Marine and Fresh Water

Canada’s North is endowed with abundant sources of freshwater including glaciers, lakes and rivers, from tiny streams to the majestic Mackenzie River. Groundwater sources are generally inaccessible due to the ground being frozen so most northern communities depend on limited surface water resources for their livelihood and well-being. Sustainable development of northern mineral and petroleum resources must therefore ensure that freshwater environments are understood and protected from contamination. NRCan researchers are developing remote sensing techniques to evaluate surface water resources within lakes, rivers and wetlands and to determine the potential impacts of climate change.

Northern marine waters are similarly sensitive to economic development but include processes and conditions unique to the northern environment. Of these, the seasonal formation of sea ice represents one of the greatest challenges to resource development. Grounded sea ice and icebergs can scour the seafloor and present a considerable hazard to coastal and seabed infrastructure. Freshwater from flooding rivers can flow out on top of the sea ice then drain through cracks to form deep scour holes on the seabed. NRCan research has shown that the seasonal ice cover in the Arctic Ocean has been changing rapidly in the time period that historical records have been kept.

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Tools and Applications

  • Expedition Database (ED)
    The Expedition Database (ED) contains information (metadata) and data related to marine and coastal field surveys conducted by or on behalf of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic and Pacific). ED is a source of information on "Stations" where geological samples such as piston cores, grab samples, bottom photography were collected.
  • Geoscience Data Repository for Geophysical Data (Borehole, Geochemistry, Gravity, Magnetic-Radiometric-EM, Seismic and Magnetotelluric)
    This site allows for you to discover, view and download, free of charge, the following information using these services: airborne and marine geophysics, gravity data, borehole geophysics, and seismic and magnetotelluric data.

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