Arctic GIS Workshop Poster Abstract
Geoscience Information for Arctic Canada on the Internet
The recent interest in the oil and gas resources of Canada's arctic from the petroleum industry due to the current climate of high prices comes at a time when the region's residents assume more control over their economic development through the devolution of power from the Federal to the Territorial governments and the settlement of native land claims. Increasingly, both the petroleum industry and government agencies are looking for information about the region's surface and sub-surface geology, the former to plan their exploration plays and potential development, and the latter to effectively manage this exploration activity. This interest coincides with the growing use of the Internet to obtain information in this sparsely populated region.
The Geological Survey of Canada is working with the geoscience agencies of the Territorial Governments to make geoscience information searchable and ultimately accessible through the Internet through an initiative termed the Canadian Geoscience Knowledge Network (CGKN). The information will be managed locally by the individual agencies, but made interoperable through convergence towards common standards for metadata and data. The CGKN is itself part of a broader program, the Canadian Geospatial Data Inventory that encompasses all aspects of geographically referenced information, and involves not only government agencies, but also commercial and academic partners.
There are several projects either underway or in an advanced planning stage. A web-based atlas of geoscience information related to oil and gas exploration in the Mackenzie Valley - Beaufort Sea region (60-71EN, 110-141EW) will be ready for public access in the Spring of 2001. This "Northern Mainland atlas" will link approximately 1200 oil and gas exploration wells drilled in this region to more than 100 reports and maps published by the Geological Survey of Canada on the geology and resource potential using results from these wells. The web site will use ArcIMS(tm) to serve the georeferenced information.
A broader project to gather existing information for the sedimentary basins of the entire Canadian Arctic, and to conduct further strategic studies to fill critical information gaps, is planned to commence this year. The main objective of this "Northern Basins Initiative" , like the Northern Mainland Atlas described above, is to provide better information about the region's oil and gas potential, as well as geoscience information to aid resource management and environmental planning for development.
Other Federal government agencies such as The National Energy Board (http://www.neb.gc.ca/) and the Department of Northern and Indian Affairs (http://www.inac.gc.ca/OIL/) provide additional information on hydrocarbon resources and exploration in the Canadian Arctic. The governments of both the Yukon ( and Northwest Territories (http://www.gov.nt.ca/) also provide geoscience information through their own web sites. The government of the newly formed Nunavut Territory is now planning for a similar service (see the poster Web-Enabling Arctic Geoscience data as a contribution to the Canadian Geospatial Data Inventory by Bridget Ady, this poster session).