Impacts of past and future coastal changes on the Yukon coast – threats for cultural sites, infrastructure, and travel routes

Anna M. Irrgang, Hugues Lantuit, Richard R. Gordon, Ashley Piskor, Gavin K. Manson
2019 Arctic Science  
Yukon's Beaufort coast, Canada, is a highly dynamic landscape. Cultural sites, infrastructure, and travel routes used by the local population are particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion. To assess threats to these phenomena, rates of shoreline change for a 210 km length of the coast were analyzed and combined with socioeconomic and cultural information. Rates of shoreline change were derived from aerial and satellite imagery from the 1950s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2011. Using these data,
more » ... ve (S1) and dynamic (S2) shoreline projections were constructed to predict shoreline positions for the year 2100. The locations of cultural features in the archives of a Parks Canada database, the Yukon Archaeological Program, and as reported in other literature were combined with projected shoreline position changes. Between 2011 and 2100, approximately 850 ha (S1) and 2660 ha (S2) may erode, resulting in a loss of 45% (S1) to 61% (S2) of all cultural features by 2100. The last large, actively used camp area and two nearshore landing strips will likely be threatened by future coastal processes. Future coastal erosion and sedimentation processes are expected to increasingly threaten cultural sites and influence travelling and living along the Yukon coast.
doi:10.1139/as-2017-0041 fatcat:zmjk5g2dfvbkjaxeggvaik6mua