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Data Set ID:
GGD630

Permafrost Map for Northwestern Canada (Mackenzie Region), Version 1

The Permafrost Map for Northwestern Canada (Mackenzie Region) is a digital version of the 1:1,000,000 map produced by Heginbottom and Radburn [Heginbottom, J.A. and Radburn, L.K. (compilers) 1992. Permafrost and ground ice conditions of northwestern Canada; Geological Survey of Canada, Map 1691A, scale 1:1 000 000.] The map provides information on permafrost distribution and ground ice conditions in the Mackenzie Region of northwestern Canada. The data set comprises three data layers: maps of permafrost zones, rivers, and lakes. The map themes (layers) are in the ESRI Shapefile spatial data format (ArcView files). The permafrost map codes continuous, discontinuous, intermediate, sporadic, and isolated permafrost, and glaciers. Data are available via ftp

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Frozen Ground > Permafrost
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 70, S: 60, E: -120, W: -142

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1992 to 31 December 1992
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s): Not specified
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Sharon Smith, Sharon Smith
Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Heginbottom, J.A. and Radburn, L.K. (compilers) 1992. Permafrost Map for Northwestern Canada (Mackenzie Region), Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description

Format

The maps are in a vector format stored as ESRI Shapefile spatial data format. The Shapefiles are most easily imported into ESRI's ArcView, but most other GIS packages can import Shapefiles. ESRI also provides a free basic GIS package, ArcExplorer, on the ESRI web site.

ESRI Shapefiles for the permafrost map, a rivers map, and a lakes map are provided. The ArcView project file which was used to create the maps, ggd630_project.apr, is also provided.

The permafrost map was digitized from an original with scale 1:1,000,000. The units are meters. The rivers (drainage) map was extracted from 1:2 million scale digital maps provided by Geomatics Canada. All maps/layers are in the Lambert Conformal Conic projection with WGS 84 datum. Projection parameters are

Central Meridian: 130°W
Standard Parallels: 61°40 N and 68°20 N
Latitude of the origin: 59°N
X,Y shift = 0

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File and Directory Structure

The directory contains the following files:

ggd630_permafrost.jpg - JPEG of permafrost map
ggd630_legend.pdf - Legend for permafrost map
ggd630_project.apr - ArcView project file
ggd630_permafrost.tar.gz - Shapefile files for permafrost map
ggd630_lakes.tar.gz - Shapefile files for lakes theme
ggd630_rivers.tar.gz - Shapefile files for rivers (drainage) theme

Each Shapefile theme has a minimum of three files associated with it: .shp (feature geometry), .shx (feature geometry index) and .dbf (dBASE format attribute data).

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File Size

The ESRI Shapefiles range from 23 KB to 5.7 MB. The JPG version of the map is 306 KB.

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Map Attributes

The river and lake maps have one attribute code each in ArcView. Codes for the river layer are set to river and codes for the lake layer are set to lake.

There is one attribute for the permafrost zone map. This code is TAG and contains alphanumeric codes that are described below.

CONTINUOUS PERMAFROST:

5MH  Moderate to high ice content due to presence of ice lenses  
         - Alluvial terrace deposits: silt and silty clay   
         - Colluvial blanket deposits: fine grained diamicton
           containing some lenses and beds of sand, gravel and
           rubble
         - Bedrock area of low resistance to erosion in
           unglaciated areas

5LH  Low to high ice content in sandy sediments, as wedges;
        moderate to high ice content in silty and clayey sediments,
        as lenses and rectangular veins; massive ice commonly occurs
        at depth and in pingos
         - Lacustrine and marine deposits as plains and intertidal
           lagoons: interbedded silt, clayey silt, and silty sand,
           locally underlain by diamicton

5LM  Low to moderate ice content, as lenses and reticulate veins,
        higher ice content with depth; massive ice may be present at
        base of diamicton and in underlying sediments
          - Alluvial deposits as fans, plains, and terraces: sands
            and isolated silty layers
          - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: stony clay
            diamicton; may overlie marine and glaciofluvial
            deposits(1,2)
         - Glaciated upland and piedmont complex: mainly till and
           disintergrated bedrock; overlies areas of moderate to
           low slope
         - Veneered bedrock: diamicton overlying low rounded hills
           and ridges of unglaciated bedrock
         - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types

5NL  Nil to low ice content, as wedges   
         - Alluvial deposits: coarse sand and gravel(3)   
         - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, kames, and
           eskers: sand and interbedded sand and gravel(1,4)
         - Colluvial deposits as blankets and veneers: coarse
           diamicton; may overlie areas of unglaciated bedrock
         - Glacially deformed marine deposits: clay and silt, thin
           beds of fine sand may be present

5N   Ice content Nil   
         - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types
---------------------------------------------------

DISCONTINUOUS PERMAFROST:

4MH  Moderate to high ice content where material frozen, as thin
         seams, reticulate veins, and wedges; massive ice may occur
         at depth
            - Lacustrine and glaciolacustrine blanket deposits:
             primarily silt and silty clay with some fine sand and
             gravel; thermokarst depression common in areas of high
             ice content; locally underlain by diamicton(4,5,6)
           - Alluvial deposits as floodplains and terraces: silty
             sand and silt; thermokarst depressions common in
             floodplains(5)

4LM  Ice content low to moderate where material frozen, as thin
        seams, reticulate veins, lenses, and wedges; massive ice
        may occur at depth
          - Morainal and colluvial deposits as veneers and
            blankets: diamicton
          - Alluvial deposits as floodplains, terraces, and fans:
            fine grained sand and silt(1)
          - Glaciofluvial and Glaciolacustrine deposits as outwash
            plains and plains and terraces: gravel, sand, and
            silt(1,3,7)
         - Glaciated upland and piedmont: disintergrated bedrock

4NL   Nil to low ice content where material frozen   
         - Glaciofluvial deposits as terraces, eskers, and kames:
           gravel and sand(3)
         - Landslide debris deposits: extremely variable textures   
         - Eroded and eroding river banks: surface colluvial
           materials on moderate to steep valley walls and scarps
         - Alluvial terrace deposits: gravel(3)

4N    Ice content nil where material frozen   
         - Talus aprons: cobbles and boulders   
         - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types(8)

4V    Highly variable ice content where material frozen, depending
        on topographic positions: crest of prominent ridges are
        generally ice-free, intervening depressions have moderate
        to high ice content
         - Hummocky, ridged moraine: clayey to gravelly sandy till

---------------------------------

INTERMEDIATE:

3MH   Moderate to high ice content where material frozen   
            - Lacustrine blanket deposits: silty clay, silt, and
             sand; locally underlain by diamicton

3LH   Low to high ice content where material frozen, as thin seams,
          lenses, and reticulate veins
           - Alluvial deposits as fans and terraces: mainly silt and
             fine sand, locally includes gravel and clay; may be
             underlain with colluvium
           - Glaciolacustrine plain deposits: fine sand, silt, and
             clay

3LM   Low to moderate ice content where material frozen, as thin
          seams, lenses, and wedges
           - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: diamicton   
           - Alluvial deposits as floodplains, fans and aprons,
            deltas, and terraces, interbedded silt, sand, and
            gravel(1,3)
          - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, fans, and
            terraces: sand and gravel with veneer of silt or fine
            grained sand
          - Marine deposits as tidal flats: interbedded silt,
            clayey silt, and sand, generally high in organic
            content

3NL   Nil to low ice content where material frozen, as thin seams   
          - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains, kame
            terraces, and eskers: gravel and sand
          - Alluvial deposits as deltas, floodplains, terraces:
            predominantly gravel(3)
          - Veneered bedrock: poorly sorted diamicton   
          - Eolian deposits: sand

3N    Ice content nil where material frozen   
          - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types   
          - Talus aprons: cobbles and boulders

3V    Variable ice content where material frozen, depending on
         topographic position: crests of prominent ridges are
         generally ice free, intervening depressions have moderate
         to high ice content, as seams and lenses
          - Hummocky, ridged moraine: clayey to gravelly sandy till

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SPORADIC:

2LM   Low to moderate ice content where material frozen, as lenses
           and wedges
            - Morainal and colluvial blanket deposits: diamicton

2L    Low ice content where material frozen

2NL   Nil to low ice content where material frozen   
          - Glaciofluvial as outwash plains, drumlins, kames,
            hummocks, and eskers: sand and interbedded sand and
            gravel
          - Veneered bedrock: colluvium   
          - Alluvial deposits and fans, terraces and floodplains:
            gravel, sand, and silt
          - Landslide debris deposits: variable textures   
          - Marine beach deposits as spits and bars: sand and gravel

2N    Ice content nil where material frozen   
          - Exposed bedrock: varied bedrock types   
          - Alluvial deposits as plains, fans, and terraces:
             gravel, sand, and silt(3)

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ISOLATED PATCHES:

1L    Low ice content where material frozen, as lenses   
          - Eolian deposits as dunes: sand; generally overlies
            glaciofluvial outwash and lacustrine deposits
          - Alluvial fan deposits: sand and gravel   
          - Glaciofluvial deposits as outwash plains and kame
            terraces: gravel and sand with few beds of silt

1NL   Nil to low ice content where material frozen   
          - Ridged glaciofluvial deposits such as eskers: gravel
            and sand

1N    Ice content nil where material frozen   
          - Alluvial deposits as active floodplains, terraces, and
             fans: gravel, rarely sand and silt(9)

MG    Modern glaciers

MGM   Modern glaciers with moraine cover

NOTES:
(1) Ice content locally higher in lenses of silt and clay 
(2) May have higher ice content where underlain with by marine
      sediments, especially in the northern part of the map area
(3) Ice content locally high where silt, clay, and/or peat form
      veneers or fill depressions
(4) In some areas, such as the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, may be
      covered by sand dunes consisting of fine to medium sand, in
      places silty, with isolated peaty layers; higher ice content
      in silt and peat
(5) Ice content locally lower in lenses of coarser material
(6) May have lower ice content in well drained areas lacking
      thermokarst depressions
(7) Ice content very high where underlain by silt and clay 
(8) Possible low ice content in the northern part of the map area
(9) May have ice content in some areas
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Spatial Coverage

The maps cover the northwest sector of Canada (Mackenzie Region), including most of the Yukon Territory and the western section of the Northwest Territory (60°-70° N, 120°-142° W).

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Parameter or Variable

The permafrost map provides information about permafrost distribution across the Mackenzie region of Canada, including continuous, discontinuous, intermediate, sporadic, and isolated permafrost, and glaciers.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Sharon Smith (project supervisor)
Geological Survey of Canada
601 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0EB
Canada

Acknowledgments: 

Funding for conversion of the map of Heginbottom and Radburn (1992) to digital format was provided by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and the Canadian Governments Climate Change Action Fund. The map was produced by Jason Chartrand under superivision by Sharon Smith of the GSC.

Document Information

Document Creation Date:

March 24, 2003

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