The Arctic Ocean is a vast, cold, isolated and utterly fascinating part of the northern hemisphere. Beneath its surface, thousands of metres below, is an extension of our country known as the continental shelf. And now, based on massive amounts of geoscientific data measuring the seafloor, an additional 1.2 million square kilometres could be added to Canada’s land area of 9.98 million km2.
During a geological mapping expedition to the western Canadian Arctic in 2014, research scientist Rob Rainbird collected samples that yielded microfossils of a species of fungus that is about one billion years old. Rob joins us to share his experience in the field, as well as discuss his discovery.
In the 1980s, scientist Kim Conway was part of an expedition to map the continental shelf in the Pacific Ocean. During this mission, he made a fascinating and unexpected discovery – unique reefs that were long thought to be extinct. Kim explains the significance of this discovery and what it means for science.
For weeks, Simon Tolszczuk-Leclerc and the Emergency Geomatics Service (EGS) team have been following the spring thaw and river ice breakup. They know exactly what to do, and they’re ready to take immediate action.
Getting from point A to point B using your smartphone’s web mapping application with the familiar pulsing blue dot is part of our daily lives — thanks to satellite system receivers that use global positioning systems (GPS) to give location and time information. Positioning technology is evolving, and today a typical smartphone can pinpoint a person’s location within a few metres, which is adequate for most personal use. But for a future that includes autonomous driving, precision agriculture and natural disaster early warning systems, centimetre-level accuracy will be crucial.
Canada’s boreal caribou are running a race against time. Their numbers have decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 20 years, and they are now officially listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act.
Research scientist Joost Van der Sanden explains how his team is developing a method to map the thickness of lake ice cover from space by analyzing a combination of radar satellite imagery and fieldwork data. Information on lake ice thickness supports the operation of seasonal roads that facilitate valuable land transport to isolated Canadian sites (e.g., communities, mines) and can be used as an indicator of climate change.