Dempster Highway Instrumentation

LOCATION: Northwest Territories, Canada

Slope failures resulting from thawing of ice-rich permafrost, known as retrogressive thaw slumps, are an increasingly common hazard along the Dempster Highway located in the Western Canadian Arctic / Sub-Arctic. BGC designed a warning system to identify failure advancement from thaw slumps to mitigate the risk and consequence to road users. Instrumentation systems including tiltmeters, cameras, and automated weather station transmit real-time information, and trigger alerts when thresholds are passed, and debris advancement may impact the road. Furthermore, this collected data is being used to improve understanding of the trigger conditions for thaw slumps and how climate change will increase the density of thaw slumps on a regional scale.