glaciers with moraine cover NOTES: (1) Ice content locally higher in lenses of silt and clay (2) May have higher ice content where underlain with by marine sediments, especially in the northern part of the map area (3) Ice content locally high where silt, clay, and/or peat form veneers or fill depressions (4) In some areas, such as the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, may be covered by sand dunes consisting of fine to medium sand, in places silty, with isolated peaty layers; higher ice content in silt and peat (5) Ice content locally lower in lenses of coarser material (6) May have lower ice content in well drained areas lacking thermokarst depressions (7) Ice content very high where underlain by silt and clay (8) Possible low ice content in the northern part of the map area (9) May have ice content in some areas


maps made by the Canadian Arctic Resource Committee

these are slightly outdated maps (made in 2004, there is no way the pipeline will now exist by 2009) but never the less I find them an interesting portrait of a place. this is the website they are from http://www.carc.org/2005/mapping_cumulative.htm

images from Canada Centre for Remote Sensing

For much of the year, the Outer Mackenzie Delta is encased in sea ice and its numerous rivers, channels and lakes are covered by freshwater ice. Increased sunlight, warmer spring temperatures and the arrival of warm melt water from the upstream Mackenzie Valley trigger the melt and the eventual breakup of ice in the delta. RADARSAT-1's sensitivity to different types of ice and its ability to acquire imagery regardless of cloud cover makes it a useful tool to monitor this short-lived annual event. In this June 1, 1997 image(right), the sea ice barrier (A) that prevents the Mackenzie's spring discharge waters (B) from entering the Beaufort Sea (C) is clearly visible. Individual floes (D) are easy to find on the seaward side of this thick ice barrier. Brighter areas indicate ridged ice areas, while dark, homogeneous textures represent smoother ice surfaces. Channel ice (E) is visible within the main channels of the delta. With a dry snow cover, smooth lake ice (F) appears dark as the radar penetrates the homogeneous ice volume and is absorbed by the lake bottom. Dark areas on the active delta (G) indicate overland flooding caused by the large annual increase in upstream discharge and snowmelt in the outer delta.

MGM Energy interests in MacKenzie Delta

MGM Energy has the following interests in the Mackenzie Delta:

1. Chevron/BP Farmout Lands. MGM Energy has farmed-in on four exploration licenses and concessions owned by Chevron Resources Canada and BP Canada Energy Ltd. Pursuant to this farm-in, MGM Energy has agreed to drill 11 wells in total, two of which were drilled in the 2007 winter drilling season (both of which were dry holes), to spend an additional $50 million on seismic data, and to assume certain other costs. As a result of those activities and expenditures, MGM Energy will earn a 50% interest in any discoveries made, and a 50% interest in three discoveries previously made by Chevron/BP on the same lands.

MGM Energy is currently planning its 2008 winter drilling program. We expect to drill three wells on Exploration Licenses 427 and 394. Exact locations have yet to be determined. In addition, MGM Energy expects to conduct a seismic data acquisition program over portions of these exploration licenses as well as over other portions of our lands.

2. Umiak SDL. MGM Energy is the owner of a 60% working interest in, and is the operator of, the proposed Umiak SDL. The Umiak field is located within Exploration License 384, which technically expired January 5, 2006 but subsists until the SDL is issued. The Government of Canada (through the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) will declare a Significant Discovery License or Licenses following the completion of the NEB review of the extent of the field. We currently estimate that the Umiak discovery has a mean size (contingent gas resource) of approximately 265 Bcf (net). MGM Energy has no current plans to drill additional wells into the Umiak field in 2008.

3. EL 434. MGM Energy is the owner of a 60% working interest in, and is the operator of, Exploration License 434. This license expires May 2, 2011, unless a well is drilled prior to that date. The work commitment associated with this EL is $40.2 million (gross). A number of prospects have been identified on this EL, and while no activity is currently planned for the winter of 2008, we anticipate that one or more wells will be drilled on this license prior to its expiry.

4. Other SDLs. The Corporation is the owner of small fractional interests in 14 SDLs, both onshore and offshore in the Mackenzie Delta. While these SDLs typically have discovered contingent resources associated with them, MGM Energy believes that they are equally important for the access to seismic data that is associated with this ownership, as well as the window they provide on development throughout the Mackenzie Delta.

In addition to interests in land, MGM Energy also owns or has access to substantial seismic data over much of the Mackenzie Delta and certain of its properties.


Bathymetry map courtesy of Jakobsson, M., R. Macnab, L. Mayer, R. Anderson, M. Edwards, J. Hatzky, H. W. Schenke, and P. Johnson (2008), An improved bathymetric portrayal of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for ocean modeling and geological, geophysical and oceanographic analyses, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: doi: 10.1029/2008gl033520.

10. More about mapping the Arctic seafloor
Alan Bailey, Petroleum News
September 7, 2008 - The U.S. Geological Survey has released more information about a joint U.S. and Canadian expedition that is mapping the Arctic seafloor offshore the two countries. As reported in the Aug. 24 edition of Petroleum News, Canada and the United States have teamed up to survey the seabed north of the Yukon-Alaska border. The joint work is expected to help prepare submissions to claim jurisdiction over seabed areas beyond the 225-mile coastal economic zones. The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy is assisting the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis St. Laurent to undertake sonar scans on the Beaufort Sea bottom. “The two ship experiment allows both the United States and Canada to collect and share complementary data in areas where data acquisition is costly, logistically difficult and sometimes dangerous,” said USGS scientist and expedition member Deborah Hutchinson in a Sept. 2 USGS press release. “Both countries benefit through sharing of resources and data as well as increasing the likelihood of success by utilizing two ice-breaker ships in these remote
areas of the Arctic Ocean.” A multibeam bathymetry system will collect a swath of information along 3 kilometers wide path, thus creating a three-dimensional view of the seafloor, said the Healy’s chief scientist Jonathon Childs. The Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, a government-wide group headed by the U.S. Department of State, is coordinating the research, USGS said. Participants in the task force include USGS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Science Foundation, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Executive Office of the President, the U.S. Minerals Management Service and the Arctic Research Commission. NOAA is providing funding.


Shell: proudly sponsoring Inuvik's 5oth anniversary festivities


Ground Truthing

An open journal from the Arctic: part two of the author's triptych on the open space of democracy

by Terry Tempest Williams

Published in the May/June 2003 issue of Orion magazine

It is called “Bear Shaman”—an Iñupiat sculpture carved out of soapstone. At one end is Man, crouched close to the earth. At the other end is Bear, in search of prey. Both Man and Bear live inside the same body. Their shared heart determines who will be seen and who will disappear. Shape-shifting is its own form of survival.



2. Concerns over PM visit from PermaFrost Media

Dez Loreen, Northern News Services

September 4, 2008 - INUVIK - Mayor Derek Lindsay was not impressed by the prime minister's visit last week.

Lindsay said his time with Prime Minister Stephen Harper was short. "When we met it was a short greeting. I would have liked to sit down with him and talk a bit," said Lindsay. "I was disappointed."

Harper arrived in Inuvik on Tuesday, Aug. 26. He was greeted at the airport by dignitaries and the Inuvik Drummers and Dancers.

Lindsay said he would have liked more notice about Harper's itinerary while he was in the North. He added the Prime Minister's handlers weren't easy to deal with. "The PM's staff were rather pushy as well," said Lindsay.

The mayor added he has been in discussion with others in town who feel they were given the cold shoulder as well. "I'm not the only one who feels put off by all this," he said.

Lindsay was told to make an appearance for a special announcement on Thursday morning at Jim Koe Park. Lindsay said he prepared a two-minute welcoming address for the prime minister and his entourage. "When I got to the park, I was told by the PM's staff to cut down my opening remarks to a bare minimum because of the cold weather," he said.

Lindsay said the announcement of the naming of the 2017 icebreaker to John George Diefenbaker was newsworthy, but not really relevant to Inuvik. "It's a nice name, but that doesn't have any impact on this community," said Lindsay. "We'll probably never see it here in town."

Lindsay said he wanted to speak with the prime minister on a number of topics. "I want to know where the feds stand on the highway connecting Inuvik to Tuk," he said. The Dempster highway and roads to resources were also on the mayor's list of topics that weren't addressed.

He added he wants to find out what the federal government can do to speed the regulatory process with the Joint Review Panel. "There are a lot of people hurting and waiting for news about the pipeline," he said.

Teacher Dave Deering was at the Thursday announcement at Jim Koe Park, but he was there by fluke. "I was leaving the school and saw a group of people," said Deering. The teacher said he hoped to see Harper downtown or at a public forum but none was held.

"I know he had a busy schedule with his visit to Tuk but it would have been nice to see him in the community more," he said. Deering added more notice should have been given about the visit. "It would have been nice if people knew he was coming to the North." Deering said he is interested in politics and news and would have been at the announcement earlier, had he known about it.