Marine Benthic Habitat
Monitoring environmental change can be done through understanding arctic benthic habitats. As climate warming occurs ground temperatures increase and thus permafrost is degraded. Degrading permafrost decreases the stability of features in the landscape. This causes slopes to move due to the decreased stability, also called a slump.
Why survey Benthic Habitats?
Coastal erosion in Arctic Canada is linked to permafrost degradation, relative sea level rise, reduced sea ice cover, and increased late summer storm activity. Coastal erosion and runoff following summer rains cause an influx of sediment to nearshore environments, which may impact benthic plants and animals. Reduced benthic biodiversity, may be a contributing factor to reduced arctic char catches in coastal estuaries and rivers.
Memorial students examine degrading permafrost in coastal cliff near Sachs Harbour, NWT.