Exploratory Analysis for Locations of an All-Season Access Corridor Through Northwest Territories' Slave Geological Province for Natural Resource Mining Transportation Using Least Cost Analysis
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 17:53 authored by Katrina Mavrou
This paper examines the preliminary development plan for the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor project, and evaluates the identified criteria and constraints referring to economic, environmental and social sustainability. The corridor project was first introduced in the 1970’s, and in March 2019 progress was made when the Federal government granted $3.4 million towards preliminary work for the all-season corridor, with an additional $2.7 million contributed from other environmental agencies and developers to assist in the preliminary construction of the all-season corridor (CBC News, 2019). Due to the unpredictability of seasonal roads, especially in a time of global climate change and weather extremes, an all-season road is significantly more reliable and will provide benefits to the economy and mining industry of the Northwest Territories. The land is rich in natural resources and creating an all-season road would greatly increase accessibility to northern Canada, directly improving livelihood and future exploration. This paper proposes potential methods for creating a least cost path suitability using geographical information systems via examination of economic, environmental and social factors at various levels. This methodology produced six pathways using six cost surfaces. More detailed criteria layers produced complex heterogeneous cost surfaces that hold a heavy influence in creating barriers in the cost surface layer. Broad, more course data created cost surfaces will continuous cost cells, where cell costs were not as sporadically mixed. The pathways produced in this report are not intended for actual use; rather the methodology, models and scripts should be used as framework for the proposal of the Slave Geological Corridor.