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Workshop Summary

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Science Discussion

Proposal Discussion

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Proposal Discussion
   
 
Following the science discussion, we concluded the workshop with a session on potential topics for proposals.  The goal of this discussion was to develop objectives, strategies, and logistics for two field programs: a marine geology/geophysics survey and an offshore drilling campaign.  The proposals need coordination because the survey proposal would provide the site survey data needed to plan and carry out the drilling campaign.

Marine geology/geophysics proposal.  The key problems to investigate would be the distribution of permafrost and gas hydrates moving from shallow to deep water and the relationship between gas hydrate distribution and slope instability.  The transition between gas hydrates on the shelf and on the continental slope could be imaged with travel-time tomography using ocean bottom seismometers, similarly to the Hydrate Ridge study presented by Nathan Bangs.  Data on gas hydrate distribution and slope instability could be acquired by multichannel seismics, multibeam bathymetry, heat flow surveys, and coring.  These studies could be carried out along three major N-S transects that cross the Beaufort Sea margin, starting from points near Barrow, Prudhoe Bay, and the MacKenzie delta.  These surveys would provide data for siting cabled Arctic observatories and for the drilling proposals described in the next section.  Jim Cochran and Alberto Malinverno will work on a proposal to be submitted in 2006; Nathan Bangs, Margo Edwards, Pat Hart, Tom Lorenson, Mladen Nedimovic, and Charlie Paull expressed interest in participating.

Drilling proposals.  Charlie Paull and Scott Dallimore are planning to submit a proposal to IODP for drilling PLFs in the MacKenzie Mackenzie delta shelf.  The drilling could simply consist of shallow holes on the top, the moat, and the flanks of PLFs or it could also include deeper targets in a transect across the MacKenzie Mackenzie delta shelf.  Besides this proposal, there was also interest in a complementary proposal on characterizing the dynamic environment where an exposed, cold shelf is warmed by transgression and the consequences on permafrost and gas hydrates.  Drilling could extend to the shelf edge and beyond with shallow and deep boreholes.  Extensions to this complementary program may include drilling for a high resolution Holocene-Pleistocene climatic record in the Mackenzie trough and Arctic observatories when available.  Kate Moran offered to host at the University of Rhode Island a meeting in the spring of 2006 to develop further this complementary proposal.