OCGC Seminar - Dr. Michel Allard


Permafrost : a strategic geological phenomenon 

Dr. Michel Allard 
Centre d’études nordiques, Université Laval 

Permafrost field work

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
11:30 a.m.  

Gamble Hall
Geological Survey of Canada
615 Booth Street



Permafrost is a defining feature of the Canadian North and there is a pressing need to understand how its ongoing responses to climate change will affect northern geosystems and ecosystems. Permafrost lands are also the home for many northern communities. The infrastructure and resources for all settlements, from drinking water and exploited wildlife to industry, runways, roads and housing, critically depend upon the state of the permafrost. At a broader systems level, the thermal state of permafrost defines the degree of physical and biogeochemical stability of the northern landscape. Given its utmost importance, Canada actually needs a coordinated, strategic, approach to improve knowledge on permafrost properties, processes and sensitivity over its territory, under spatially variable geological settings and climate conditions. Developing technologies in the fields of geophysics, remote sensing, thermal monitoring, drilling, laboratory testing and geographic information systems provide means to characterize and map permafrost properties and processes at scales ranging from local to national. However, establishing the links between surficial geology, the different geomorphological histories across our landscapes and permafrost must be the key component of a renewed Canadian permafrost research strategy.