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Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Foxe Basin area (Nunavut)

The climate and landscapes of the Canadian Arctic are greatly influenced by anthropogenic activities. Drastic changes of ecosystems were observed for long time due to the rapid increase in average temperature, which result in the accelerated melting of glaciers and permafrost. To increase our understanding of these changes and their impacts, we will conduct paleolimnological analyzes of several northern lakes.
This project takes place in the Foxe Basin region, and focus primarily on sampling and analysis of sediment cores from lakes on both shores of Fury and Hecla Strait (Nunavut). It will generate biostratigraphic and geochemical records preserved in the sediments of the sampled lakes, using a “multi-proxy” approach based on physical, chemical and biological parameters of lake sediment cores. Thus, it will evaluate critical thresholds intrinsic to the Arctic climate system and address fundamental questions about Holocene climate variability and sensitivity, as well as postglacial glacio-isostatic dynamics. These insights will further enhance our knowledge of the region’s history and allow us to anticipate future changes and their impacts on northern communities and infrastructure. Also, the historical baseline conditions established through this research will help develop policies for adaptation to a rapidly changing climate and modernization of Canada’s North.