Government of Yukon

Geohazards: Landslides, Ice-rich Permafrost and Dynamic Rivers

Evaluating risk to Yukon’s Dempster Highway posed by geohazards in a changing climate

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About

In partnership with Kryotek Arctic Innovation, Palmer fielded a consulting team of technical geohazards experts on behalf of Yukon Highways & Public Works – Transportation Engineering Branch.

This report provides comprehensive documentation of landslide, permafrost subsidence and fluvial erosion-related geohazards for the Yukon portion of the Dempster Highway. It provides Yukon Department of Highways & Public Works – Transportation Engineering Branch a practical geohazard inventory that will help guide planning and mitigate future risk to the highway.

Leadership
  • Robin McKillop Principal, Geomorphologist
Client
Government of Yukon
Services
  • Geohazards
  • Fluvial Geomorphology
Date
December 2015 — March 2018

What We're Doing

This report becomes a valuable reference pertaining to slope stability, permafrost and fluvial processes in northern Yukon. Results from this study identified 54 mass movement geohazards and 102 meander-highway encroachment sites with the potential for future highway impact. Of particular significance, 75% of the mapped mass movement geohazards are influenced by permafrost, which is degrading (thawing) in response to climate change. Palmer was again retained in 2018 to characterize hydrogeomorphic drivers of 14 highway wash-outs following an August 2016 storm and evaluate predictive success of our original report.

Geohazards

Identifying and assessing the potential risk of damage to existing infrastructure and developments due to a geological process.

Fluvial Geomorphology

Watershed-, reach- or site-scale analysis of river behaviour for baseline characterization of sediment transport patterns, erosion risk assessment and mitigation (e.g. bioengineering) for infrastructure and property protection, and 'natural channel design' for creek realignments and habitat restoration. Past trends are used to manage risk to infrastructure and land development, as well as aquatic and riparian ecology

“(The report) is the most comprehensive documentation of landslide, permafrost subsidence and fluvial erosion-related geohazards ever compiled for the Yukon portion of the Dempster Highway.” Jeffrey Bond, Head, Surficial Geology Yukon Geological Survey

Jeffrey Bond, Head, Surficial Geology Yukon Geological Survey