Living on unstable ground: identifying physical landscape constraints on planning and infrastructure development in Nunavut communities

Irvine, Melanie L. (Melanie Linda) (2011) Living on unstable ground: identifying physical landscape constraints on planning and infrastructure development in Nunavut communities. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis develops and tests a research framework that assesses constraints imposed by the physical environment, in particular landscape hazards on infrastructure development and community planning in Arctic environments. The framework uses a multi-hazard, multi-tool approach, and was operationalized in the community of Clyde River, Nunavut. Data were accessed through a range of sources including: community consultations, air photo interpretation, topographic surveys, sediment sampling, inventory of existing infrastructure, permafrost coring, and landscape and landform assessment. Data were analyzed, interpreted and integrated to produce individual landscape hazard layers and then combined to create a composite physical landscape constraint map. The constraint map categorized the community landscape into a tiered classification scheme of low, moderate and high risk. An assessment of how projected climate changes may modify the risk level associated with individual landscape hazards was also undertaken. Research suggests that flooding, erosion, slope instability and permafrost dynamics are the main landscape hazards occurring in Clyde River and that the risk level associated with these hazards will be enhanced due to climate change. The spatial distribution of these hazards varies, and is dependent on the physical environment and human modifications to the landscape. Both adaptations and maladaptations are altering the vulnerability of the community towards landscape hazards. The research framework devised in Clyde River is considered applicable to other arctic communities, and will provide useful guidance for community planning and sustainable infrastructure development.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9593
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 181-192.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Nunavut--Clyde River
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Landscape assessment--Nunavut--Clyde River; Landslide hazard analysis--Nunavut--Clyde River; Landforms--Nunavut--Clyde River; Community development--Nunavut--Clyde River

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