Canadian Arctic Surveying - 08/01/2007


For the third year running James Williams has ventured into the Canadian Arctic with Aquatics to support land and hydrographic survey work for Shell Canada, Shell Oil, Devon, EnCana and Esso. The team of seven, including local Inuit to protect them from the unpredictable wildlife, camped rough through the Arctic tundra river system of the Mackenzie Delta.

Using the latest sonar technology in the form of a Ross Sweep system with 6 transducers mounted on a 15m boom, water depths from 5m to less than 1m were consistently mapped in many of the shallow areas that are located at the mouth of the delta. Additional single-beam echo-sounder work was also conducted on a variety or survey platforms including a jet-ski for fast shallow water coverage. In addition to some appalling conditions, including getting weather bound on a coastal shingle spit for a number of days and numerous groundings whilst trying to find possible routes through uncharted waters within the delta, the entire project was completed successfully in its allotted eight-week period. The final episode ended in a 4110km road trip from Inuvik in the North West Territories across 5 provinces to Dauphin in Manitoba in just 6½ days, providing a grand finale to this adventurous trip to the arctic.

Last updated: 27/02/2018