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You are here: Home Outreach Co-ordinated Scientific Drilling in the Beaufort Sea:

Co-ordinated Scientific Drilling in the Beaufort Sea:

Addressing past, present and future changes in Arctic terrestrial and marine systems

Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada
February 12-15, 2012


The aim of this workshop is to define and integrate the scientific questions and drilling strategies required to assess environmental change and geohazards in the Beaufort Sea. The range of interrelated themes include the long-term glacial and sea-level history of the region; the global and regional significance of paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic conditions in the Beaufort Sea and Western Arctic; the critical boundary conditions and process linkages associated with permafrost and gas hydrate aggradation and degradation on the shelf; and how these processes are related to regional slope stability and geohazards.

The workshop will specifically aim to:

  • Define and integrate outstanding questions and hypotheses that need to be addressed through scientific drilling in the Beaufort Sea
  • Identify key sites and drilling/instrumentation strategies required to answer these questions
  • Address the associated technological challenges and potential drilling platforms
  • Coordinate the collection of new and synthesis of existing site survey data



The anticipated outcome is a co-ordinated drilling and borehole instrumentation strategy that could be implemented through a linked IODP/ICDP proposal. The importance of such an effort was highlighted in the recently published IODP-INVEST report which recognized that “An integrated investigation of the stability of permafrost at the Arctic continental margin to the response of deepwater gas hydrates on the associated continental shelf would form an excellent opportunity to collaboratively link IODP and ICDP in a field of investigation of great societal relevance” (page 89).

The workshop will build upon an existing IODP pre-proposal targeting paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic records from the Mackenzie Trough, as well as an emerging ICDP proposal for offshore hydrate and permafrost drilling on the Beaufort Shelf. However, the scientific questions and potential drilling locations are not limited by these existing efforts.

The workshop is funded by IODP-MI, IODP-Canada, ICDP-Canada and Natural Resources Canada. The workshop is limited to 75 participants, and applicants from international academic, industry and government organisations are welcome. Graduate, post-graduate and early career scientists are especially encouraged to apply. Limited support is available to help cover travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for some participants. Those wishing to be considered for travel support are requested to fill in the appropriate section of the application form. Anyone wishing to attend the workshop is required to complete and submit the linked application form by Friday, December 16, 2011.

For further information please contact a member of the organising committee.




The workshop will run from February 12-15, 2012, at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada ( The Delta Kananaskis is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, 120 km kilometres from Calgary International Airport. Participants are encouraged to stay at the Delta Kananaskis for the duration of the workshop. More information on transportation from the airport to the Delta Kananaskis will be provided after the registration deadline.


Delta Lodge at Kananaskis

1 Centennial Drive

Kananaskis Village

Alberta, T0L 2H0



See the workshop flyer for a more detailed schedule.

EVENING Reception/Icebreaker                                                                                                                
Defining Scientific Questions
MORNING Introduction and Workshop Goals
Invited Talks: Geologic Setting
Invited Talks: Paleoclimate, Paleoceanography and Glacial History                                      
AFTERNOON Invited Talks: Hydrates and Permafrost
Break-out Groups: Defining Scientific Questions
Site Selection
MORNING Invited Talk: An industry perspective on Geohazards in the Beaufort Sea

Presentations from break-out groups and open discussion on key scientific questions

Open Session: Existing proposals, potential drilling sites and themes
AFTERNOON Invited Talk: Drilling technologies and potential platforms for operating in the Beaufort Sea

Break-out Groups: Site selection and drilling/instrumentation requirements
Presentations by break-out groups and open discussion

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 15:Site survey data and the way forward
MORNING Invited Talks: Site survey requirements and existing data
Break out Groups: Site survey requirements for identified drilling targets/sites              
Invited Talk: Linking IODP/ICDP in a joint drilling venture
Open Discussion: The way forward-Planning a linked IODP/ICDP Proposal
Closing remarks (Conference ends at 12:00)




Matt O’Regan
UK.jpg School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University

Anne de Vernal
Canada.jpg GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal, Québec

Scott Dallimore
Canada.jpg Geological Survey of Canada, British Columbia

Pierre Francus
Canada.jpg Centre Eau, Terre & Environnement, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Québec
Claude Hillaire-Marcel Canada.jpg GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal, Québec
Martin Jakobsson Sweden.jpg Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University
David Mosher Canada.jpg Geological Survey of Canada, Nova Scotia
Charles Paull USA.jpg Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California
Andre Rochon Canada.jpg Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER) & GEOTOP, Rimouski, Québec
Tats Sakamoto Japan.jpg Institute of Biogeosciences, Yokosuka
Doug Schmitt Canada.jpg University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
Ruediger Stein Germany.jpg

Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven

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