Blog- by Audrey Veillette

August 27, 2015 in post by Audrey Veillette

August 10, 2015

Two weeks after coming back from Bylot Island, it’s already time to leave for another adventure but this time, in Northern Quebec with the course UQAM NORD! We will travel on the road through Abitibi-Témiscamingue up to Radisson and then fly to Kuujjuarapik. On the schedule are a few field visits (mining site of Malarctic, La Grande hydroelectric complex), conferences and testimonials concerning diverse themes such as energy, mining, northern ecosystems, society and culture and tourism. When I will be back in September, it will finally be time to process all the data collected in Bylot Island this summer!

Myself walking in the snowy valley in May 2015 at Bylot Island

Blog – Georadar and permafrost coring (summer 2015): – by Audrey Veillette

August 20, 2015 in post by Audrey Veillette

My fieldwork this summer could be described by two essential elements : a georadar and a permafrost coredrill (oh, and not to forget Vilmantas Preskienis, my precious collegue who helped me all summer to collect the data!).


Daniel Fortier (Director of Geocryolab) and Étienne Godin (PhD candidate) are performing the firsts cores of the summer at my study site. We are looking for aggradational ice, reflecting the uplift of the permafrost table after a perturbation like thermo erosion gullying.


Vilmantas Preskienis (PhD candidate) assembling the georadar and getting ready for a day where we will make 25 cm steps in the tundra!

Our patience was put to the test when using georadar. Over a few hundreds of meters, we surveyed the ground, making steps as small as 10 to 50 cm (depending on the antennas). The data will give us information on the morphology and cryostratigraphy of permafrost at my study site, a stabilized thermo-erosion gully.

To calibrate our georadar data and allow us to precisely characterise permafrost at my study site, a lot of coring was required this summer. Thanks to the coredrill that had its engine purring all summer and worked beautifully. Two big filled coolers were brought back to Montreal!

Blog – by Isabelle de Grandpré

August 18, 2015 in post by de_Grandpré.I

August 14, 2015

It always makes me feel the same when I get in the field: mixed feelings of stress and serenity. Our field mission was clear: detect the presence of ice wedges using different techniques, in probably the most remote place accessible by road in the entire Yukon.

It is by riding our Canadream Camper and our beautifully clean white pickup truck that we hit the road to km 124 of the Dempster Highway. The days go by but not alike: heat waves, snow, high winds, annual gathering of mosquitoes and black fly – a good idea this camper finally.


The essential and much appreciated field pickup truck

How are detected ice wedges when its not possible to see them on the ground? Easy. We need ground-penetrating radar, a drill, a lot of patience and a good mental balance (especially when it comes to do 200 m of GPR transect with antennas that require step size of 10 cm).

Yukon GPR

Georadar in action !


Permafrost extraction using the convenient portable drill

After 5 days of tussoks, of eating good dehydrated food (rice with pieces of chicken or rice with grilled chicken tonight?), of discovering  many answers but more questions, we left to civilization with 4 books well filled of field data that will reveal all their magic during the analysis process.

I think there is a fine line between a hard a memorable fieldtrip: but the immense beauty of the places, the adventure and especially the working team are usually putting the experience on the memorable side.

Thanks Fab, Lyna and Manu, anytime!

by Godin.E

New paper from N. Perreault et al. about vegetation transition following gullying

August 6, 2015 in Article, post by Godin.E