Pingo Distribution, Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula Region, Western Canadian Arctic



Stephen Wolfe –



S.A. Wolfe – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
P.D. Morse – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
P. Behnia – Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada


Pingos are an integral part of the permafrost landscape of the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula region. Via open-data desktop geobrowsers using very-high resolution digital elevation data and colour satellite imagery, we mapped nearly 2820 pingo-like features in the region and confirmed over 2350 pingos in the 18 500 km2 study area. This is nearly double the amount previously mapped using aerial photographs. This region contain the highest concentration of pingos (average of 0.15 km-1) in North America, about 5% of which are in a state of collapse. Occurring at elevations from sea level to about 60 m above sea level, only ~5% are situated on the modern Mackenzie Delta. Most are within the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands where glacial and postglacial sediments veneer Pleistocene interglacial sands. Pingos are most concentrated within the Low Involuted Hills, Kugmallit Plain, and Tununuk Low Hills, where Holocene thermokarst lacustrine basins are most abundant. Our georeferenced database improves the geological context for pingos in the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula region. The catalogue of pingos, collapsed forms and other pingo-like forms provides a means to assess associated morphologies, and to monitor responses associated with changes in climate and the coastal zone.

Scroll to top