Southern and Northeastern Beaufort Sea Marine Observatories, 2011–2014

Lead: Martin Fortier, ArcticNet

This initiative is establishing three oceanographic observatories, each composed of two moorings, to collect year-round marine observations of the Beaufort Sea using state-of-the-art instruments, including Doppler current meters, sediment traps, ice-profiling sonars, conductivity-temperature sensors, and turbidity meters. Researchers are monitoring and interpreting the information generated on sea ice, ocean circulation, and biogeochemical fluctuations throughout the region. The four-year project, led by ArcticNet and IMG-Golder (an Inuit-owned environmental and engineering company), is collecting data to gauge the physical conditions and variability of the Canadian Beaufort Sea year over year. This information will provide previously unavailable scientific evidence of oceanic and sea ice conditions, enabling regulators to make informed decisions about potential environmental effects of exploration drilling in the Beaufort Sea.