Permafrost Information Network (PIN) – Increasing the Accessibility of Permafrost Data



Sharon Smith –



S.L. Smith – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
H.B. O’Neill – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
B. Brodaric – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
E. Boisvert – Geological Survey of Canada, Québec, QC, Canada
H. Julien – Geological Survey of Canada, Québec, QC, Canada


Knowledge of thermal and geotechnical properties of subsurface materials is critical for planning infrastructure development and adaptation to climate change in permafrost regions. Geotechnical borehole information was available in published database compilations, such as Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) Open Files, but not always digitally accessible. In 2017, GSC and Transport Canada initiated a collaborative project to develop a Permafrost Information Network (PIN) to increase the public accessibility of permafrost information. PIN has adapted the existing web architecture developed for the Groundwater Information Network, which connects groundwater information from federal, provincial, and territorial sources. This facilitates viewing and download of borehole geotechnical data through a web application. PIN has been populated with some of GSC’s geotechnical data compilations with plans to add more. Other data layers have been incorporated, including a new national ground ice map, with plans to incorporate ground temperature records. Next steps include developing linkages between PIN and territorial databases through ongoing collaboration with territorial government partners in order to make new information publicly available on an ongoing basis. This will increase access to baseline information to support decision making in northern Canada and contribute to the development of a Canadian geoscience information network.

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