Yukon Highways & Public Works
Dempster Highway Geohazard Inventory and Risk Evaluation

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Palmer authored a comprehensive report evaluating how climate change is increasing the risk of geohazards impacting the Dempster Highway in northern Yukon.

Project Sector
Project Services
  • Fluvial Geomorphology
  • Surficial Geology

Project Description

Palmer, in partnership with Kryotek Arctic Innovation, was retained by Yukon Highways & Public Works to prepare the first comprehensive inventory and risk evaluation of landslide, permafrost subsidence and fluvial erosion-related geohazards along the Dempster Highway, Yukon.

The report, which was subsequently published by Yukon Geological Survey, guides operational and maintenance planning for the highway. Results from this study identified over 100 instances where natural river erosion posed increased risk to highway infrastructure and more than 50 landslide or similar mass movement geohazards. Our work revealed that 75% of the mapped mass movement geohazards are influenced by permafrost, which continues to thaw and degrade in response to climate change.

Palmer was again retained in 2018 to characterize the hydrogeomorphic drivers of 14 highway wash-outs following an August 2016 storm and to evaluate the predictive success of our original report.

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