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Sample records for monitoring permafrost beneath

  1. Permafrost Monitoring Sonnblick

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisenhofer, Stefan; Riedl, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Within the project 'Permafrost Monitoring Sonnblick' (PERSON) the spatial distribution of permafrost is investigated by the 'Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik' (ZAMG) in the Sonnblick area, in the Hohe Tauern in Austria. The aim of PERSON is to identify parameters affecting permafrost (geological, geomorphological, orographical and climatic factors), to determine its spatio-temporal behaviour under present day climate conditions and to estimate its possible future extension under a climate change scenario. PERSON makes use of a permafrost monitoring network that was installed 2005 in the Sonnblick area and is made up by four study sites: On the one hand the spatial extension of permafrost was focused at the ice-dammed lake Pilatus and the rock glacier Zirmsee. On the other hand, at two sites, namely Goldbergspitze and Wintergasse measurements of 'Ground-Surface Temperature' (GST) and 'Bottom Temperatures of the Snow cover' (BTS) are measured. In order to record temperatures in the uppermost layer of the ground and avoid heating by direct solar radiation loggers were buried a few centimetres into the ground or installed in boreholes at depths between 2 and 140 cm. Each of the 'Near Surface Temperature' (NST) borehole mouths is closed up with insulating foam to protect the measurements from atmospheric influence. In addition to these measurements, continuous temperature records from three 20 m deep boreholes located at the southern slope of Hoher Sonnblick are available since 2007, which represent the longest series of its kind in Austria. Furthermore, data from seismic and geoelectric measurements, temperature sensors readings at the surface and extensive meteorological observations from the Sonnblick Observatory are available. Already collected and evaluated data indicate that the thickness of the debris layer around the boreholes reaches a depth of 2 m but no more. The active layer thickness measured in the borehole next to the glacier ranges between

  2. Monitoring Seasonal Changes in Permafrost Using Seismic Interferometry

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    James, S. R.; Knox, H. A.; Abbott, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    The effects of climate change in polar regions and their incorporation in global climate models has recently become an area of great interest. Permafrost holds entrapped greenhouse gases, e.g. CO2 and CH4, which are released to the atmosphere upon thawing, creating a positive feedback mechanism. Knowledge of seasonal changes in active layer thickness as well as long term degradation of permafrost is critical to the management of high latitude infrastructures, hazard mitigation, and increasing the accuracy of climate predictions. Methods for effectively imaging the spatial extent, depth, thickness, and discontinuous nature of permafrost over large areas are needed. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of permafrost over annual time scales would provide valuable insight into permafrost degradation. Seismic interferometry using ambient seismic noise has proven effective for recording velocity changes within the subsurface for a variety of applications, but has yet to be applied to permafrost studies. To this end, we deployed 7 Nanometrics Trillium posthole broadband seismometers within Poker Flat Research Range, located 30 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska in a zone of discontinuous permafrost. Approximately 2 years worth of nearly continuous ambient noise data was collected. Using the python package MSNoise, relative changes in velocity were calculated. Results show high amounts of variability throughout the study period. General trends of negative relative velocity shifts can be seen between August and October followed by a positive relative velocity shift between November and February. Differences in relative velocity changes with both frequency and spatial location are also observed, suggesting this technique is sensitive to permafrost variation with depth and extent. Overall, short and long term changes in shallow subsurface velocity can be recovered using this method proposing seismic interferometry is a promising new technique for permafrost monitoring. Sandia

  3. CRYOLINK: Monitoring of permafrost and seasonal frost in southern Norway

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    Farbrot, Herman; Hipp, Tobias; Etzelmüller, Bernd; Humlum, Ole; Isaksen, Ketil; Strand Ødegârd, Rune

    2010-05-01

    The modern southern boundary for Scandinavian permafrost is located in the mountains of Southern Norway. Permafrost and seasonal frost are considered key components of the cryosphere, and the climate-permafrost relation has acquired added importance with the increasing awareness and concern of rising air temperatures. The three-year research project CRYOLINK ("Permafrost and seasonal frost in southern Norway") aims at improving knowledge on past and present ground temperatures, seasonal frost, and distribution of mountain permafrost in Southern Norway by addressing the fundamental problem of heat transfer between the atmosphere and the ground surface. Hence, several shallow boreholes have been drilled in August 2008 in three areas (Juvvass, Jetta and Tron) situated along a west-east transect. On most borehole sites air and ground temperatures are measured. Further, vertical arrays of Miniature Temperature Dataloggers (MTDs; Thermochron iBottons®) at fixed heights above the ground surface have been installed to roughly determine the snow depths at the sites, which is also indicated by digital cameras providing daily pictures of snow and weather conditions. In addition individual MTDs have been placed out to measure ground surface temperature at different aspects and snow settings. This presentation will focus on the field set up and give examples of data obtained from the sites.

  4. Uav Photogrammetry for Mapping and Monitoring of Northern Permafrost Landscapes

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    Fraser, R. H.; Olthof, I.; Maloley, M.; Fernandes, R.; Prevost, C.; van der Sluijs, J.

    2015-08-01

    Northern environments are changing in response to recent climate warming, resource development, and natural disturbances. The Arctic climate has warmed by 2-3°C since the 1950's, causing a range of cryospheric changes including declines in sea ice extent, snow cover duration, and glacier mass, and warming permafrost. The terrestrial Arctic has also undergone significant temperature-driven changes in the form of increased thermokarst, larger tundra fires, and enhanced shrub growth. Monitoring these changes to inform land managers and decision makers is challenging due to the vast spatial extents involved and difficult access. Environmental monitoring in Canada's North is often based on local-scale measurements derived from aerial reconnaissance and photography, and ecological, hydrologic, and geologic sampling and surveying. Satellite remote sensing can provide a complementary tool for more spatially comprehensive monitoring but at coarser spatial resolutions. Satellite remote sensing has been used to map Arctic landscape changes related to vegetation productivity, lake expansion and drainage, glacier retreat, thermokarst, and wildfire activity. However, a current limitation with existing satellite-based techniques is the measurement gap between field measurements and high resolution satellite imagery. Bridging this gap is important for scaling up field measurements to landscape levels, and validating and calibrating satellite-based analyses. This gap can be filled to a certain extent using helicopter or fixed-wing aerial surveys, but at a cost that is often prohibitive. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has only recently progressed to the point where it can provide an inexpensive and efficient means of capturing imagery at this middle scale of measurement with detail that is adequate to interpret Arctic vegetation (i.e. 1-5 cm) and coverage that can be directly related to satellite imagery (1-10 km2). Unlike satellite measurements, UAVs permit frequent

  5. UAV PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR MAPPING AND MONITORING OF NORTHERN PERMAFROST LANDSCAPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Fraser

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Northern environments are changing in response to recent climate warming, resource development, and natural disturbances. The Arctic climate has warmed by 2–3°C since the 1950’s, causing a range of cryospheric changes including declines in sea ice extent, snow cover duration, and glacier mass, and warming permafrost. The terrestrial Arctic has also undergone significant temperature-driven changes in the form of increased thermokarst, larger tundra fires, and enhanced shrub growth. Monitoring these changes to inform land managers and decision makers is challenging due to the vast spatial extents involved and difficult access. Environmental monitoring in Canada’s North is often based on local-scale measurements derived from aerial reconnaissance and photography, and ecological, hydrologic, and geologic sampling and surveying. Satellite remote sensing can provide a complementary tool for more spatially comprehensive monitoring but at coarser spatial resolutions. Satellite remote sensing has been used to map Arctic landscape changes related to vegetation productivity, lake expansion and drainage, glacier retreat, thermokarst, and wildfire activity. However, a current limitation with existing satellite-based techniques is the measurement gap between field measurements and high resolution satellite imagery. Bridging this gap is important for scaling up field measurements to landscape levels, and validating and calibrating satellite-based analyses. This gap can be filled to a certain extent using helicopter or fixed-wing aerial surveys, but at a cost that is often prohibitive. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV technology has only recently progressed to the point where it can provide an inexpensive and efficient means of capturing imagery at this middle scale of measurement with detail that is adequate to interpret Arctic vegetation (i.e. 1–5 cm and coverage that can be directly related to satellite imagery (1–10 km2. Unlike satellite measurements

  6. Thermal impact of a small alas-valley river in a continuous permafrost area - insights and issues raised from a field monitoring Site in Syrdakh (Central Yakutia)

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    Grenier, Christophe; Nicolas, Roux; Fedorov, Alexander; Konstantinov, Pavel; Séjourné, Antoine; Costard, François; Marlin, Christelle; Khristoforov, Ivan; Saintenoy, Albane

    2017-04-01

    Lakes are probably the most prominent surface water bodies in continuous permafrost areas. As a consequence, they are also the most studied features in these regions (e.g. Fedorov et al. 2014). They are indeed of great interest, not only for local populations that use the water resource they represent both in winter and summer, but also from a climatic point of view as they can be a specific source of green-house gases due to the relatively warmer environment they create, especially associated with their taliks (thawed zone surrounded by permafrost located beneath large enough lakes). From a hydrogeological perspective, such taliks can form complex groundwater networks, thus possibly connecting sub-permafrost groundwater with surface water in the present context of climate change. On the other hand, rivers, another important feature of permafrost landscapes providing similar challenges, have drawn less attention so that only a few studies focus on river interactions with permafrost (e.g. Costard et al. 2014, Grenier et al. 2013). However, the processes of heat transfer at stake between river and permafrost strongly differ from lake systems for several reasons. The geometries differ, the river water flow and thermal regimes and interactions with the lateral slopes (valley) are specific. Of particular importance is the fact that the water, in the case of rivers, is in motion leading to specific heat exchange phenomena between water and soil. (Roux et al., accepted) addressed this issue recently by means of an experimental study in a cold room and associated numerical simulations. The present study focuses on a real river-permafrost system with its full natural complexity. A small alas-valley in the vicinity of Yakutsk (Central Yakutia, Siberia) was chosen. Monitoring was started in October 2012 to study the thermal and hydrological interactions between a river and its underground in this continuous permafrost environment. Thermal sensors were installed inside the

  7. Monitoring of thermal regime of permafrost in the coastal zone of Western Yamal

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    Vasiliev, A.

    2009-04-01

    Data on thermal regime of permafrost are required for estimation of the climate change influence on permafrost dynamics. Monitoring of thermal regime of permafrost was arranged in the area of weather station "Marre-Sale", western Yamal. In terms of geomorphology, the area of our observations belongs to the second and third marine terraces; the surface of these terraces has been partly modified by recent cryogenic processes. The elevation varies from 10 to 30 m a.s.l. Marine clays lie at the base of the geological section of the coastal deposits. Their upper part was eroded and uneven surface of marine sediments is overlain by continental sandy sediments. Marine clays are saline. In the southern part of study area, low accumulative islands are forming. Their heights above sea level do not exceed 0.5 meters, and during high tides their surface is covered by sea water. The sediments accumulating at these islands are saline silty clays. Western Yamal region is located within continuous permafrost zone with thickness of 150 to 200 meters. Study of thermal regime in the on-shore zone has been performed since 1979 using the 10-12-m-deep boreholes. In 2007, five boreholes were included in the work program of the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) project developed as a part of IPY scientific activities. According to TSP program, temperature sensors were installed at depths 2, 3, 5, and 10 meters; measurements have been performed every six hours. In this presentation, results of our observations related to climate change are discussed. For different terrain units, increase of mean annual permafrost temperature during the last 30 years has reached 0.6 to 1.5 deg. C. In the transit zone, monitoring of thermal regime have been performed since 2006. Sensors were installed at depths 0, 0.25, 0.6, 0.75, 1.25, 1.75, and 2.25 meters. The active layer depth here reaches 1.9 meters, thus the 2.25-m-sensor is located within permafrost. Monitoring data show the sharp increase in mean

  8. The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost Database: metadata statistics and prospective analysis on future permafrost temperature and active layer depth monitoring site distribution

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    Biskaborn, B. K.; Lanckman, J.-P.; Lantuit, H.; Elger, K.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Cable, W. L.; Romanovsky, V. E.

    2015-03-01

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) provides the first dynamic database associated with the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) and the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) programs, which extensively collect permafrost temperature and active layer thickness data from Arctic, Antarctic and Mountain permafrost regions. The purpose of the database is to establish an "early warning system" for the consequences of climate change in permafrost regions and to provide standardized thermal permafrost data to global models. In this paper we perform statistical analysis of the GTN-P metadata aiming to identify the spatial gaps in the GTN-P site distribution in relation to climate-effective environmental parameters. We describe the concept and structure of the Data Management System in regard to user operability, data transfer and data policy. We outline data sources and data processing including quality control strategies. Assessment of the metadata and data quality reveals 63% metadata completeness at active layer sites and 50% metadata completeness for boreholes. Voronoi Tessellation Analysis on the spatial sample distribution of boreholes and active layer measurement sites quantifies the distribution inhomogeneity and provides potential locations of additional permafrost research sites to improve the representativeness of thermal monitoring across areas underlain by permafrost. The depth distribution of the boreholes reveals that 73% are shallower than 25 m and 27% are deeper, reaching a maximum of 1 km depth. Comparison of the GTN-P site distribution with permafrost zones, soil organic carbon contents and vegetation types exhibits different local to regional monitoring situations on maps. Preferential slope orientation at the sites most likely causes a bias in the temperature monitoring and should be taken into account when using the data for global models. The distribution of GTN-P sites within zones of projected temperature change show a high

  9. Resolution capacity of geophysical monitoring regarding permafrost degradation induced by hydrological processes

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    Mewes, Benjamin; Hilbich, Christin; Delaloye, Reynald; Hauck, Christian

    2017-12-01

    Geophysical methods are often used to characterize and monitor the subsurface composition of permafrost. The resolution capacity of standard methods, i.e. electrical resistivity tomography and refraction seismic tomography, depends not only on static parameters such as measurement geometry, but also on the temporal variability in the contrast of the geophysical target variables (electrical resistivity and P-wave velocity). Our study analyses the resolution capacity of electrical resistivity tomography and refraction seismic tomography for typical processes in the context of permafrost degradation using synthetic and field data sets of mountain permafrost terrain. In addition, we tested the resolution capacity of a petrophysically based quantitative combination of both methods, the so-called 4-phase model, and through this analysed the expected changes in water and ice content upon permafrost thaw. The results from the synthetic data experiments suggest a higher sensitivity regarding an increase in water content compared to a decrease in ice content. A potentially larger uncertainty originates from the individual geophysical methods than from the combined evaluation with the 4-phase model. In the latter, a loss of ground ice can be detected quite reliably, whereas artefacts occur in the case of increased horizontal or vertical water flow. Analysis of field data from a well-investigated rock glacier in the Swiss Alps successfully visualized the seasonal ice loss in summer and the complex spatially variable ice, water and air content changes in an interannual comparison.

  10. Resolution capacity of geophysical monitoring regarding permafrost degradation induced by hydrological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Mewes

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Geophysical methods are often used to characterize and monitor the subsurface composition of permafrost. The resolution capacity of standard methods, i.e. electrical resistivity tomography and refraction seismic tomography, depends not only on static parameters such as measurement geometry, but also on the temporal variability in the contrast of the geophysical target variables (electrical resistivity and P-wave velocity. Our study analyses the resolution capacity of electrical resistivity tomography and refraction seismic tomography for typical processes in the context of permafrost degradation using synthetic and field data sets of mountain permafrost terrain. In addition, we tested the resolution capacity of a petrophysically based quantitative combination of both methods, the so-called 4-phase model, and through this analysed the expected changes in water and ice content upon permafrost thaw. The results from the synthetic data experiments suggest a higher sensitivity regarding an increase in water content compared to a decrease in ice content. A potentially larger uncertainty originates from the individual geophysical methods than from the combined evaluation with the 4-phase model. In the latter, a loss of ground ice can be detected quite reliably, whereas artefacts occur in the case of increased horizontal or vertical water flow. Analysis of field data from a well-investigated rock glacier in the Swiss Alps successfully visualized the seasonal ice loss in summer and the complex spatially variable ice, water and air content changes in an interannual comparison.

  11. Monitoring and Quantifying Subsurface Ice and Water Content in Permafrost Regions Based on Geophysical Data Sets

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    Hauck, C.; Bach, M.; Hilbich, C.

    2007-12-01

    good model performance for various field cases in permafrost research. Especially the 2- dimensional monitoring and detection of ground ice and air cavities in the blocky surface layer was substantially improved. Validation of the model results was obtained using borehole and energy balance data from different permafrost sites.

  12. Permafrost in vegetated scree slopes below the timberline - characterization of thermal properties and permafrost conditions by temperature measurements and geoelectrical monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwindt, Daniel; Kneisel, Christof

    2010-05-01

    Discontinuous alpine permafrost is expected to exist at altitudes above 2400m a.s.l. at mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) of less than -1°C. Below timberline only a few sites are known, where sporadic permafrost exists in vegetated talus slopes with positive MAAT. Aim of the study is to characterize permafrost-humus interaction, the thermal regime and its influence on temporal and spatial permafrost variability. Results of geophysical and thermal measurements from three talus slopes, located in the Swiss Alps (Engadin, Appenzell) at elevations between 1200 and 1800m a.s.l. with MAAT between 2.8°C and 5.5°C are presented. Parent rock-material of the slopes are granite (Bever Valley, Engadin) and dolomite (Susauna Valley, Engadin; Brüeltobel, Appenzell). Joint application of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and refraction seismic tomography (RST) is used to detect and characterize permafrost. To observe temporal and spatial variability in ice content and characteristics year-around geoelectrical monitoring and quasi-3D ERT are used. A forward modeling approach has been applied to validate the results of geoelectrical monitoring. A number of temperature data loggers were installed in different depth of the humus layer and in different positions of the slope to monitor the ground thermal regime. Isolated permafrost has been detected by the combination of ERT and RST in the lower parts of the investigated talus slopes. Results from geophysical measurements and monitoring indicate a high spatial and temporal variability in ice content and ice characteristics (temperature, density, content of unfrozen water) for all sites. A distinct rise of resistivities between November and December indicates a decrease of unfrozen water content, caused by a pronounced cooling in the lower parts of the slope. Decreasing ice content and extent of the permafrost lenses can be observed in decreasing seismic velocities from 2600m/sec in spring to only 1500m/sec in October. Ice

  13. The GTN-P Data Management System: A central database for permafrost monitoring parameters of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) and beyond

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    Lanckman, Jean-Pierre; Elger, Kirsten; Karlsson, Ævar Karl; Johannsson, Halldór; Lantuit, Hugues

    2013-04-01

    Permafrost is a direct indicator of climate change and has been identified as Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by the global observing community. The monitoring of permafrost temperatures, active-layer thicknesses and other parameters has been performed for several decades already, but it was brought together within the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) in the 1990's only, including the development of measurement protocols to provide standardized data. GTN-P is the primary international observing network for permafrost sponsored by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and managed by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). All GTN-P data was outfitted with an "open data policy" with free data access via the World Wide Web. The existing data, however, is far from being homogeneous: it is not yet optimized for databases, there is no framework for data reporting or archival and data documentation is incomplete. As a result, and despite the utmost relevance of permafrost in the Earth's climate system, the data has not been used by as many researchers as intended by the initiators of the programs. While the monitoring of many other ECVs has been tackled by organized international networks (e.g. FLUXNET), there is still no central database for all permafrost-related parameters. The European Union project PAGE21 created opportunities to develop this central database for permafrost monitoring parameters of GTN-P during the duration of the project and beyond. The database aims to be the one location where the researcher can find data, metadata, and information of all relevant parameters for a specific site. Each component of the Data Management System (DMS), including parameters, data levels and metadata formats were developed in cooperation with the GTN-P and the IPA. The general framework of the GTN-P DMS is based on an object oriented model (OOM), open for as many parameters as possible, and

  14. Using Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing to Monitor Large Scale Permafrost Transitions: Preliminary Results from a Controlled Thaw Experiment

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    Ajo Franklin, J. B.; Wagner, A. M.; Lindsey, N.; Dou, S.; Bjella, K.; Daley, T. M.; Freifeld, B. M.; Ulrich, C.; Gelvin, A.; Morales, A.; James, S. R.; Saari, S.; Ekblaw, I.; Wood, T.; Robertson, M.; Martin, E. R.

    2016-12-01

    In a warming world, permafrost landscapes are being rapidly transformed by thaw, yielding surface subsidence and groundwater flow alteration. The same transformations pose a threat to arctic infrastructure and can induce catastrophic failure of the roads, runways, and pipelines on which human habitation depends. Scalable solutions to monitoring permafrost thaw dynamics are required to both quantitatively understand biogeochemical feedbacks as well as to protect built infrastructure from damage. Unfortunately, permafrost alteration happens over the time scale of climate change, years to decades, a decided challenge for testing new sensing technologies in a limited context. One solution is to engineer systems capable of rapidly thawing large permafrost units to allow short duration experiments targeting next-generation sensing approaches. We present preliminary results from a large-scale controlled permafrost thaw experiment designed to evaluate the utility of different geophysical approaches for tracking the cause, precursors, and early phases of thaw subsidence. We focus on the use of distributed fiber optic sensing for this challenge and deployed distributed temperature (DTS), strain (DSS), and acoustic (DAS) sensing systems in a 2D array to detect thaw signatures. A 10 x 15 x 1 m section of subsurface permafrost was heated using an array of 120 downhole heaters (60 w) at an experimental site near Fairbanks, AK. Ambient noise analysis of DAS datasets collected at the plot, coupled to shear wave inversion, was utilized to evaluate changes in shear wave velocity associated with heating and thaw. These measurements were confirmed by seismic surveys collected using a semi-permanent orbital seismic source activated on a daily basis. Fiber optic measurements were complemented by subsurface thermistor and thermocouple arrays, timelapse total station surveys, LIDAR, secondary seismic measurements (geophone and broadband recordings), timelapse ERT, borehole NMR, soil

  15. a Research on Monitoring Surface Deformation and Relationships with Surface Parameters in Qinghai Tibetan Plateau Permafrost

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    Mi, S. J.; Li, Y. T.; Wang, F.; Li, L.; Ge, Y.; Luo, L.; Zhang, C. L.; Chen, J. B.

    2017-09-01

    The Qinghai Tibetan Plateau permafrost has been the largest permafrost region in middle-low latitude in the world for its high altitude. For the large area permafrost, especially surface deformation brought by it, have serious influence on the road engineering, road maintaining and regional economic development. Consequently, it is essential to monitor the surface deformation and study factors that influent it. We monitored an area named Wudaoliang from July 25, 2015 to June 1, 2016 and 15 Sentinel images were obtained during this time. The area we chose is about 35 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide, and the national road 109 of China passes through the area. The traditional PS-INSAR (Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) method is not suitable because less historical images in the research area and leading to the number of PS (Persistent Scatterer) points is not enough to obtain accurate deformation results. Therefore, in this paper, we used another method which named QUASI-PSInSAR (QUASI Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) to acquire deformation for it has the advantage to weaken or eliminate the effects of spatial and temporal correlation, which has proved by other scholar. After processing 15 images in the SARproz software, we got the conclusions that, 1) the biggest deformation velocity in the whole area was about 127.9mm/year and about 109.3 mm/year in the road; 2) apparent deformation which have surface deformation more than 30mm/year was about 1.7Km in the road. Meanwhile, soil moisture(SM), Land surface temperature (LST) and surface water(SW), which are primary parameters of the land surface over the same time were reversed by using Sentinel data, Landsat data and ZY-3 data, respectively. After analyzing SM, LST , SW and deformation, we obtained that wet areas which had bigger SM, lower LST and more SW, had greater percentage of severe deformation than arid areas; besides, deformation pattern were

  16. Freeze/Thaw-Induced Deformation Monitoring and Assessment of the Slope in Permafrost Based on Terrestrial Laser Scanner and GNSS

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    Lihui Luo

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Most previous studies of the Qinghai-Tibet engineering corridor (QTEC have focused on the impacts of climate change on thaw-induced slope failures, whereas few have considered freeze-induced slope failures. Terrestrial laser scanning was used in combination with global navigation satellite systems to monitor three-dimensional surface changes between 2014 and 2015 on the slope of permafrost in the QTEC, which experienced two thawing periods and a freezing period. Soil temperature and moisture sensors were also deployed at 11 depths to reveal the hydrological–thermal dynamics of the active layer. We analyzed scanned surface changes in the slope based on comparisons of multi-temporal point cloud data to determine how the hydrological–thermal process affected active layer deformation during freeze–thaw cycles, thereby comprehensively quantifying the surface deformation. During the two thawing periods, the major structure of the slope exhibited subsidence trends, whereas the major structure of the slope had an uplift trend in the freezing period. The seasonal subsidence trend was caused by thaw settlement and the seasonal uplift trend was probably due to frost heaving. This occurred mainly because the active layer and the upper permafrost underwent a phase transition due to heat transfer. The ground movements occurred approximately in the soil temperature conduction direction between the top of the soil and the permafrost table. The elevation deformation range was mainly −0.20 m to 0.20 m. Surface volume increases with heaving after freezing could have compensated for the loss of thawing twice and still led to the upward swelling of the slope. Thus, this type of slope in permafrost is dominated by frost heave. Deformation characteristics of the slope will support enhanced decision making regarding the implementation of remote sensing and hydrological–thermal measurement technologies to monitor changes in the slopes in permafrost adjacent to

  17. The Antarctic permafrost as a testbed for REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station-Mars Science Laboratory)

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    Esteban, B.; Ramos, M.; Sebastián, E.; Armiens, C.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Cabos, W.; de Pablo, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    The present climatic characteristics of Mars favor the presence of extense permafrost areas in this lonely planet. Therefore environmental parameters that are included in Martian Rover missions are also used for monitoring thermal soil surface evolution in order to study the permafrost active layer thickness and the energy balance in the soil-atmosphere boundary limit layer. The REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) is an environmental station designed by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB- Spain) with the collaboration of national and international partners (CRISA/EADS, UPC and FMI), which is part of the payload of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) NASA mission to Mars (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/overview/). This mission is expected to be launched in the final months of 2009, and mainly consists of a Rover, with a complete set of scientific instruments; the Rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. Five sensors compose the REMS instrument: ground (GT-REMS) and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, pressure, humidity and ultraviolet radiation (UV-REMS). A simplified setup of the REMS was deployed on Antarctica in the surroundings of the Spanish Antarctic Stations on Livingston and Deception Islands (Maritime Antarctica), where the permafrost distribution is well-known. The aim of the experiment was to check REMS's sensors response against hard environmental conditions and calibrates their measures with standard Antarctic devices. The experimental apparatuses included some standard meteorological and thermopiles sensors corresponding to the REMS. All the sensors are mounted in a 1.8 m mast and include a Pt100 air temperature sensor with shield solar protection on the mast top, a Kipp and Zonnen CNR1 net radiometer for measuring infrared (5-50 μm) and short wave solar (305-2800 nm) radiation at 1.5 m high, GT-REMS sensor and its amplification box at 0.7 m high and finally

  18. Permafrost and climate in Europe: Monitoring and modelling thermal, geomorphological and geotechnical responses

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    Harris, Charles; Arenson, Lukas U.; Christiansen, Hanne H.; Etzelmüller, Bernd; Frauenfelder, Regula; Gruber, Stephan; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hauck, Christian; Hölzle, Martin; Humlum, Ole; Isaksen, Ketil; Kääb, Andreas; Kern-Lütschg, Martina A.; Lehning, Michael; Matsuoka, Norikazu; Murton, Julian B.; Nötzli, Jeanette; Phillips, Marcia; Ross, Neil; Seppälä, Matti; Springman, Sarah M.; Vonder Mühll, Daniel

    2009-02-01

    We present a review of the changing state of European permafrost within a spatial zone that includes the continuous high latitude arctic permafrost of Svalbard and the discontinuous high altitude mountain permafrost of Iceland, Fennoscandia and the Alps. The paper focuses on methodological developments and data collection over the last decade or so, including research associated with the continent-scale network of instrumented permafrost boreholes established between 1998 and 2001 under the European Union PACE project. Data indicate recent warming trends, with greatest warming at higher latitudes. Equally important are the impacts of shorter-term extreme climatic events, most immediately reflected in changes in active layer thickness. A large number of complex variables, including altitude, topography, insolation and snow distribution, determine permafrost temperatures. The development of regionally calibrated empirical-statistical models, and physically based process-oriented models, is described, and it is shown that, though more complex and data dependent, process-oriented approaches are better suited to estimating transient effects of climate change in complex mountain topography. Mapping and characterisation of permafrost depth and distribution requires integrated multiple geophysical approaches and recent advances are discussed. We report on recent research into ground ice formation, including ice segregation within bedrock and vein ice formation within ice wedge systems. The potential impacts of climate change on rock weathering, permafrost creep, landslides, rock falls, debris flows and slow mass movements are also discussed. Recent engineering responses to the potentially damaging effects of climate warming are outlined, and risk assessment strategies to minimise geological hazards are described. We conclude that forecasting changes in hazard occurrence, magnitude and frequency is likely to depend on process-based modelling, demanding improved

  19. LiDAR for monitoring mass movements in permafrost environments at the cirque Hinteres Langtal, Austria, between 2000 and 2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Avian

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost areas receive more and more attention in terms of natural hazards in recent years due to ongoing global warming. Active rockglaciers are mixtures of debris and ice (of different origin in high-relief environments indicating permafrost conditions for a substantial period of time. Style and velocity of the downward movement of this debris-ice-mass is influenced by topoclimatic conditions. The rockglacier Hinteres Langtalkar is stage of extensive modifications in the last decade as a consequence of an extraordinary high surface movement. Terrestrial laserscanning (or LiDAR campaigns have been out once or twice per year since 2000 to monitor surface dynamics at the highly active front of the rockglacier. High resolution digital terrain models are the basis for annual and inter-annual analysis of surface elevation changes. Results show that the observed area shows predominantly positive surface elevation changes causing a consequent lifting of the surface over the entire period. Nevertheless a decreasing surface lifting of the observed area in the last three years leads to the assumption that the material transport from the upper part declines in the last years. Furthermore the rockglacier front is characterized by extensive mass wasting and partly disintegration of the rockglacier body. As indicated by the LiDAR results as well as from field evidence, this rockglacier front seems to represent a permafrost influenced landslide.

  20. Potential Magma Chambers beneath the Tatun Volcanic Area, Taiwan: Results from Magnetotelluric Survey and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C.

    2013-12-01

    Previous earthquakes analysis indicated existing seismicity anomaly beneath Tatun volcano, Taiwan, possibly caused by the fluid activity of the volcano. Helium isotope studies also indicated that over 60% of the fumarolic gases and vapors originated from deep mantle in the Tatun volcano area. The chemistry of the fumarolic gases and vapors and seismicity anomaly are important issues in view of possible magma chamber in the Tatun volcano, where is in the vicinity of metropolitan Taipei, only 15 km north of the capital city. In this study magnetotelluric (MT) soundings and monitoring were deployed to understand the geoelectric structures in the Tatun volcano as Electromagnetic methods are sensitive to conductivity contrasts and can be used as a supplementary tool to delineate reservoir boundaries. An anticline extending more than 10 km beneath the Chih-Shin-Shan and Da-You-Kan areas was recognized. Low resistivity at a shallow and highly porous layer 500m thick might indicate circulation of heated water. However, a high resistivity layer at depth between 2 and 6 km was detected. This layer could be associated with high micro-earthquakes zone. The characteristics of this layer produced by either the magma chamber or other geothermal activity were similar to that of some other active volcanic areas in the world. At 6 km underground was a dome structure of medium resistivity. This structure could be interpreted as a magma chamber in which the magma is possibly cooling down, as judged by its relatively high resistivity. The exact attributes of the magma chamber were not precisely determined from the limited MT soundings. At present, a joint monitors including seismic activity, ground deformation, volcanic gases, and changes in water levels and chemistry are conducted by universities and government agencies. When unusual activity is detected, a response team may do more ground surveys to better determine if an eruption is likely.

  1. Multi-decadal degradation and persistence of permafrost in the Alaska Highway corridor, northwest Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    James, Megan; Lewkowicz, Antoni G; Smith, Sharon L; Miceli, Christina M

    2013-01-01

    Changes in permafrost distribution in the southern discontinuous zone were evaluated by repeating a 1964 survey through part of the Alaska Highway corridor (56° N–61° N) in northwest Canada. A total of 55 sites from the original survey in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon were located using archival maps and photographs. Probing for frozen ground, manual excavations, air and ground temperature monitoring, borehole drilling and geophysical techniques were used to gather information on present-day permafrost and climatic conditions. Mean annual air temperatures have increased by 1.5–2.0 ° C since the mid-1970s and significant degradation of permafrost has occurred. Almost half of the permafrost sites along the entire transect which exhibited permafrost in 1964 do so no longer. This change is especially evident in the south where two-thirds of the formerly permafrost sites have thawed and the limit of permafrost appears to have shifted northward. The permafrost that persists is patchy, generally less than 15 m thick, has mean annual surface temperatures >0 ° C, mean ground temperatures between −0.5 and 0 ° C, is in peat or beneath a thick organic mat, and appears to have a thicker active layer than in 1964. Its persistence may relate to the latent heat requirements of thawing permafrost or to the large thermal offset of organic soils. The study demonstrates that degradation of permafrost has occurred in the margins of its distribution in the last few decades, a trend that is expected to continue as the climate warms. (letter)

  2. Using in-field and remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of small-scale permafrost decline in Northern Quebec

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Inga; Kim, Jun Su; Spannraft, Kati; Ludwig, Ralf; Hajnsek, Irena; Bernier, Monique; Allard, Michel

    2010-05-01

    Permafrost-affected soils represent about 45% of Canadian arctic and subarctic regions. Under the recently recorded changed climate conditions, the areas located in the discontinuous permafrost zones are likely to belong to the most impacted environments. Degradations of Palsas and lithalsas as being the most distinct permafrost landforms as well as an extension of wetlands have been observe during the past decades by several research teams all over the northern Arctic. These alterations, caused by longer an warmer thawing periods, are expected to become more and more frequent in the future. The effects on human beings and on the surrounding sensitive ecosystems are presumed to be momentous and of high relevance. Hence, there is a high demand for new techniques that are able to detect, and possibly even predict, the behavior of the permafrost within a changing environment. The presented study is part of an international research collaboration between LMU, INRS and UL within the framework of ArcticNet. The project intends to develop a monitoring system strongly based on remote sensing imagery and GIS-based data analysis, using a test site located in northern Quebec (Umiujaq, 56°33' N, 76°33' W). It shall be investigated to which extent the interpretation of satellite imagery is feasible to partially substitute costly and difficult geophysical point measurements, and to provide spatial knowledge about the major factors that control permafrost dynamics and ecosystem change. In a first step, these factors, mainly expected to be determined from changes in topography, vegetation cover and snow cover, are identified and validated by means of several consecutive ground truthing initiatives supporting the analysis of multi-sensoral time series of remotely sensed information. Both sources are used to generate and feed different concepts for modeling permafrost dynamics by ways of parameter retrieval and data assimilation. On this poster, the outcomes of the first project

  3. Coupled thermo-geophysical inversion for high-latitude permafrost monitoring - assessment of the method and practical considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomaskovicova, Sonia; Paamand, Eskild; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Bauer-Gottwein, Peter

    2013-04-01

    difference between the synthetic and the measured apparent resistivities is minimized in a least-squares inversion procedure by adjusting the thermal parameters of the heat model. A site-specific calibration is required since the relation between unfrozen water content and temperature is strongly dependent on the grain size of the soil. We present details of an automated permanent field measurement setup that has been established to collect the calibration data in Ilulissat, West Greenland. Considering the station location in high latitude environment, this setup is unique of its kind since the installation of automated geophysical stations in the Arctic conditions is a challenging task. The main issues are related to availability of adapted equipment, high demand on robustness of the equipment and method due to the harsh environment, remoteness of the field sites and related powering issues of such systems. By showing the results from the new-established geoelectrical station over the freezing period in autumn 2012, we prove the 2D time lapse resistivity tomography to be an effective method for permafrost monitoring in high latitudes. We demonstrate the effectivity of time lapse geoelectrical signal for petrophysical relationship calibration, which is enhanced comparing to sparse measurements.

  4. A national strategy for a long-term monitoring of permafrost and periglacial processes and their relationship to natural hazard prevention in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Bartsch, Annett; Gitschthaler, Christoph; Reisenhofer, Stefan; Weyss, Gernot; Riedl, Claudia; Avian, Michael

    2016-04-01

    About 2.5% (~2000 km²) of the national territory of Austria is influenced by permafrost conditions. A slightly smaller area of Austria is additionally affected by deep seasonal frost which is, however, similarly exposed to intensive physical weathering and related geomorphic processes. Currently, 23 skiing resorts, 31 water reservoirs and 42 mountain huts are either directly or indirectly influenced by permafrost and associated processes in Austria as determined from regional permafrost models. Ground thermal changes most likely affect the ground stability and infrastructure in those areas. Therefore, changes in the distribution and characteristics of permafrost and seasonal frost are of high economic and ecological importance. A range of Austrian institutions are interested in systematic permafrost monitoring (several universities, geological surveys, the Austrian torrent and avalanche control agency or several different alpine clubs). However, to date no coordinated monitoring network has been established on a national scale and a strategy for long-term permafrost/periglacial observation did not exist so far. Such a national strategy has been developed in 2015 within the permAT project funded through the StartClim2014-program. During permAT an extensive literature review and data search as well as a workshop with 40 participants (scientists, stakeholder and policy maker) were accomplished. The workshop allowed the integration of national as well as international colleagues into the strategy development. Results of permAT clearly demonstrate that the number of present permafrost/periglacial monitoring sites is far too little in Austria. Only few alpine areas of Austria are well represented by the existing monitoring activities but large areas lack such instrumentations. Furthermore, permafrost boreholes exist at only three sites in central Austria (all contribution to the GTN-P network) and there is a lack of knowledge about thermal conditions and recent changes

  5. Permafrost: occurrence and physiochemical processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahonen, L. [Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo (Finland)

    2001-10-01

    Bedrock of the Northern Hemisphere areas to the north of about the 60th latitude are nowadays dominated by permafrost conditions. Fennoscandia is a major exception being characterised by temperate climate. In studying deep geological disposal of long-living nuclear waste, long-term climatic changes have to be taken into account. One of the scenarios to be studied is the extension of the deep permafrost conditions to the disposal site. Quaternary climatic fluctuations and their possible reasons are discussed shortly. The author's conclusion is that future climatic changes cannot be undoubtedly derived from the past variations, mainly because of the current anthropogenic involvement and of the poorly known dynamics of the major climate-affecting factors like ocean currents, which cannot be treated in a deterministic way. In low-porosity crystalline rocks permafrost may propagate to the depth of about 500 metres in some thousands to ten thousands of years. On the other hand, the major effects of permafrost are related to the freezing of water in the pores. Water expands about 9 percent in freezing, and the increasing stress may lead to pressure melting of ice. Dissolved salts in water do not accommodate into the solid ice, but they form saline water or brine segregations having freezing point of even less than minus ten degrees. A front of saline water may develop beneath the frozen bedrock. Pockets of saline water may also occur in ice, and unfrozen adsorption water may occur on the grain boundaries. With respect to the radionuclide transport processes, permafrost as such is a barrier, while the unfrozen domains (taliks) beneath major lake and river systems are potential flow paths. (orig.)

  6. Permafrost: occurrence and physiochemical processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahonen, L.

    2001-10-01

    Bedrock of the Northern Hemisphere areas to the north of about the 60th latitude are nowadays dominated by permafrost conditions. Fennoscandia is a major exception being characterised by temperate climate. In studying deep geological disposal of long-living nuclear waste, long-term climatic changes have to be taken into account. One of the scenarios to be studied is the extension of the deep permafrost conditions to the disposal site. Quaternary climatic fluctuations and their possible reasons are discussed shortly. The author's conclusion is that future climatic changes cannot be undoubtedly derived from the past variations, mainly because of the current anthropogenic involvement and of the poorly known dynamics of the major climate-affecting factors like ocean currents, which cannot be treated in a deterministic way. In low-porosity crystalline rocks permafrost may propagate to the depth of about 500 metres in some thousands to ten thousands of years. On the other hand, the major effects of permafrost are related to the freezing of water in the pores. Water expands about 9 percent in freezing, and the increasing stress may lead to pressure melting of ice. Dissolved salts in water do not accommodate into the solid ice, but they form saline water or brine segregations having freezing point of even less than minus ten degrees. A front of saline water may develop beneath the frozen bedrock. Pockets of saline water may also occur in ice, and unfrozen adsorption water may occur on the grain boundaries. With respect to the radionuclide transport processes, permafrost as such is a barrier, while the unfrozen domains (taliks) beneath major lake and river systems are potential flow paths. (orig.)

  7. Examining Environmental Gradients with satellite data in permafrost regions - the current state of the ESA GlobPermafrost initative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse, G.; Bartsch, A.; Kääb, A.; Westermann, S.; Strozzi, T.; Wiesmann, A.; Duguay, C. R.; Seifert, F. M.; Obu, J.; Nitze, I.; Heim, B.; Haas, A.; Widhalm, B.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost cannot be directly detected from space, but many surface features of permafrost terrains and typical periglacial landforms are observable with a variety of EO sensors ranging from very high to medium resolution at various wavelengths. In addition, landscape dynamics associated with permafrost changes and geophysical variables relevant for characterizing the state of permafrost, such as land surface temperature or freeze-thaw state can be observed with spaceborne Earth Observation. Suitable regions to examine environmental gradients across the Arctic have been defined in a community white paper (Bartsch et al. 2014, hdl:10013/epic.45648.d001). These transects have been revised and adjusted within the DUE GlobPermafrost initiative of the European Space Agency. The ESA DUE GlobPermafrost project develops, validates and implements Earth Observation (EO) products to support research communities and international organisations in their work on better understanding permafrost characteristics and dynamics. Prototype product cases will cover different aspects of permafrost by integrating in situ measurements of subsurface and surface properties, Earth Observation, and modelling to provide a better understanding of permafrost today. The project will extend local process and permafrost monitoring to broader spatial domains, support permafrost distribution modelling, and help to implement permafrost landscape and feature mapping in a GIS framework. It will also complement active layer and thermal observing networks. Both lowland (latitudinal) and mountain (altitudinal) permafrost issues are addressed. The status of the Permafrost Information System and first results will be presented. Prototypes of GlobPermafrost datasets include: Modelled mean annual ground temperature by use of land surface temperature and snow water equivalent from satellites Land surface characterization including shrub height, land cover and parameters related to surface roughness Trends from

  8. Controls on the methane released through ebullition affected by permafrost degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.J. Klapstein; M.R. Turetsky; A.D. McGuire; J.W. Harden; C.I. Czimczik; X. Xu; J.P. Chanton; J.M. Waddington

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost thaw in peat plateaus leads to the flooding of surface soils and the formation of collapse scar bogs, which have the potential to be large emitters of methane (CH4) from surface peat as well as deeper, previously frozen, permafrost carbon (C). We used a network of bubble traps, permanently installed 20 cm and 60 cm beneath the moss surface, to examine...

  9. Monitoring Inter- and Intra-Seasonal Dynamics of Rapidly Degrading Ice-Rich Permafrost Riverbanks in the Lena Delta with TerraSAR-X Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Stettner

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arctic warming is leading to substantial changes to permafrost including rapid degradation of ice and ice-rich coasts and riverbanks. In this study, we present and evaluate a high spatiotemporal resolution three-year time series of X-Band microwave satellite data from the TerraSAR-X (TSX satellite to quantify cliff-top erosion (CTE of an ice-rich permafrost riverbank in the central Lena Delta. We apply a threshold on TSX backscatter images and automatically extract cliff-top lines to derive intra- and inter-annual CTE. In order to examine the drivers of erosion we statistically compare CTE with climatic baseline data using linear mixed models and analysis of variance (ANOVA. Our evaluation of TSX-derived CTE against annual optical-derived CTE and seasonal in situ measurements showed good agreement between all three datasets. We observed continuous erosion from June to September in 2014 and 2015 with no significant seasonality across the thawing season. We found the highest net annual cliff-top erosion of 6.9 m in 2014, in accordance with above-average mean temperatures and thawing degree days as well as low precipitation. We found high net annual erosion and erosion variability in 2015 associated with moderate mean temperatures but above average precipitation. According to linear mixed models, climate parameters alone could not explain intra-seasonal erosional patterns and additional factors such as ground ice content likely drive the observed erosion. Finally, mean backscatter intensity on the cliff surface decreased from −5.29 to −6.69 dB from 2013 to 2015, respectively, likely resulting from changes in surface geometry and properties that could be connected to partial slope stabilization. Overall, we conclude that X-Band backscatter time series can successfully be used to complement optical remote sensing and in situ monitoring of rapid tundra permafrost erosion at riverbanks and coasts by reliably providing information about intra

  10. Monitoring of active layer dynamics at a permafrost site on Svalbard using multi-channel ground-penetrating radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Westermann

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Multi-channel ground-penetrating radar is used to investigate the late-summer evolution of the thaw depth and the average soil water content of the thawed active layer at a high-arctic continuous permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. Between mid of August and mid of September 2008, five surveys have been conducted in gravelly soil over transect lengths of 130 and 175 m each. The maximum thaw depths range from 1.6 m to 2.0 m, so that they are among the deepest thaw depths recorded in sediments on Svalbard so far. The thaw depths increase by approximately 0.2 m between mid of August and beginning of September and subsequently remain constant until mid of September. The thaw rates are approximately constant over the entire length of the transects within the measurement accuracy of about 5 to 10 cm. The average volumetric soil water content of the thawed soil varies between 0.18 and 0.27 along the investigated transects. While the measurements do not show significant changes in soil water content over the first four weeks of the study, strong precipitation causes an increase in average soil water content of up to 0.04 during the last week. These values are in good agreement with evapotranspiration and precipitation rates measured in the vicinity of the the study site. While we cannot provide conclusive reasons for the detected spatial variability of the thaw depth at the study site, our measurements show that thaw depth and average soil water content are not directly correlated.

    The study demonstrates the potential of multi-channel ground-penetrating radar for mapping thaw depth in permafrost areas. The novel non-invasive technique is particularly useful when the thaw depth exceeds 1.5 m, so that it is hardly accessible by manual probing. In addition, multi-channel ground-penetrating radar holds potential for mapping the latent heat content of the active layer and for estimating weekly to monthly averages of the ground heat flux during the

  11. A New Wave of Permafrost Warming in the Alaskan Interior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanovsky, V. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Cable, W.; Kholodov, A. L.; Panda, S. K.

    2017-12-01

    this presentation the observational data and modeling results will be combined to explain these documented changes in permafrost in the Alaskan Interior during the last three decades. Some suggestions to improve the observational methods of permafrost monitoring will also be discussed.

  12. Permafrost slowly exhales methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.

    2018-04-01

    Permafrost soils store vast quantities of organic matter that are vulnerable to decomposition under a warming climate. Recent research finds that methane release from thawing permafrost may outpace carbon dioxide as a major contributor to global warming over the next century.

  13. Dynamic response of wind turbine towers in warm permafrost

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Benjamin Still; ZhaoHui Joey Yang; Simon Evans; FuJun Niu

    2014-01-01

    Wind is a great source of renewable energy in western Alaska. Consistent winds blow across the barren tundra underlain by warm permafrost in the winter season, when the energy demand is the highest. Foundation engineering in warm permafrost has always been a challenge in wind energy development. Degrading warm permafrost poses engineering issues to design, construction, and operation of wind turbines. This paper describes the foundation design of a wind turbine built in western Alaska. It presents a sys-tem for response monitoring and load assessment, and data collected from September 2013 to March 2014. The dynamic proper-ties are assessed based on the monitoring data, and seasonal changes in the dynamic properties of the turbine tower-foundation system and likely resonance between the spinning blades and the tower structure are discussed. These analyses of a wind turbine in warm permafrost are valuable for designing or retrofitting of foundations in warm permafrost.

  14. Subsea Permafrost Mapped Across the U.S. Beaufort Sea Using Multichannel Seismic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, L.; Hart, P. E.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2011-12-01

    Circum-Arctic continental shelves at water depths less than ~100 m were subaerial permafrost prior to the onset of sea-level rise starting in the late Pleistocene. Rapid transgression and the resulting temperature increase at the sediment surface have led to thawing of the inundated permafrost, landward retreat of the leading edge of the permafrost, and dissociation of permafrost-associated gas hydrates. Past numerical modeling has shown that gas hydrate dissociation is particularly pronounced at the permafrost-to-no permafrost transition offshore. On the U.S. Beaufort margin, subsea permafrost has never been systematically mapped, and the best insights about permafrost and associated gas hydrate have been based on a limited number of offshore boreholes and numerical studies, with sometimes contrasting predictions of the permafrost's seaward extent. We bring together 5370 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired during various proprietary exploration industry and public domain government surveys between 1977 and 1992 to map a velocity anomaly diagnostic of submerged permafrost along 500 km of the US Beaufort coastline. These high-velocity (>~2.8 km/s) refractions (HVR), which are evident in prestack MCS shot records, reveal laterally continuous layers of shallow, ice-bonded, coarse-grained sediments beneath the inner continental shelf. The HVR occur in less than 5% of the tracklines, and calculated HVR depths range from 60 to 350 m below seafloor. The velocity anomaly is not observed seaward of the 20 m isobath, and is only found within 30 km of the current shoreline. These results can be used to: 1) create a map of the minimum distribution of remaining US Beaufort shelf subsea permafrost; 2) reconcile discrepancies between model-predicted and borehole-verified offshore permafrost distribution; and 3) constrain where to expect hydrate dissociation.

  15. Review and synthesis: Changing permafrost in a warming world and feedbacks to the Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse, Guido; Goetz, Scott; McGuire, A. David; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Schuur, Edward A.G.

    2016-01-01

    The permafrost component of the cryosphere is changing dramatically, but the permafrost region is not well monitored and the consequences of change are not well understood. Changing permafrost interacts with ecosystems and climate on various spatial and temporal scales. The feedbacks resulting from these interactions range from local impacts on topography, hydrology, and biology to complex influences on global scale biogeochemical cycling. This review contributes to this focus issue by synthesizing its 28 multidisciplinary studies which provide field evidence, remote sensing observations, and modeling results on various scales. We synthesize study results from a diverse range of permafrost landscapes and ecosystems by reporting key observations and modeling outcomes for permafrost thaw dynamics, identifying feedbacks between permafrost and ecosystem processes, and highlighting biogeochemical feedbacks from permafrost thaw. We complete our synthesis by discussing the progress made, stressing remaining challenges and knowledge gaps, and providing an outlook on future needs and research opportunities in the study of permafrost–ecosystem–climate interactions.

  16. Monitoring and Modeling the Fate and Transport of Nitrate in the Vadose Zone beneath a Suwannee River Basin Vegetable Farm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, M. A.; Graham, W. D.; Graetz, D.

    2002-05-01

    The Suwannee River basin has received much attention in recent years due to increased nitrogen levels in the groundwater-fed rivers of the basin that could seriously affect the welfare of this ecosystem. Nitrogen levels have increased from 0.1mg/l NO3-N to more than 5 mg/L NO3-N in many springs in the Suwannee Basin over the past 40 years. Nitrate concentrations in the Suwannee River itself have been increasing at the rate of .02 mg/L per year over the past 20 years. Suwannee River nitrate loads increase from 2300 kg/day to 6000 kg/day over a 33 mile stretch of the river between Dowling Park and Branford, Florida. Within this stretch of river, 89% of the nitrate loading appeared to come from the lower two-thirds, where agriculture is the dominant land use. The objective of this research is to monitor and model the impacts of alternative nutrient and water management practices on soil water quality, groundwater quality and crop yield at a commercial vegetable farm in the Suwannee River Basin. Groundwater monitoring wells, suction lysimeters, soil cores and TDR probes are used to monitor water and nitrogen transport at the site. Periodic plant biomass sampling is conducted to determine nitrogen uptake by the plants and to estimate crop yield. Field data show that two-thirds of the nitrogen applied to the spring 2001 potato crop leached to groundwater due to excessive irrigation and poor nitrogen uptake efficiency by the potatoes. The DSSAT35-Potato Crop model and the LEACHM vadose-zone model were calibrated for the spring 2001 potato crop and used to predict nitrogen leaching and crop yield for alternative management practices. Simulation results show that by reducing the duration of irrigation, reducing the fertilizer application rate, and improving the timing of fertilizer applications, nitrogen leaching can be reduced by approximately 50% while maintaining acceptable crop yields. Results of this project will ultimately be used to develop best management practices

  17. Permafrost: An International Approach to 21th Century Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, J.

    2003-12-01

    . Cryosol (Antarctic soil map, soil database). 4. Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in High Mountains (interaction of ice and permafrost on slopes). 5. Isotopes and Geochemistry of Permafrost (paleo-reconstruction, modern processes). 6. Mapping and Modelling of Mountain Permafrost (standardize map legends and maps, multi-dimensional models). 7. Periglacial Processes and Environments (past and present processes, field manual of measurements). 8. Permafrost and Climate (monitoring, impact assessments, inter-comparisons of models). 9. Permafrost Astrobiology (survivability of life on planets and analogous Earth environments). 10. Permafrost Engineering (case studies, climate impacts on infrastructure). The Data Committee facilitates recovery of data, web access, and CD data production. These activities will provide added insight into past, present and future occurrences and responses of permafrost to climate change. They can contribute to activities of the International Polar Year. Results will be reported at the Ninth ICOP in Fairbanks, Alaska, in summer 2008. Current information is available on the IPA web site and in annual issues of Frozen Ground.

  18. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  19. Extended Sleeve Products Allow Control and Monitoring of Process Fluid Flows Inside Shielding, Behind Walls and Beneath Floors - 13041

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abbott, Mark W. [Flowserve Corporation, 1978 Foreman Drive Cookeville, TN 38506 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Throughout power generation, delivery and waste remediation, the ability to control process streams in difficult or impossible locations becomes increasingly necessary as the complexity of processes increases. Example applications include radioactive environments, inside concrete installations, buried in dirt, or inside a shielded or insulated pipe. In these situations, it is necessary to implement innovative solutions to tackle such issues as valve maintenance, valve control from remote locations, equipment cleaning in hazardous environments, and flow stream analysis. The Extended Sleeve family of products provides a scalable solution to tackle some of the most challenging applications in hazardous environments which require flow stream control and monitoring. The Extended Sleeve family of products is defined in three groups: Extended Sleeve (ESV), Extended Bonnet (EBV) and Instrument Enclosure (IE). Each of the products provides a variation on the same requirements: to provide access to the internals of a valve, or to monitor the fluid passing through the pipeline through shielding around the process pipe. The shielding can be as simple as a grout filled pipe covering a process pipe or as complex as a concrete deck protecting a room in which the valves and pipes pass through at varying elevations. Extended Sleeves are available between roughly 30 inches and 18 feet of distance between the pipeline centerline and the top of the surface to which it mounts. The Extended Sleeve provides features such as ± 1.5 inches of adjustment between the pipeline and deck location, internal flush capabilities, automatic alignment of the internal components during assembly and integrated actuator mounting pads. The Extended Bonnet is a shorter fixed height version of the Extended Sleeve which has a removable deck flange to facilitate installation through walls, and is delivered fully assembled. The Instrument Enclosure utilizes many of the same components as an Extended Sleeve

  20. Subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the U.S. Beaufort Margin: 2. Borehole constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Herman, Bruce M.; Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.

    2016-01-01

    Borehole logging data from legacy wells directly constrain the contemporary distribution of subsea permafrost in the sedimentary section at discrete locations on the U.S. Beaufort Margin and complement recent regional analyses of exploration seismic data to delineate the permafrost's offshore extent. Most usable borehole data were acquired on a ∼500 km stretch of the margin and within 30 km of the contemporary coastline from north of Lake Teshekpuk to nearly the U.S.-Canada border. Relying primarily on deep resistivity logs that should be largely unaffected by drilling fluids and hole conditions, the analysis reveals the persistence of several hundred vertical meters of ice-bonded permafrost in nearshore wells near Prudhoe Bay and Foggy Island Bay, with less permafrost detected to the east and west. Permafrost is inferred beneath many barrier islands and in some nearshore and lagoonal (back-barrier) wells. The analysis of borehole logs confirms the offshore pattern of ice-bearing subsea permafrost distribution determined based on regional seismic analyses and reveals that ice content generally diminishes with distance from the coastline. Lacking better well distribution, it is not possible to determine the absolute seaward extent of ice-bearing permafrost, nor the distribution of permafrost beneath the present-day continental shelf at the end of the Pleistocene. However, the recovery of gas hydrate from an outer shelf well (Belcher) and previous delineation of a log signature possibly indicating gas hydrate in an inner shelf well (Hammerhead 2) imply that permafrost may once have extended across much of the shelf offshore Camden Bay.

  1. Subsidence from an artificial permafrost warming experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelvin, A.; Wagner, A. M.; Lindsey, N.; Dou, S.; Martin, E. R.; Ekblaw, I.; Ulrich, C.; James, S. R.; Freifeld, B. M.; Daley, T. M.; Saari, S.; Ajo Franklin, J. B.

    2017-12-01

    Using fiber optic sensing technologies (seismic, strain, and temperature) we installed a geophysical detection system to predict thaw subsidence in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. Approximately 5 km of fiber optic was buried in shallow trenches (20 cm depth), in an area with discontinuous permafrost, where the top of the permafrost is approximately 4 - 4.5m below the surface. The thaw subsidence was enforced by 122 60-Watt vertical heaters installed over a 140 m2 area where seismic, strain, and temperature were continuously monitored throughout the length of the fiber. Several vertical thermistor strings were also recording ground temperatures to a depth of 10 m in parallel to the fiber optic to verify the measurements collected from the fiber optic cable. GPS, Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Traditional and LiDAR (Light and Detection and Ranging) scanning were used to investigate the surface subsidence. The heaters were operating for approximately a three month period starting in August, 2016. During the heating process the soil temperatures at the heater element increased from 3.5 to 45 °C at a depth of 3 - 4 m. It took approximately 7 months for the temperature at the heater elements to recover to their initial temperature. The depth to the permafrost table was deepened by about 1 m during the heating process. By the end of the active heating, the surface had subsided approximately 8 cm in the heating section where permafrost was closest to the surface. This was conclusively confirmed with GPS, EDM, and LiDAR. An additional LiDAR survey was performed about seven months after the heaters were turned off (in May 2017). A total subsidence of approximately 20 cm was measured by the end of the passive heating process. This project successfully demonstrates that this is a viable approach for simulating both deep permafrost thaw and the resulting surface subsidence.

  2. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon...... stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological...... approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed...

  3. Permafrost Hazards and Linear Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanilovskaya, Julia; Sergeev, Dmitry

    2014-05-01

    The international experience of linear infrastructure planning, construction and exploitation in permafrost zone is being directly tied to the permafrost hazard assessment. That procedure should also consider the factors of climate impact and infrastructure protection. The current global climate change hotspots are currently polar and mountain areas. Temperature rise, precipitation and land ice conditions change, early springs occur more often. The big linear infrastructure objects cross the territories with different permafrost conditions which are sensitive to the changes in air temperature, hydrology, and snow accumulation which are connected to climatic dynamics. One of the most extensive linear structures built on permafrost worldwide are Trans Alaskan Pipeline (USA), Alaska Highway (Canada), Qinghai-Xizang Railway (China) and Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline (Russia). Those are currently being influenced by the regional climate change and permafrost impact which may act differently from place to place. Thermokarst is deemed to be the most dangerous process for linear engineering structures. Its formation and development depend on the linear structure type: road or pipeline, elevated or buried one. Zonal climate and geocryological conditions are also of the determining importance here. All the projects are of the different age and some of them were implemented under different climatic conditions. The effects of permafrost thawing have been recorded every year since then. The exploration and transportation companies from different countries maintain the linear infrastructure from permafrost degradation in different ways. The highways in Alaska are in a good condition due to governmental expenses on annual reconstructions. The Chara-China Railroad in Russia is under non-standard condition due to intensive permafrost response. Standards for engineering and construction should be reviewed and updated to account for permafrost hazards caused by the

  4. Continuous recording of seismic signals in Alpine permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, H.; Krainer, K.; Staudinger, M.; Brückl, E.

    2009-04-01

    Over the past years various geophysical methods were applied to study the internal structure and the temporal variation of permafrost whereof seismic is of importance. For most seismic investigations in Alpine permafrost 24-channel equipment in combination with long data and trigger cables is used. Due to the harsh environment source and geophone layouts are often limited to 2D profiles. With prospect for future 3D-layouts we introduce an alternative of seismic equipment that can be used for several applications in Alpine permafrost. This study is focussed on controlled and natural source seismic experiments in Alpine permafrost using continuous data recording. With recent data from an ongoing project ("Permafrost in Austria") we will highlight the potential of the used seismic equipment for three applications: (a) seismic permafrost mapping of unconsolidated sediments, (b) seismic tomography in rock mass, and (c) passive seismic monitoring of rock falls. Single recording units (REFTEK 130, 6 channels) are used to continuously record the waveforms of both the seismic signals and a trigger signal. The combination of a small number of recording units with different types of geophones or a trigger allow numerous applications in Alpine permafrost with regard to a high efficiency and flexible seismic layouts (2D, 3D, 4D). The efficiency of the light and robust seismic equipment is achieved by the simple acquisition and the flexible and fast deployment of the (omni-directional) geophones. Further advantages are short (data and trigger) cables and the prevention of trigger errors. The processing of the data is aided by 'Seismon' which is an open source software project based on Matlab® and MySQL (see SM1.0). For active-source experiments automatic stacking of the seismic signals is implemented. For passive data a program for automatic detection of events (e.g. rock falls) is available which allows event localization. In summer 2008 the seismic equipment was used for the

  5. Permafrost hydrology in changing climatic conditions: seasonal variability of stable isotope composition in rivers in discontinuous permafrost

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streletskiy, Dmitry A; Shiklomanov, Nikolay I; Nyland, Kelsey E; Tananaev, Nikita I; Opel, Thomas; Streletskaya, Irina D; Tokarev, Igor’; Shiklomanov, Alexandr I

    2015-01-01

    Role of changing climatic conditions on permafrost degradation and hydrology was investigated in the transition zone between the tundra and forest ecotones at the boundary of continuous and discontinuous permafrost of the lower Yenisei River. Three watersheds of various sizes were chosen to represent the characteristics of the regional landscape conditions. Samples of river flow, precipitation, snow cover, and permafrost ground ice were collected over the watersheds to determine isotopic composition of potential sources of water in a river flow over a two year period. Increases in air temperature over the last forty years have resulted in permafrost degradation and a decrease in the seasonal frost which is evident from soil temperature measurements, permafrost and active-layer monitoring, and analysis of satellite imagery. The lowering of the permafrost table has led to an increased storage capacity of permafrost affected soils and a higher contribution of ground water to river discharge during winter months. A progressive decrease in the thickness of the layer of seasonal freezing allows more water storage and pathways for water during the winter low period making winter discharge dependent on the timing and amount of late summer precipitation. There is a substantial seasonal variability of stable isotopic composition of river flow. Spring flooding corresponds to the isotopic composition of snow cover prior to the snowmelt. Isotopic composition of river flow during the summer period follows the variability of precipitation in smaller creeks, while the water flow of larger watersheds is influenced by the secondary evaporation of water temporarily stored in thermokarst lakes and bogs. Late summer precipitation determines the isotopic composition of texture ice within the active layer in tundra landscapes and the seasonal freezing layer in forested landscapes as well as the composition of the water flow during winter months. (letter)

  6. Edaphic and microclimatic controls over permafrost response to fire in interior Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nossov, Dana R; Kielland, Knut; Torre Jorgenson, M; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z

    2013-01-01

    Discontinuous permafrost in the North American boreal forest is strongly influenced by the effects of ecological succession on the accumulation of surface organic matter, making permafrost vulnerable to degradation resulting from fire disturbance. To assess factors affecting permafrost degradation after wildfire, we compared vegetation composition and soil properties between recently burned and unburned sites across three soil landscapes (rocky uplands, silty uplands, and sandy lowlands) situated within the Yukon Flats and Yukon-Tanana Uplands in interior Alaska. Mean annual air temperatures at our study sites from 2011 to 2012 were relatively cold (−5.5 ° C) and favorable to permafrost formation. Burning of mature evergreen forests with thick moss covers caused replacement by colonizing species in severely burned areas and recovery of pre-fire understory vegetation in moderately burned areas. Surface organic layer thickness strongly affected thermal regimes and thaw depths. On average, fire caused a five-fold decrease in mean surface organic layer thickness, a doubling of water storage in the active layer, a doubling of thaw depth, an increase in soil temperature at the surface (−0.6 to +2.1 ° C) and at 1 m depth (−1.7 to +0.4 ° C), and a two-fold increase in net soil heat input. Degradation of the upper permafrost occurred at all burned sites, but differences in soil texture and moisture among soil landscapes allowed permafrost to persist beneath the active layer in the silty uplands, whereas a talik of unknown depth developed in the rocky uplands and a thin talik developed in the sandy lowlands. A changing climate and fire regime would undoubtedly influence permafrost in the boreal forest, but the patterns of degradation or stabilization would vary considerably across the discontinuous permafrost zone due to differences in microclimate, successional patterns, and soil characteristics. (letter)

  7. Assessing the permafrost temperature and thickness conditions favorable for the occurrence of gas hydrate in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Qingbai; Jiang Guanli; Zhang Peng

    2010-01-01

    Permafrost accounts for about 52% of the total area of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the permafrost area is about 140 x 10 4 km 2 . The mean annual ground temperature of permafrost ranges from -0.1 to -5 deg. C, and lower than -5 deg. C at extreme high-mountains. Permafrost thickness ranges from 10 to 139.4 m by borehole data, and more than 200 m by geothermal gradients. The permafrost geothermal gradient ranges from 1.1 deg. C/100 m to 8.0 deg. C/100 m with an average of 2.9 deg. C/100 m, and the geothermal gradient of the soil beneath permafrost is about 2.8-8.5 deg. C/100 m with an average of 6.0 deg. C/100 m in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. For a minimum of permafrost geothermal gradients of 1.1 deg. C/100 m, the areas of the potential occurrence of methane hydrate (sI) is approximately estimated to be about 27.5% of the total area of permafrost regions in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. For an average of permafrost geothermal gradients of 2.9 deg. C/100 m, the areas of the potential occurrence of methane hydrate (sI) is approximately estimated about 14% of the total area of permafrost regions in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. For the sII hydrate, the areas of the potential occurrence of sII hydrate are more than that of sI methane hydrate.

  8. Quantifying Permafrost Extent, Condition, and Degradation at Department of Defense Installations in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlund, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is planning over $500M in military construction on Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) within the next three fiscal years. This construction program will expand the footprint of facilities and change the storm water management scheme, which will have second order effects on the underlying permafrost layer. These changes in permafrost will drive engineering decision making at local and regional levels, and help shape the overall strategy for military readiness in the Arctic. Although many studies have attempted to predict climate change induced permafrost degradation, very little site-specific knowledge exists on the anthropogenic effects to permafrost at this location. In 2016, the permafrost degradation rates at Eielson AFB were modeled using the Geophysics Institute Permafrost Laboratory (GIPL) 2.1 model and limited available geotechnical and climate data. Model results indicated a degradation of the discontinuous permafrost layer at Eielson AFB of up to 7 meters in depth over the next century. To further refine an understanding of the geophysics at Eielson AFB and help engineers and commanders make more informed decisions on engineering and operations in the arctic, this project established two permafrost monitoring stations near the future construction sites. Installation of the stations occurred in July 2017. Permafrost was located and characterized using two Electrical Resistivity Tomography surveys, as well as direct frost probe measurements. Using this data, the research team optimized the placement location and depth of two long term ground temperature monitoring stations, and then installed the stations for data collection. The data set generated by these stations are the first of their kind at Eielson AFB, and represent the first systematic effort in the DoD to quantify permafrost condition before, during, and after construction and other anthropogenic activities in order to fully understand the effects of that activity in the

  9. Permafrost delineation for remediation planning : Fort Wainwright, Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Astley, B. [Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Anchorage, AK (United States); Snyder, C. [YEC Inc., Valley Cottage, NJ (United States); Delaney, A. [Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Fairbanks, AK (United States); Arcone, S.; Lawson, D. [Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH (United States)

    2003-07-01

    In the summer of 1999, geophysical and hydrogeological surveys were conducted at the Birch Hill Tank Farm and Truck Fill Stand in Fort Wainwright, Alaska to assess the distribution of benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, and 1,2-dibromoethane. The Birch Hill site consists of a silt, sand and gravel fluvial deposit that overlies bedrock. Permafrost occurs discontinuously throughout the alluvium and underlying bedrock, resulting in a complex aquifer distribution. The bedrock beneath the Tank Farm is highly fractured and faulted with a weathered horizon that is 30 meters thick. The goal of this study was to map the discontinuous permafrost and aquifers in the alluvial deposits and weathered bedrock zone for the purpose of delineating bedrock depth and structural features that influence ground water flow. Several methods were used to define subsurface conditions, including borehole logs, DC resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar. A 3-D hydrogeologic model was used to develop a ground water flow model used to determine contaminant migration pathways and rates. The permafrost configuration was found to be the most important boundary condition in this model. 7 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  10. Collaboration in Education: International Field Class on Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2011-12-01

    from the position of technogenic impact which required knowledge of historical, political and socio-economic aspects of development. Students learned how to conduct meteorological observations; describe vegetation, soil and permafrost conditions, and cryogenic processes, such as ice-wedges, solifluction, pingoes, thermokarst etc; and use temperature logging and core drilling devices. In urbanized areas, students learned how to apply different construction methods and foundation designs in permafrost regions; use techniques of permafrost temperature monitoring under building and structures; and apply mitigation strategies to prevent permafrost from warming under different types of technogenic pressure. The experience gained by students in the field cannot be adequately replaced by any classroom demonstrations, which is why it is critically important to conduct such classes in the future. We thank administration of Igarka, Igarka Geocryological Station, Norilsk Nickel, Norilsk Geologiya, and Funamentproekt Norilsk for help in the organization of this class.

  11. International Field School on Permafrost, Polar Urals, 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V.; Ivanov, M.; Sheinkman, V.; Shiklomanov, N. I.; Shmelev, D.

    2012-12-01

    The international field school on permafrost was held in the Polar Urals region from June, 30 to July 9, 2012 right after the Tenth International Conference on Permafrost which was held in Salekhard, Russia. The travel and accommodation support generously provided by government of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region allowed participation of 150 permafrost young research scientists, out of which 35 students from seven countries participated in the field school. The field school was organized under umbrella of International Permafrost Association and Permafrost Young Research Network. The students represented diverse educational backgrounds including hydrologists, engineers, geologists, soil scientists, geocryologists, glaciologists and geomorphologists. The base school camp was located near the Harp settlement in the vicinity of Polar Urals foothills. This unique location presented an opportunity to study a diversity of cryogenic processes and permafrost conditions characteristic for mountain and plain regions as well as transition between glacial and periglacial environments. A series of excursions was organized according to the following topics: structural geology of the Polar Urals and West Siberian Plain (Chromite mine "Centralnaya" and Core Storage in Labitnangy city); quaternary geomorphology (investigation of moraine complexes and glacial conditions of Ronamantikov and Topographov glaciers); principles of construction and maintains of structures built on permafrost (Labitnangy city and Obskaya-Bovanenkovo Railroad); methods of temperature and active-layer monitoring in tundra and forest-tundra; cryosols and soil formation in diverse landscape condition; periglacial geomorphology; types of ground ice, etc. Every evening students and professors gave a series of presentations on climate, vegetation, hydrology, soil conditions, permafrost and cryogenic processes of the region as well as on history, economic development, endogenous population of the Siberia and the

  12. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristofer D. Johnson; Jennifer W. Harden; A. David McGuire; Mark Clark; Fengming Yuan; Andrew O. Finley

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF),...

  13. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS) contains over 100 data sets pertaining to permafrost and frozen ground topics. It also contains detailed...

  14. Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Saleska, Scott R.; Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr

    2016-01-01

    Permanently frozen soil, or permafrost, covers a large portion of the Earth's terrestrial surface and represents a unique environment for cold-adapted microorganisms. As permafrost thaws, previously protected organic matter becomes available for microbial degradation. Microbes that decompose soil...

  15. Hydrogeology, chemical and microbial activity measurement through deep permafrost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stotler, R.L.; Frape, S.K.; Freifeld, B.M.; Holden, B.; Onstott, T.C.; Ruskeeniemi, T.; Chan, E.

    2010-04-01

    Little is known about hydrogeochemical conditions beneath thick permafrost, particularly in fractured crystalline rock, due to difficulty in accessing this environment. The purpose of this investigation was to develop methods to obtain physical, chemical, and microbial information about the subpermafrost environment from a surface-drilled borehole. Using a U-tube, gas and water samples were collected, along with temperature, pressure, and hydraulic conductivity measurements, 420 m below ground surface, within a 535 m long, angled borehole at High Lake, Nunavut, Canada, in an area with 460-m-thick permafrost. Piezometric head was well above the base of the permafrost, near land surface. Initial water samples were contaminated with drill fluid, with later samples <40% drill fluid. The salinity of the non-drill fluid component was <20,000 mg/L, had a Ca/Na ratio above 1, with {delta}{sup 18}O values {approx}5{per_thousand} lower than the local surface water. The fluid isotopic composition was affected by the permafrost-formation process. Nonbacteriogenic CH{sub 4} was present and the sample location was within methane hydrate stability field. Sampling lines froze before uncontaminated samples from the subpermafrost environment could be obtained, yet the available time to obtain water samples was extended compared to previous studies. Temperature measurements collected from a distributed temperature sensor indicated that this issue can be overcome easily in the future. The lack of methanogenic CH{sub 4} is consistent with the high sulfate concentrations observed in cores. The combined surface-drilled borehole/U-tube approach can provide a large amount of physical, chemical, and microbial data from the subpermafrost environment with few, controllable, sources of contamination.

  16. Hydrogeology, chemical and microbial activity measurement through deep permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotler, Randy L; Frape, Shaun K; Freifeld, Barry M; Holden, Brian; Onstott, Tullis C; Ruskeeniemi, Timo; Chan, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about hydrogeochemical conditions beneath thick permafrost, particularly in fractured crystalline rock, due to difficulty in accessing this environment. The purpose of this investigation was to develop methods to obtain physical, chemical, and microbial information about the subpermafrost environment from a surface-drilled borehole. Using a U-tube, gas and water samples were collected, along with temperature, pressure, and hydraulic conductivity measurements, 420 m below ground surface, within a 535 m long, angled borehole at High Lake, Nunavut, Canada, in an area with 460-m-thick permafrost. Piezometric head was well above the base of the permafrost, near land surface. Initial water samples were contaminated with drill fluid, with later samples <40% drill fluid. The salinity of the non-drill fluid component was <20,000 mg/L, had a Ca/Na ratio above 1, with δ(18) O values ∼5‰ lower than the local surface water. The fluid isotopic composition was affected by the permafrost-formation process. Nonbacteriogenic CH(4) was present and the sample location was within methane hydrate stability field. Sampling lines froze before uncontaminated samples from the subpermafrost environment could be obtained, yet the available time to obtain water samples was extended compared to previous studies. Temperature measurements collected from a distributed temperature sensor indicated that this issue can be overcome easily in the future. The lack of methanogenic CH(4) is consistent with the high sulfate concentrations observed in cores. The combined surface-drilled borehole/U-tube approach can provide a large amount of physical, chemical, and microbial data from the subpermafrost environment with few, controllable, sources of contamination. Copyright © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 National Ground Water Association.

  17. Thermal state of permafrost in North America: A contribution to the international polar year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, S.L.; Romanovsky, V.E.; Lewkowicz, A.G.; Burn, C.R.; Allard, M.; Clow, G.D.; Yoshikawa, K.; Throop, J.

    2010-01-01

    A snapshot of the thermal state of permafrost in northern North America during the International Polar Year (IPY) was developed using ground temperature data collected from 350 boreholes. More than half these were established during IPY to enhance the network in sparsely monitored regions. The measurement sites span a diverse range of ecoclimatic and geological conditions across the continent and are at various elevations within the Cordillera. The ground temperatures within the discontinuous permafrost zone are generally above -3°C, and range down to -15°C in the continuous zone. Ground temperature envelopes vary according to substrate, with shallow depths of zero annual amplitude for peat and mineral soils, and much greater depths for bedrock. New monitoring sites in the mountains of southern and central Yukon suggest that permafrost may be limited in extent. In concert with regional air temperatures, permafrost has generally been warming across North America for the past several decades, as indicated by measurements from the western Arctic since the 1970s and from parts of eastern Canada since the early 1990s. The rates of ground warming have been variable, but are generally greater north of the treeline. Latent heat effects in the southern discontinuous zone dominate the permafrost thermal regime close to 0°C and allow permafrost to persist under a warming climate. Consequently, the spatial diversity of permafrost thermal conditions is decreasing over time.

  18. Interactions between Shrubs and Permafrost in the Torngat Mountains, Northern Labrador, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewkowicz, A.; Way, R. G.; Hermanutz, L.; Trant, A.; Siegwart Collier, L.; Whitaker, D.

    2017-12-01

    Discontinuous permafrost is acutely sensitive to climate warming and vegetation dynamics. Shrub height is positively correlated with accumulation of snow in the tundra resulting in warming of the ground in winter, and greater shading and lower surface temperatures in summer. Rapid greening due to climate warming has been observed throughout northeastern Canada and particularly in the coastal mountainous terrain of the Torngat Mountains National Park. Our research examines how this shrubification in the Torngat Mountains is modifying permafrost characteristics using observations which extend over a 100 km south-north transect from the sporadic zone (Saglek, Torr Bay) to where permafrost is widespread (Nakvak Brook, Kangalaksiorvik Lake) and potentially continuous (Komaktorvik River). We use air and ground temperature monitoring, vegetation surveys, dendrochronology, frost probing and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to describe the complex interactions between shrub growth, geomorphology, climate and permafrost in a region where climate warming is rapidly altering the landscape. Preliminary analysis of field data shows low resistivity anomalies in the ERT profiles at some sites with thin permafrost, interpreted as unfrozen zones correlated with areas of tall shrubs (Alnus spp., Salix spp. and Betula glandulosa; ranging from prostrate to 2 m). Elsewhere, high resistivities extend to the base of the ERT profiles, indicating thicker permafrost, and no obvious impact of medium to low-prostrate shrubs (Salix spp., Betula glandulosa, Rhododendron spp., and Vaccinium spp.; up to 50 cm). Permafrost is interpreted to be present at most sites with low or prostrate shrubs, except where hydrological conditions favour warmer ground temperatures. We infer that the net impact of increasing shrub heights on the active layer and permafrost depends on antecedent ground temperatures and surficial geology. Increasing shrub heights may cause permafrost degradation at sites where

  19. Permafrost degradation in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Niels Nielsen; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Important aspects of civil engineering in West Greenland relate to the presence of permafrost and mapping of the annual and future changes in the active layer due to the ongoing climatically changes in the Arctic. The Arctic Technology Centre (ARTEK) has worked more than 10 years on this topic...... and the first author has been involved since 1970 in engineering geology, geotechnical engineering and permafrost related studies for foundation construction and infrastructures in towns and communities mainly in West Greenland. We have since 2006 together with the Danish Meteorological Institute, Greenland...... Survey (ASIAQ) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks carried out the US NSF funded project ARC-0612533: Recent and future permafrost variability, retreat and degradation in Greenland and Alaska: An integrated approach. This contribution will present data and observations from the towns Ilulissat...

  20. The long-term fate of permafrost peatlands under rapid climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Morris, Paul J.; Mullan, Donal; Watson, Elizabeth J.; Turner, T. Edward; Roland, Thomas P.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Kokfelt, Ulla; Schoning, Kristian; Pratte, Steve; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Charman, Dan J.; Sanderson, Nicole; Garneau, Michelle; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Holden, Joseph; Parry, Lauren; Galloway, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost peatlands contain globally important amounts of soil organic carbon, owing to cold conditions which suppress anaerobic decomposition. However, climate warming and permafrost thaw threaten the stability of this carbon store. The ultimate fate of permafrost peatlands and their carbon stores is unclear because of complex feedbacks between peat accumulation, hydrology and vegetation. Field monitoring campaigns only span the last few decades and therefore provide an incomplete picture of permafrost peatland response to recent rapid warming. Here we use a high-resolution palaeoecological approach to understand the longer-term response of peatlands in contrasting states of permafrost degradation to recent rapid warming. At all sites we identify a drying trend until the late-twentieth century; however, two sites subsequently experienced a rapid shift to wetter conditions as permafrost thawed in response to climatic warming, culminating in collapse of the peat domes. Commonalities between study sites lead us to propose a five-phase model for permafrost peatland response to climatic warming. This model suggests a shared ecohydrological trajectory towards a common end point: inundated Arctic fen. Although carbon accumulation is rapid in such sites, saturated soil conditions are likely to cause elevated methane emissions that have implications for climate-feedback mechanisms. PMID:26647837

  1. International Permafrost Field Courses in Siberia: the Synthesis of Research and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ablyazina, D.; Boitsov, A.; Grebenets, V.; Kaverin, D.; Klene, A.; Kurchatova, A.; Pfeiffer, E. M.; Zschocke, A.; Shiklomanov, N.; Streletskiy, D.

    2009-04-01

    During summers of 2007 and 2008 a series of International University Courses on Permafrost (IUCP) were conducted in West Siberia, Russia. Courses were organized as part of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) International Polar Year activities. The North of West Siberia region was selected to represent diverse permafrost, climatic and landscape conditions. The courses were jointly organized by the Moscow State University (MSU) and the Tumen' Oil and Gas University (TOGU) with the help from German and U.S. institutions. The program attracted undergraduate and graduate students with diverse interests and backgrounds from Germany, Russia and the U.S. and involved instructors specializing in different aspects of permafrost research. Courses were designed to address three major topics of permafrost-related research: a) permafrost environments characteristic of the discontinuous and continuous zones; b) field instrumentation and techniques; c) permafrost engineering and problems of development in permafrost regions. Methodologically, courses consisted of systematic permafrost investigations at long-term monitoring sites and survey-type expeditions. Systematic, process-based investigations were conducted at a network of sites which constitute the TEPO established by TOGU in collaboration with the gas company NadymGasProm. The observation complex includes an array of 30-m deep boreholes equipped with automatic data collection systems and representing characteristic permafrost landscapes of West Siberia. Boreholes are complemented by sites for snow cover, vegetation, soil, ground ice, and geomorphologic investigations. As part of student research activities, four new Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) sites were established in proximity to boreholes for monitoring spatial distribution and long-term dynamic of the active layer. New sites represent diverse landscapes characteristic of the West Siberian previously underrepresented in the CALM network

  2. Permafrost Active Layer Seismic Interferometry Experiment (PALSIE).

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abbott, Robert [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Knox, Hunter Anne [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); James, Stephanie [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lee, Rebekah [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Cole, Chris [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2016-01-01

    We present findings from a novel field experiment conducted at Poker Flat Research Range in Fairbanks, Alaska that was designed to monitor changes in active layer thickness in real time. Results are derived primarily from seismic data streaming from seven Nanometric Trillium Posthole seismometers directly buried in the upper section of the permafrost. The data were evaluated using two analysis methods: Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) and ambient noise seismic interferometry. Results from the HVSR conclusively illustrated the method's effectiveness at determining the active layer's thickness with a single station. Investigations with the multi-station method (ambient noise seismic interferometry) are continuing at the University of Florida and have not yet conclusively determined active layer thickness changes. Further work continues with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to determine if the ground based measurements can constrain satellite imagery, which provide measurements on a much larger spatial scale.

  3. Deglaciation and its impact on permafrost and rock glacier evolution: New insight from two adjacent cirques in Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Kaufmann, Viktor

    2018-04-15

    Glaciers and permafrost are strongly linked to each other in mid-latitude mountain regions particularly with polythermal glaciers. This linkage is not only climatically defined but also in terms of geomorphic and glaciological processes. We studied two adjacent cirques located in the Central Austria. We focussed on the deglaciation since the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum (c.1850CE) and its relevance for permafrost and rock glacier evolution since then. One cirque is occupied by a glacier remnant whereas the second one is occupied by an active rock glacier which was partly overridden by a glacier during the LIA. We applied a multidisciplinary approach using field-based techniques including geoelectrics, geodetic measurements, and automatic monitoring as well as historic maps and photographs, remote sensing, and digital terrain analysis. Results indicate almost complete deglaciation by the end of the last millennium. Small-scale tongue-shaped landforms of complex origin formed during the last decades at finer-grained slope deposits below the cirque headwalls. Field evidences and geophysics results proved the existence of widespread sedimentary ice beneath a thin veneer of debris at these slopes. The variable thickness of the debris layer has a major impact on differential ablation and landform evolution in both cirques. The comparison of digital elevation models revealed clear mass losses at both cirques with low rates between 1954 and 2002 and significantly higher rates since then. The central and lower part of the rock glacier moves fast transporting sediments and ice downvalley. In contrast, the upper part of the rock glacier is characterised by low debris and ice input rates. Both effects cause a significant decoupling of the main rock glacier body from its nourishment area leading eventually to rock glacier starvation. This study demonstrates the importance of a decadal-scale and multidisciplinary research approach in determining the development of alpine

  4. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Sigal; Kent Newsham; Thomas Williams; Barry Freifeld; Timothy Kneafsey; Carl Sondergeld; Shandra Rai; Jonathan Kwan; Stephen Kirby; Robert Kleinberg; Doug Griffin

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. The work scope drilled and cored a well The Hot Ice No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and utilized for determining the physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. The final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists developing reservoir models. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in this report. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was drilled from the surface to a measured depth of 2300 ft. There was almost 100% core recovery from the bottom of surface casing at 107 ft to total depth. Based on the best estimate of the bottom of the methane hydrate stability zone (which used new data obtained from Hot Ice No. 1 and new analysis of data from adjacent wells), core was recovered over its complete range. Approximately 580 ft of porous, mostly frozen, sandstone and 155 of conglomerate were recovered in the Ugnu Formation and approximately 215 ft of porous sandstone were recovered in the West Sak Formation. There were gas shows in the bottom

  5. Changes in Hydrologic Conditions and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Circumpolar Regions due to Climate Change Induced Permafrost Retreat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whiticar, M. J. [School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria (Canada); Bhatti, J.; Startsev, N. [Northern Forestry Centre, St Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2013-07-15

    Thawing permafrost peatlands substantially influence Canadian northern ecosystems by changing the regional hydrology and mobilizing the vast carbon (C) reserves that results in increased greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions to the atmosphere. With permafrost distribution controlled largely by topography and climate, our International polar y ear (IPY) study intensively monitored the local C cycling processes and GHG fluxes associated with different hydrologic and permafrost environments at 4 sites along a climatic gradient extending from the Isolated patches permafrost Zone (northern alberta), to the continuous permafrost Zone (Inuvik, NWT). Each site encompasses a local gradient from upland forest and peat plateau to collapse scar. Our multi-year measurements of peatland profiles and flux chambers for CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} concentrations and stable isotope ratios indicate processes, including methanogenesis, methanotrophy, transport and emission that control the distribution of these GHGs. These relationships are modulated by fluctuating local soil water and corresponding ecosystem conditions. The gas geochemistry shows that significant surface CH{sub 4} production occurs by both hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogenesis in submerged, anaerobic peats, e.g., collapse scars, whereas methane oxidation is restricted to aerobic, drier environments, e.g., upland sites and peat-atmosphere interface. The most active methanogenesis and emissions are in areas of actively thawing permafrost contrasting with sites under continuous permafrost. This degree of methanogenesis is being amplified by the increased rate of Arctic warming and the rapid retreat of permafrost in canada's arctic (approximately. 2.5 km/a). (author)

  6. Mountain Permafrost in the Yukon Territory, Canada: Mapping and Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewkowicz, A. G.; Bonnaventure, P.; Schultz, E.; Etzelmuller, B.

    2006-12-01

    , PISR was not significant, likely reflecting the much more maritime climate of this area and the frequent fogs that are present. More than 50 new air and ground temperature monitoring stations were installed in spring 2006 as the first step to extend the modelling to the remaining mountainous parts of the Yukon Territory. We selected sites within the four climatic regions encompassing discontinuous permafrost that we had not previously sampled: the Faro area (Central Yukon Basin region, extensive discontinuous zone), Johnson's Crossing (Pelly-Cassiar Mountains region, sporadic discontinuous zone), Sa Dena Hes mine (Liard Basin region, extensive discontinuous zone) and the Keno area (Ogilvie-Mackenzie Mountains region, extensive discontinuous zone). Each of the stations is equipped to measure air temperature, ground surface temperature, ground temperature at a depth of 1 m (to evaluate the thermal offset), and snow depth (interpreted from I-button miniature loggers installed on a stake). These measurements will not only be used for permafrost modelling but will generate a unique data-set of air and ground surface temperatures which will be employed to investigate the frequency of air temperature inversions, their relation to topography and their effect on permafrost. The first complete monthly results (July 2006) demonstrate the expected wide variability in air and ground surface temperatures at both regional and local scales that makes modelling mountain permafrost so challenging.

  7. Data analysis and mapping of the mountain permafrost distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2017-04-01

    In Alpine environments mountain permafrost is defined as a thermal state of the ground and corresponds to any lithosphere material that is at or below 0°C for, at least, two years. Its degradation is potentially leading to an increasing rock fall activity, rock glacier accelerations and an increase in the sediment transfer rates. During the last 15 years, knowledge on this phenomenon has significantly increased thanks to many studies and monitoring projects. They revealed a spatial distribution extremely heterogeneous and complex. As a consequence, modelling the potential extent of the mountain permafrost recently became a very important task. Although existing statistical models generally offer a good overview at a regional scale, they are not always able to reproduce its strong spatial discontinuity at the micro scale. To overcome this lack, the objective of this study is to propose an alternative modelling approach using three classification algorithms belonging to statistics and machine learning: Logistic regression (LR), Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Random forests (RF). The former is a linear parametric classifier that commonly used as a benchmark classification algorithm to be employed before using more complex classifiers. Non-linear SVM is a non-parametric learning algorithm and it is a member of the so-called kernel methods. RF are an ensemble learning method based on bootstrap aggregating and offer an embedded measure of the variable importance. Permafrost evidences were selected in a 588 km2 area of the Western Swiss Alps and serve as training examples. They were mapped from field data (thermal and geoelectrical data) and ortho-image interpretation (rock glacier inventorying). The dataset was completed with environmental predictors such as altitude, mean annual air temperature, aspect, slope, potential incoming solar radiation, normalized difference vegetation index and planar, profile and combined terrain curvature indices. Aiming at predicting

  8. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Bill Liddell

    2005-03-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Oil-field engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in Arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrates agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project is a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to help identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. As part of the project work scope, team members drilled and cored the HOT ICE No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in January 2003 and completed in March 2004. Due to scheduling constraints imposed by the Arctic drilling season, operations at the site were suspended between April 21, 2003 and January 30, 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was designed, constructed and used for determining physical characteristics of frozen core immediately after it was retrieved from the well. The well was drilled from a new and innovative Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a greatly reduced footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project were to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists for future hydrate operations. Unfortunately, no gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated

  9. Scaling-up permafrost thermal measurements in western Alaska using an ecotype approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Cable

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost temperatures are increasing in Alaska due to climate change and in some cases permafrost is thawing and degrading. In areas where degradation has already occurred the effects can be dramatic, resulting in changing ecosystems, carbon release, and damage to infrastructure. However, in many areas we lack baseline data, such as subsurface temperatures, needed to assess future changes and potential risk areas. Besides climate, the physical properties of the vegetation cover and subsurface material have a major influence on the thermal state of permafrost. These properties are often directly related to the type of ecosystem overlaying permafrost. In this paper we demonstrate that classifying the landscape into general ecotypes is an effective way to scale up permafrost thermal data collected from field monitoring sites. Additionally, we find that within some ecotypes the absence of a moss layer is indicative of the absence of near-surface permafrost. As a proof of concept, we used the ground temperature data collected from the field sites to recode an ecotype land cover map into a map of mean annual ground temperature ranges at 1 m depth based on analysis and clustering of observed thermal regimes. The map should be useful for decision making with respect to land use and understanding how the landscape might change under future climate scenarios.

  10. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Microbial communities of the deep unfrozen: Do microbes in taliks increase permafrost carbon vulnerability? (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldrop, M. P.; Blazewicz, S.; Jones, M.; Mcfarland, J. W.; Harden, J. W.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Turetsky, M.; Hultman, J.; Jansson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The vast frozen terrain of northern latitude ecosystems is typically thought of as being nearly biologically inert for the winter period. Yet deep within the frozen ground of northern latitude soils reside microbial communities that can remain active during the winter months. As we have shown previously, microbial communities may remain active in permafrost soils just below the freezing point of water. Though perhaps more importantly, microbial communities persist in unfrozen areas of water, soil, and sediment beneath water bodies the entire year. Microbial activity in taliks may have significant impacts on biogeochemical cycling in northern latitude ecosystems because their activity is not limited by the winter months. Here we present compositional and functional data, including long term incubation data, for microbial communities within permafrost landscapes, in permafrost and taliks, and the implications of these activities on permafrost carbon decomposition and the flux of CO2 and CH4. Our experiment was conducted at the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX) within the Bonanza Creek LTER in interior Alaska. Our site consists of a black spruce forest on permafrost that has degraded into thermokarst bogs at various times over the last five hundred years. We assume the parent substrate of the deep (1-1.5m) thermokarst peat was similar to the nearby forest soil and permafrost C before thaw. At this site, flux tower and autochamber data show that the thermokarst bog is a sink of CO2 , but a significant source of CH4. Yet this does not tell the whole story as these data do not fully capture microbial activity within the deep unfrozen talik layer. There is published evidence that within thermokarst bogs, relatively rapid decomposition of old forest floor material may be occurring. There are several possible mechanisms for this pattern; one possible mechanism for accelerated decomposition is the overwintering activities of microbial communities in taliks of thermokarst

  12. A ground temperature map of the North Atlantic permafrost region based on remote sensing and reanalysis data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westermann, S.; Østby, T. I.; Gisnås, K.

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost is a key element of the terrestrial cryosphere which makes mapping and monitoring of its state variables an imperative task. We present a modeling scheme based on remotely sensed land surface temperatures and reanalysis products from which mean annual ground temperatures (MAGT) can be ...... with gradually decreasing permafrost probabilities. The study exemplifies the unexploited potential of remotely sensed data sets in permafrost mapping if they are employed in multi-sensor multi-source data fusion approaches.......Permafrost is a key element of the terrestrial cryosphere which makes mapping and monitoring of its state variables an imperative task. We present a modeling scheme based on remotely sensed land surface temperatures and reanalysis products from which mean annual ground temperatures (MAGT) can...

  13. InSAR observation of seasonal ground surface deformation in permafrost area near Batagay, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagiya, K.; Furuya, M.

    2017-12-01

    Thawing of permafrost can lead to ground deformation. Ground deformation has been studied as a serious problem in the Arctic Ocean coastal area such as Russia for a long time, because the deformation causes damage to architectures at these areas. However, there have been no quantitative observation data, and the spatial and temporal distributions have hardly been investigated. On the other hand, by the recently global warming influence, the importance of organic carbon stored in permafrost is pointed out. Although the release of methane gas is confirmed in some thermokarst lakes, it is very difficult to observe the permafrost in a wide area by field study. Instead, it is technically possible to monitor the subsidence and uplift of the ground over the permafrost area, which could potentially make a significant contribution to the monitoring thawing process of permafrost. In this study, we attempted to detect ground deformation signal in permafrost area by remote sensing using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). Using the data of two SAR satellites ALOS and ALOS2 launched by JAXA, we observed recent ground deformation from 2007 to 2016. Particularly recent observations of ALOS2 from 2014 to 2016 discovered distant displacements towards the LOS direction in the northeast region from the town of Batagay,Siberia. The diameter of the displacements area covers about 7.7 km. In this study, we considered that this signal is likely to be due to permafrost thawing, we also investigated the seasonal characteristics and looked back ALOS data of this area. In addition, since the high latitude area, observation results include noise due to the ionosphere, so we tried to remove the noise.

  14. New insights into the ground thermal regime of talus slopes with permafrost below the timberline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwindt, Daniel; Kneisel, Christof

    2013-04-01

    In the central Alps permafrost can be expected above 2400 m a.s.l., at altitudes where mean annual air temperatures are below -1° C. However, isolated permafrost occurrences are present in north-exposed talus slopes, far below the timberline, where mean annual air temperatures are positive. Driving factors are assumed to be a low income of solar radiation, a thick organic layer with high insulation capacities as well as the thermally induced chimney effect (Wakonigg, 1996). Investigated are three talus slopes with permafrost in the Swiss Alps that differ with regard to elevation level, talus material, humus characteristics and vegetation composition as well as the mean annual air temperatures. Aim is to achieve a deeper understanding of the factors determining the site-specific thermal regime, as well as the spatially limited and temporally highly variable permafrost occurrences in vegetated talus slopes. Focus is not solely on the question of why permafrost exists at these sites, but also why permafrost does not exist in the immediate surroundings. To detect the temporal variability and spatial heterogeneity of the permafrost occurrences, electrical resistivity tomography monitoring, seismic refraction tomography monitoring, and quasi-3D ERT were applied. To determine the ground thermal regime, air-, ground surface-, and humus temperatures, as well as temperatures within vents of the chimneys were recorded. Furthermore, humus characteristics (thickness, -temperature and -moisture) were mapped in permafrost-affected slope areas and in the immediate surroundings. To test the correlation between solar radiation, permafrost distribution, and humus/vegetation composition, digital elevation models were used to calculate the income of solar radiation. The areal extent of the permafrost bodies coincide precisely with slope sections where the organic layer is thickest, a consistent moss cover is present, and where temperatures at the transition between humus layer and

  15. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donn McGuire; Steve Runyon; Richard Sigal; Bill Liddell; Thomas Williams; George Moridis

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project is in the final stages of a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Noble Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. Hot Ice No. 1 was planned to test the Ugnu and West Sak sequences for gas hydrates and a concomitant free gas accumulation on Anadarko's 100% working interest acreage in section 30 of Township 9N, Range 8E of the Harrison Bay quadrangle of the North Slope of Alaska. The Ugnu and West Sak intervals are favorably positioned in the hydrate-stability zone over an area extending from Anadarko's acreage westward to the vicinity of the aforementioned gas-hydrate occurrences. This suggests that a large, north-to-south trending gas-hydrate accumulation may exist in that area. The presence of gas shows in the Ugnu and West Sak reservoirs in wells situated eastward and down dip of the Hot Ice location indicate that a free-gas accumulation may be trapped by gas hydrates. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was designed to core from the surface to the base of the West Sak interval using the

  16. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ali Kadaster; Bill Liddell; Tommy Thompson; Thomas Williams; Michael Niedermayr

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project was a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Noble Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. The work scope included drilling and coring a well (Hot Ice No. 1) on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. During the first drilling season, operations were conducted at the site between January 28, 2003 to April 30, 2003. The well was spudded and drilled to a depth of 1403 ft. Due to the onset of warmer weather, work was then suspended for the season. Operations at the site were continued after the tundra was re-opened the following season. Between January 12, 2004 and March 19, 2004, the well was drilled and cored to a final depth of 2300 ft. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and implemented for determining physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and

  17. Permafrost Meta-Omics and Climate Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Saleska, Scott R.; Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr; Jansson, Janet K.; Taş, Neslihan

    2016-06-29

    Permafrost (i.e., soil that has been frozen for at least 2 consecutive years) represents a habitat for microbial life at subzero temperatures (Gilichinsky et al. 2008). Approximately one quarter of the Earth’s surface is underlain by permafrost, which contains 25-50% of the total global soil carbon pool (Schuur et al. 2008, Tarnocai et al. 2009). This carbon is largely protected from microbial decomposition by reduced microbial activity in frozen conditions, but climate change is threatening to induce large-scale permafrost thaw thus exposing it to degradation. The resulting emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) can produce a positive feedback loop and significantly amplify the effects of global warming. Increasing temperatures at high latitudes, changes in precipitation patterns, and frequent fire events have already initiated a widespread degradation of permafrost (Schuur et al. 2015).

  18. Thermal stability analysis under embankment with asphalt pavement and cement pavement in permafrost regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junwei, Zhang; Jinping, Li; Xiaojuan, Quan

    2013-01-01

    The permafrost degradation is the fundamental cause generating embankment diseases and pavement diseases in permafrost region while the permafrost degradation is related with temperature. Based on the field monitoring results of ground temperature along G214 Highway in high temperature permafrost regions, both the ground temperatures in superficial layer and the annual average temperatures under the embankment were discussed, respectively, for concrete pavements and asphalt pavements. The maximum depth of temperature field under the embankment for concrete pavements and asphalt pavements was also studied by using the finite element method. The results of numerical analysis indicate that there were remarkable seasonal differences of the ground temperatures in superficial layer between asphalt pavement and concrete pavement. The maximum influencing depth of temperature field under the permafrost embankment for every pavement was under the depth of 8 m. The thawed cores under both embankments have close relation with the maximum thawed depth, the embankment height, and the service time. The effective measurements will be proposed to keep the thermal stabilities of highway embankment by the results.

  19. Permafrost Distribution along the Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor, China Using High-Resolution Statistical Mapping and Modeling Integrated with Remote Sensing and GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fujun Niu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost distribution in the Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor (QTEC is of growing interest due to the increase in infrastructure development in this remote area. Empirical models of mountain permafrost distribution have been established based on field sampled data, as a tool for regional-scale assessments of its distribution. This kind of model approach has never been applied for a large portion of this engineering corridor. In the present study, this methodology is applied to map permafrost distribution throughout the QTEC. After spatial modelling of the mean annual air temperature distribution from MODIS-LST and DEM, using high-resolution satellite image to interpret land surface type, a permafrost probability index was obtained. The evaluation results indicate that the model has an acceptable performance. Conditions highly favorable to permafrost presence (≥70% are predicted for 60.3% of the study area, declaring a discontinuous permafrost distribution in the QTEC. This map is useful for the infrastructure development along the QTEC. In the future, local ground-truth observations will be required to confirm permafrost presence in favorable areas and to monitor permafrost evolution under the influence of climate change.

  20. Crustal structure beneath Eastern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reiche, Sönke; Thybo, H.; Kaip, G.

    2011-01-01

    is recorded by 350 Reftek Texan receivers for 10 equidistant shot points along the profile. We use forward ray tracing modelling to construct a two-dimensional velocity model from the observed travel times. These results show the first images of the subsurface velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice...

  1. The effect of permafrost thaw on short- and long-term carbon accumulation in permafrost mires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olid, Carolina; Klaminder, Jonatan; Monteux, Sylvain; Johansson, Margareta; Dorrepaal, Ellen

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost stores twice as much carbon (C) as is currently present in the atmosphere. During recent years, warmer temperatures in the Arctic has caused rapid thawing of permafrost, which have dramatically altered permafrost C storage by increasing both microbial decomposition and plant productivity. Although current research focuses on the effects of climate change on these two processes, there are still no scientific consensus about the magnitude or even the direction of future C feedbacks from permafrost ecosystems. Field manipulation experiments have been widely used during the last decade to improve our knowledge about the net effects of permafrost thaw in the permafrost C storage. However, due to the slow response (decades) of permafrost ecosystems to environmental changes and the short-time nature of these experiments (usually shorter than 5-9 years), there are still concerns when attempting to extrapolate the results to predict long term effects. In addition, measurements are mostly taken exclusively during the summer season, without taking into account inter-annual variability in C fluxes and underestimating microbial activity throughout the cold season. The need to develop a comprehensive understanding of C fluxes over the entire year and at long temporal scales sets the basis of this study. This study aims to quantify the effects of permafrost thawing in permafrost C fluxes using a 12 years permafrost thaw experiment in northern Sweden. Our aims were to quantify the effect of permafrost thaw in both decomposition and primary production in active layer and newly thawed permafrost, and its implications for the C balance. Based on previous observations, we hypothesized that 1) soil decomposition rates were higher in manipulated thaw plots. However, 2) the observed increase in nutrients availability and the higher presence of vascular plants after thawing stimulate primary production, which compensates to some extent the increased C losses by respiration. To

  2. Simulations of permafrost evolution at Olkiluoto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartikainen, J. [Aalto Univ., Espoo (Finland)

    2013-07-15

    This report provides numerical estimations of the evolution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground at Olkiluoto on time-scales of 60,000 and 125,000 years using Olkiluoto's site-specific information on time histories of ground level temperatures, ice sheet thickness, basal conditions, shoreline migration, soil and vegetation cover as well as heat generation from the spent fuel at a depth of 420 metres. When considering environmental conditions akin to the last glacial cycle for a 125,000 years long period, the maximum permafrost depth over the repository area can exceed the depth of 300 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground the depth of 270 m. If Olkiluoto, after a 50,000 years long temperate phase of boreal climate, was subjected to a 10,000 years long periglacial period with air temperature decreased between -5 deg C and -10 deg C, the maximum permafrost depth would range between 60 and 240 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground between 50 and 220 m. Furthermore, permafrost would reach the repository depth in 10,000 years, if the air temperature was lowered down to -15 deg C and the ground surface had a very thin vegetation and snow cover. Alternatively, if Olkiluoto experienced a 125,000 years long glacial cycle with a very long periglacial periods of low air temperatures and thin vegetation and snow cover and without any ice sheet development, permafrost would reach the depth of 400 m in 98,000 years and perennially frozen ground in 101,000 years. The areal distribution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground are broadly affected by the snow cover, lakes and the peat areas, especially when an extensive peat growth occurs. The lack of snow cover can enhance the evolution of the maximum depth of permafrost and perennially frozen ground by over 50 %. In addition, ground thermal conditions and the heat generation from the spent fuel modify the spatial and temporal development of permafrost and perennially frozen ground. A

  3. Simulations of permafrost evolution at Olkiluoto

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartikainen, J.

    2013-07-01

    This report provides numerical estimations of the evolution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground at Olkiluoto on time-scales of 60,000 and 125,000 years using Olkiluoto's site-specific information on time histories of ground level temperatures, ice sheet thickness, basal conditions, shoreline migration, soil and vegetation cover as well as heat generation from the spent fuel at a depth of 420 metres. When considering environmental conditions akin to the last glacial cycle for a 125,000 years long period, the maximum permafrost depth over the repository area can exceed the depth of 300 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground the depth of 270 m. If Olkiluoto, after a 50,000 years long temperate phase of boreal climate, was subjected to a 10,000 years long periglacial period with air temperature decreased between -5 deg C and -10 deg C, the maximum permafrost depth would range between 60 and 240 m and the maximum depth of perennially frozen ground between 50 and 220 m. Furthermore, permafrost would reach the repository depth in 10,000 years, if the air temperature was lowered down to -15 deg C and the ground surface had a very thin vegetation and snow cover. Alternatively, if Olkiluoto experienced a 125,000 years long glacial cycle with a very long periglacial periods of low air temperatures and thin vegetation and snow cover and without any ice sheet development, permafrost would reach the depth of 400 m in 98,000 years and perennially frozen ground in 101,000 years. The areal distribution of permafrost and perennially frozen ground are broadly affected by the snow cover, lakes and the peat areas, especially when an extensive peat growth occurs. The lack of snow cover can enhance the evolution of the maximum depth of permafrost and perennially frozen ground by over 50 %. In addition, ground thermal conditions and the heat generation from the spent fuel modify the spatial and temporal development of permafrost and perennially frozen ground. A

  4. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground...... this zone to be a confined aquifer situated in sediments with a porosity of 23-42%. Discovery of this aquifer suggests that subsurface liquid water may be more pervasive in regions of continuous permafrost than previously thought and may represent an extensive habitat for microbial populations. Key Points...... Geophysical survey finds low resistivities beneath a lake in Antarctic Dry Valleys Liquid brine abundant beneath Antarctic lake Aquifer provides microbial refugium in cold desert environment...

  5. A multi-scale permafrost investigation along the Alaska Highway Corridor based on airborne electromagnetic and auxiliary geophysical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minsley, B. J.; Kass, M. A.; Bloss, B.; Pastick, N.; Panda, S. K.; Smith, B. D.; Abraham, J. D.; Burns, L. E.

    2012-12-01

    More than 8000 square kilometers of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data were acquired along the Alaska Highway Corridor in 2005-2006 by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Because this large AEM dataset covers diverse geologic and permafrost settings, it is an excellent testbed for studying the electrical geophysical response from a wide range of subsurface conditions. These data have been used in several recent investigations of geology, permafrost, and infrastructure along the highway corridor. In this study, we build on existing interpretations of permafrost features by re-inverting the AEM data using traditional least squares inversion techniques as well as recently developed stochastic methods aimed at quantifying uncertainty in geophysical data. Ground-based geophysical measurements, including time-domain electromagnetic soundings, surface nuclear magnetic resonance soundings, and shallow frequency-domain electromagnetic profiles, have also been acquired to help validate and extend the AEM interpretations. Here, we focus on the integration of different types of data to yield an improved characterization of permafrost, including: methods to discriminate between geologic and thermal controls on resistivity; identifying relationships between shallow resistivity and active layer thickness by incorporating auxiliary remote sensing data and ground-based measurements; quantifying apparent slope-aspect-resistivity relationships, where south-facing slopes appear less resistive than north-facing slopes within similar geologic settings; and investigating an observed decrease in resistivity beneath several areas associated with recent fires.

  6. Permafrost investigations at the Lake Hövsgöl, northern Mongolia, using DC resistivity tomography and DEM-analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzelmuller, B.; Heggem, E. S. F.; Frauenfelder, R.; Romanovsky, V.; Sharkhuu, N.; Jambaljav, Y.; Tumensetseg, S.; Kääb, A.; Goulden, C.

    2003-04-01

    The region of Lake Hövsgöl, northern Mongolia, lies at the southern edge of Siberia and forms the southern-most fringe of the Siberian continuous permafrost zone. Analysis of long-term temperature data from the area indicates that annual temperatures have warmed by about 1.5^oC over the last 40 years. Being at the southern fringe of permafrost existence, temperature changes are supposed to have a major impact on permafrost degradation and thus on the environment, in interaction with human activities like nomadic pasture use. The objective of this study is to define the distribution of permafrost and the depth of the active zones in detail, and to begin a monitoring program of soil and permafrost temperatures in the study area. During these studies (a) field measurements of ground temperature, (b) analyses of geophysical parameters (mainly ground resistivities), and (c) the generation and analyses of digital elevation models and satellite imagery were carried out. The field measurements provided the basis for the later development of statistical/empirical and physical models of the permafrost distribution in the Hövsgöl area. This presentation will focus on the DC-resistivity tomography mapping of permafrost and digital elevation model analyses. The study showed that DC resistivity tomography was useful to distinguish the active layer and permafrost thickness under different types of surface cover. The project is funded by a five-year grant from the Global Environment Facility to the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS), implemented by the World Bank and a foundation of the Mongolian Long Term Ecological Research Program at Lake Hövsgöl.

  7. Sensitivity of airborne geophysical data to sublacustrine and near-surface permafrost thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minsley, Burke J.; Wellman, Tristan; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Revil, Andre

    2014-01-01

    A coupled hydrogeophysical forward and inverse modeling approach is developed to illustrate the ability of frequency-domain airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data to characterize subsurface physical properties associated with sublacustrine permafrost thaw during lake-talik formation. Numerical modeling scenarios are evaluated that consider non-isothermal hydrologic responses to variable forcing from different lake depths and for different hydrologic gradients. A novel physical property relationship connects the dynamic distribution of electrical resistivity to ice saturation and temperature outputs from the SUTRA groundwater simulator with freeze–thaw physics. The influence of lithology on electrical resistivity is controlled by a surface conduction term in the physical property relationship. Resistivity models, which reflect changes in subsurface conditions, are used as inputs to simulate AEM data in order to explore the sensitivity of geophysical observations to permafrost thaw. Simulations of sublacustrine talik formation over a 1000-year period are modeled after conditions found in the Yukon Flats, Alaska. Synthetic AEM data are analyzed with a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm that quantifies geophysical parameter uncertainty and resolution. Major lithological and permafrost features are well resolved by AEM data in the examples considered. The subtle geometry of partial ice saturation beneath lakes during talik formation cannot be resolved using AEM data, but the gross characteristics of sub-lake resistivity models reflect bulk changes in ice content and can identify the presence of a talik. A final synthetic example compares AEM and ground-based electromagnetic responses for their ability to resolve shallow permafrost and thaw features in the upper 1–2 m below ground outside the lake margin.

  8. Permafrost and urban Development in Norilsk Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiklomanov, N. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2017-12-01

    The city of Norilsk was established in 1935 as a GULAG mining and metallurgy work camp to explore the rich deposits of non-ferrous metals. By the 1989, the population of Norilsk reached 179,757 people. Two additional cities were developed in proximity to Norilsk in the 1960s-1980s: Talnakh (1989 population 65,710); and Kaerkan (1989 population 29,824) making the Norilsk region a major Arctic metropolis. While such rapid growth is not unusual for developing industrial cities, the geographic location makes Norilsk rather unique among world urban centers. It was built in Central Siberia at 69°51' N latitude (above the Arctic Circle), in region characterized by harsh subarctic climate (mean annual temperature around -10 oC), over forest tundra/tundra transitional landscapes underlined by perennially frozen ground (permafrost). Throughout its existence, the Norilsk region was highly isolated: it is not connected to Russian road and railroad systems. The harsh environmental conditions provided significant and rather unique challenges to Norilsk development. Specifically, the presence of ice-rich permafrost imposed restrictions on application of standard urban planning and engineering practices. This presentation analyzes the history of permafrost construction in Norilsk. It shows how though initial trial and errors, a set of guiding principles and engineering methods of construction on permafrost were developed allowing a rapid urbanization of the area during the 1960-1980s. However, despite significant advances in permafrost engineering, the pronounced permafrost degradation has become evident in Norilsk by the mid 1980s and has accelerated rapidly since the mid 1990s resulting in widespread deformation of buildings. Climatic changes are frequently identified as a major cause of accelerated deterioration of infrastructure build on permafrost. However, we argue that other factors, including the complexity of interactions between deferent components of urban

  9. Coupling of snow and permafrost processes using the Basic Modeling Interface (BMI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K.; Overeem, I.; Jafarov, E. E.; Piper, M.; Stewart, S.; Clow, G. D.; Schaefer, K. M.

    2017-12-01

    We developed a permafrost modeling tool based by implementing the Kudryavtsev empirical permafrost active layer depth model (the so-called "Ku" component). The model is specifically set up to have a basic model interface (BMI), which enhances the potential coupling to other earth surface processes model components. This model is accessible through the Web Modeling Tool in Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS). The Kudryavtsev model has been applied for entire Alaska to model permafrost distribution at high spatial resolution and model predictions have been verified by Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) in-situ observations. The Ku component uses monthly meteorological forcing, including air temperature, snow depth, and snow density, and predicts active layer thickness (ALT) and temperature on the top of permafrost (TTOP), which are important factors in snow-hydrological processes. BMI provides an easy approach to couple the models with each other. Here, we provide a case of coupling the Ku component to snow process components, including the Snow-Degree-Day (SDD) method and Snow-Energy-Balance (SEB) method, which are existing components in the hydrological model TOPOFLOW. The work flow is (1) get variables from meteorology component, set the values to snow process component, and advance the snow process component, (2) get variables from meteorology and snow component, provide these to the Ku component and advance, (3) get variables from snow process component, set the values to meteorology component, and advance the meteorology component. The next phase is to couple the permafrost component with fully BMI-compliant TOPOFLOW hydrological model, which could provide a useful tool to investigate the permafrost hydrological effect.

  10. International student Arctic Field School on Permafrost and urban areas study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suter, L.; Tolmanov, V. A.; Grebenets, V. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing drastic climatic and environmental changes. These changes are exacerbated in the Russian Arctic, where active resource development resulted in further land cover transformations, especially near large settlements. There is a growing need in multidisciplinary studies of climate and human- induced changes in the Arctic cities. In order to fill this gap, International Arctic Field Course on Permafrostand Northern Studies was organized in July 2017 to the Russian Arctic. The course was organized under the umbrella of the Arctic PIRE project in cooperation between the George Washington University, Moscow State University, and the Russian Center for Arctic Development. The course attracted twenty undergraduate and graduate students from Russia, USA, and EU countries and involved instructors specializing in Arctic system science, geocryology, permafrost engineering, and urban sustainability. The field course was focused on studying typical natural Arctic landscapes of tundra and forest tundra; transformations of natural landscapes in urban and industrial areas around Vorkuta and Salekhard; construction and planning on permafrost and field methods and techniques, including permafrost and soil temperature monitoring, active layer thickness (ALT) measurements, studying of cryogenic processes, stratigraphic and soil investigations, vegetation and microclimate studies. The students were also engaged in a discussion of climatic change and historical development of urban areas on permafrost,and were exposed to examples of both active and passive construction principles while conducting a field survey of permafrost related building deformations. During the course, students collected more than 800 ALT and soil temperature measurements in typical landscapes around Vorkuta and Salekhard to determine effects of soil and vegetation factors on ground thermal regime; surveyed several hundreds of buildings to determine locations with most deformation

  11. High biolability of ancient permafrost carbon upon thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.E.; Mann, P.J.; Davydov, S.; Davydova, A.; Spencer, R.G.M.; Schade, J.; Sobczak, W.V.; Zimov, S.; Bulygina, E.; Eglinton, T.I.; Holmes, R.M.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing climate warming in the Arctic will thaw permafrost and remobilize substantial terrestrial organic carbon (OC) pools. Around a quarter of northern permafrost OC resides in Siberian Yedoma deposits, the oldest form of permafrost carbon. However, our understanding of the degradation and

  12. High biolability of ancient permafrost carbon upon thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Jorien E.; Mann, Paul J.; Davydov, Sergey; Davydova, Anna; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Schade, John; Sobczak, William V.; Zimov, Nikita; Zimov, Sergei; Bulygina, Ekaterina; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Holmes, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing climate warming in the Arctic will thaw permafrost and remobilize substantial terrestrial organic carbon (OC) pools. Around a quarter of northern permafrost OC resides in Siberian Yedoma deposits, the oldest form of permafrost carbon. However, our understanding of the degradation and fate of

  13. Potential remobilization of belowground permafrost carbon under future global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. Kuhry; E. Dorrepaal; G. Hugelius; E.A.G. Schuur; C. Tarnocai

    2010-01-01

    Research on permafrost carbon has dramatically increased in the past few years. A new estimate of 1672 Pg C of belowground organic carbon in the northern circumpolar permafrost region more than doubles the previous value and highlights the potential role of permafrost carbon in the Earth System. Uncertainties in this new estimate remain due to relatively few available...

  14. A central database for the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elger, Kirsten; Lanckman, Jean-Pierre; Lantuit, Hugues; Karlsson, Ævar Karl; Johannsson, Halldór

    2013-04-01

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) is the primary international observing network for permafrost sponsored by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and managed by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). It monitors the Essential Climate Variable (ECV) permafrost that consists of permafrost temperature and active-layer thickness, with the long-term goal of obtaining a comprehensive view of the spatial structure, trends, and variability of changes in the active layer and permafrost. The network's two international monitoring components are (1) CALM (Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring) and the (2) Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP), which is made of an extensive borehole-network covering all permafrost regions. Both programs have been thoroughly overhauled during the International Polar Year 2007-2008 and extended their coverage to provide a true circumpolar network stretching over both Hemispheres. GTN-P has gained considerable visibility in the science community in providing the baseline against which models are globally validated and incorporated in climate assessments. Yet it was until now operated on a voluntary basis, and is now being redesigned to meet the increasing expectations from the science community. To update the network's objectives and deliver the best possible products to the community, the IPA organized a workshop to define the user's needs and requirements for the production, archival, storage and dissemination of the permafrost data products it manages. From the beginning on, GNT-P data was "outfitted" with an open data policy with free data access via the World Wide Web. The existing data, however, is far from being homogeneous: is not yet optimized for databases, there is no framework for data reporting or archival and data documentation is incomplete. As a result, and despite the utmost relevance of permafrost in the Earth's climate system, the data has not been

  15. International Field School on Permafrost: Yenisei, Russian Federation - 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyland, K. E.; Streletskiy, D. A.; Grebenets, V. I.

    2013-12-01

    The International Field School on Permafrost was established in Russia as part of International Polar Year activities. The first course was offered in 2007 in Northwestern Siberia and attracted students from Russia, Germany, and the United States. Over the past seven years undergraduate and graduate students representing eight different countries in North America, Europe, and Asia have participated in the field school. This annual summer field course visits different regions of the Russian Arctic each year, but the three course foci remain consistent, which are to make in depth examinations of, 1) natural permafrost characteristics and conditions, 2) field techniques and applications, and 3) engineering practices and construction on permafrost. During these field courses students participate in excursions to local museums and exhibitions, meet with representatives from local administrations, mining and construction industries, and learn field techniques for complex permafrost investigations, including landscape and soil descriptions, temperature monitoring, active-layer measurements, cryostratigraphy, and more. During these courses students attend an evening lecture series by their professors and also give presentations on various regionally oriented topics of interest, such as the local geology, climate, or historical development of the region. This presentation will relate this summer's (July 2013) field course which took place in the Yenisei River region of central Siberia. The course took place along a bioclimatic transect from south to north along the Yenisei River and featured extended stays in the cities of Igarka and Noril'sk. This year's students (undergraduate, masters, and one PhD student) represented universities in the United States, Canada, and the Russian Federation. The organization of this course was accomplished through the cooperation of The George Washington University's Department of Geography and the Lomonosov Moscow State University

  16. Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuur, E A G; McGuire, A D; Schädel, C; Grosse, G; Harden, J W; Hayes, D J; Hugelius, G; Koven, C D; Kuhry, P; Lawrence, D M; Natali, S M; Olefeldt, D; Romanovsky, V E; Schaefer, K; Turetsky, M R; Treat, C C; Vonk, J E

    2015-04-09

    Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain. Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.

  17. Imaging magma plumbing beneath Askja volcano, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Tim; White, Robert S.

    2015-04-01

    Volcanoes during repose periods are not commonly monitored by dense instrumentation networks and so activity during periods of unrest is difficult to put in context. We have operated a dense seismic network of 3-component, broadband instruments around Askja, a large central volcano in the Northern Volcanic Zone, Iceland, since 2006. Askja last erupted in 1961, with a relatively small basaltic lava flow. Since 1975 the central caldera has been subsiding and there has been no indication of volcanic activity. Despite this, Askja has been one of the more seismically active volcanoes in Iceland. The majority of these events are due to an extensive geothermal area within the caldera and tectonically induced earthquakes to the northeast which are not related to the magma plumbing system. More intriguing are the less numerous deeper earthquakes at 12-24km depth, situated in three distinct areas within the volcanic system. These earthquakes often show a frequency content which is lower than the shallower activity, but they still show strong P and S wave arrivals indicative of brittle failure, despite their location being well below the brittle-ductile boundary, which, in Askja is ~7km bsl. These earthquakes indicate the presence of melt moving or degassing at depth while the volcano is not inflating, as only high strain rates or increased pore fluid pressures would cause brittle fracture in what is normally an aseismic region in the ductile zone. The lower frequency content must be the result of a slower source time function as earthquakes which are both high frequency and low frequency come from the same cluster, thereby discounting a highly attenuating lower crust. To image the plumbing system beneath Askja, local and regional earthquakes have been used as sources to solve for the velocity structure beneath the volcano. Travel-time tables were created using a finite difference technique and the residuals were used to solve simultaneously for both the earthquake locations

  18. Permafrost distribution map of San Juan Dry Andes (Argentina) based on rock glacier sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper Angillieri, María Yanina

    2017-01-01

    Rock glaciers are frozen water reservoirs in mountainous areas. Water resources are important for the local populations and economies. The presence of rock glaciers is commonly used as a direct indicator of mountain permafrost conditions. Over 500 active rock glaciers have been identified, showing that elevations between 3500 and 4500 m asl., a south-facing or east-facing aspect, areas with relatively low solar radiation and low mean annual air temperature (-4 to 0 °C) favour the existence of rock glaciers in this region. The permafrost probability model, for Dry Andes of San Juan Province between latitudes 28º30‧S and 32°30‧S, have been analyzed by logistic regression models based on the active rock glaciers occurrence in relation to some topoclimatic variables such as altitude, aspect, mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation and solar radiation, using optical remote sensing techniques in a GIS environment. The predictive performances of the model have been estimated by known rock glaciers locations and by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC). This regional permafrost map can be applied by the Argentinean Government for their recent initiatives which include creating inventories, monitoring and studying ice masses along the Argentinean Andes. Further, this generated map provides valuable input data for permafrost scenarios and contributes to a better understanding of our geosystem.

  19. Permafrost in the Himalayas: specific characteristics, evolution vs. climate change and impacts on potential natural hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Monique

    2015-04-01

    mass-wasting and debris-flow events and may directly threat the infrastructures recently built to unlock these remote areas. Secondly, acceleration of permafrost degradation might also affect the steepest rock walls (as in Khumbu, Manang and Mustang Himals) and cause rock avalanches that could impact nearby settlements, as suggested by relicts of past events. Lastly, ground ice is a hidden source of water in areas without permanent glacial ice. In a context of global warming this non-renewable resource would be depleted and no longer available for the population living in these areas, all the more as growing tourism activities are increasing the demand for water consumption that may conflicts with irrigated agricultural uses down valley. More in-situ observations and long-term monitoring studies should certainly be useful to understand climate trends hence permafrost evolution and their consequences in order to help mountain populations of the cold, arid Himalayas to adjust to progressive changes in their environmental conditions and resources.

  20. Surface and subsurface conditions in permafrost areas - a literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vidstrand, Patrik

    2003-02-01

    This report contains a summary of some of the information within existing technical and scientific literature on permafrost. Permafrost is viewed as one of the future climate driven process domains that may exist in Scandinavia, and that may give rise to significantly different surface and subsurface conditions than the present. Except for changes in the biosphere, permafrost may impact hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical subsurface processes and conditions. Permafrost and its influences on the subsurface conditions are thus of interest for the performance and safety assessments of deep geological waste repositories. The definition of permafrost is 'ground that stays at or below 0 deg C for at least two consecutive years'. Permafrost will effect the geological subsurface to some depth. How deep the permafrost may grow is a function of the heat balance, thermal conditions at the surface and within the ground, and the geothermal heat flux from the Earth's inner parts. The main chapters of the report summaries the knowledge on permafrost evolution, occurrence and distribution, and extracts information concerning hydrology and mechanical and chemical impacts due to permafrost related conditions. The results of a literature review are always dependent on the available literature. Concerning permafrost there is some literature available from investigations in the field of long-term repositories and some from mining industries. However, reports of these investigations are few and the bulk of permafrost literature comes from the science departments concerned with surficial processes (e.g. geomorphology, hydrology, agriculture, etc) and from engineering concerns, such as foundation of constructions and pipeline design. This focus within the permafrost research inevitably yields a biased but also an abundant amount of information on localised surficial processes and a limited amount on regional and deep permafrost characteristics. Possible conclusions are that there is

  1. Surface and subsurface conditions in permafrost areas - a literature review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vidstrand, Patrik [Bergab, Goeteborg (Sweden)

    2003-02-01

    This report contains a summary of some of the information within existing technical and scientific literature on permafrost. Permafrost is viewed as one of the future climate driven process domains that may exist in Scandinavia, and that may give rise to significantly different surface and subsurface conditions than the present. Except for changes in the biosphere, permafrost may impact hydraulic, mechanical, and chemical subsurface processes and conditions. Permafrost and its influences on the subsurface conditions are thus of interest for the performance and safety assessments of deep geological waste repositories. The definition of permafrost is 'ground that stays at or below 0 deg C for at least two consecutive years'. Permafrost will effect the geological subsurface to some depth. How deep the permafrost may grow is a function of the heat balance, thermal conditions at the surface and within the ground, and the geothermal heat flux from the Earth's inner parts. The main chapters of the report summaries the knowledge on permafrost evolution, occurrence and distribution, and extracts information concerning hydrology and mechanical and chemical impacts due to permafrost related conditions. The results of a literature review are always dependent on the available literature. Concerning permafrost there is some literature available from investigations in the field of long-term repositories and some from mining industries. However, reports of these investigations are few and the bulk of permafrost literature comes from the science departments concerned with surficial processes (e.g. geomorphology, hydrology, agriculture, etc) and from engineering concerns, such as foundation of constructions and pipeline design. This focus within the permafrost research inevitably yields a biased but also an abundant amount of information on localised surficial processes and a limited amount on regional and deep permafrost characteristics. Possible conclusions are that

  2. Northern Peatland Shifts Under Changing Climate and Their Impact on Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shur, Y.; Jorgenson, T.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.

    2014-12-01

    . Sphagnum mosses, which grow better under warm climates, is a dominant factor in this transformation. Terrestrialization of numerous shallow lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska will lower permafrost temperatures beneath them and in surrounding areas.

  3. Web-GIS visualisation of permafrost-related Remote Sensing products for ESA GlobPermafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, A.; Heim, B.; Schaefer-Neth, C.; Laboor, S.; Nitze, I.; Grosse, G.; Bartsch, A.; Kaab, A.; Strozzi, T.; Wiesmann, A.; Seifert, F. M.

    2016-12-01

    The ESA GlobPermafrost (www.globpermafrost.info) provides a remote sensing service for permafrost research and applications. The service comprises of data product generation for various sites and regions as well as specific infrastructure allowing overview and access to datasets. Based on an online user survey conducted within the project, the user community extensively applies GIS software to handle remote sensing-derived datasets and requires preview functionalities before accessing them. In response, we develop the Permafrost Information System PerSys which is conceptualized as an open access geospatial data dissemination and visualization portal. PerSys will allow visualisation of GlobPermafrost raster and vector products such as land cover classifications, Landsat multispectral index trend datasets, lake and wetland extents, InSAR-based land surface deformation maps, rock glacier velocity fields, spatially distributed permafrost model outputs, and land surface temperature datasets. The datasets will be published as WebGIS services relying on OGC-standardized Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) technologies for data display and visualization. The WebGIS environment will be hosted at the AWI computing centre where a geodata infrastructure has been implemented comprising of ArcGIS for Server 10.4, PostgreSQL 9.2 and a browser-driven data viewer based on Leaflet (http://leafletjs.com). Independently, we will provide an `Access - Restricted Data Dissemination Service', which will be available to registered users for testing frequently updated versions of project datasets. PerSys will become a core project of the Arctic Permafrost Geospatial Centre (APGC) within the ERC-funded PETA-CARB project (www.awi.de/petacarb). The APGC Data Catalogue will contain all final products of GlobPermafrost, allow in-depth dataset search via keywords, spatial and temporal coverage, data type, etc., and will provide DOI-based links to the datasets archived in the

  4. Leveraging Subsidence in Permafrost with Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, K. M.; Chen, A.; Chen, J.; Chen, R. H.; Liu, L.; Michaelides, R. J.; Moghaddam, M.; Parsekian, A.; Tabatabaeenejad, A.; Thompson, J. A.; Zebker, H. A.; Meyer, F. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) product uses the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to measure ground subsidence in permafrost regions. Seasonal subsidence results from the expansion of soil water into ice as the surface soil or active layer freezes and thaws each year. Subsidence trends result from large-scale thaw of permafrost and from the melting and subsequent drainage of excess ground ice in permafrost-affected soils. The attached figure shows the 2006-2010 average seasonal subsidence from ReSALT around Barrow, Alaska. The average active layer thickness (the maximum surface thaw depth during summer) is 30-40 cm, resulting in an average seasonal subsidence of 1-3 cm. Analysis of the seasonal subsidence and subsidence trends provides valuable insights into important permafrost processes, such as the freeze/thaw of the active layer, large-scale thawing due to climate change, the impact of fire, and infrastructure vulnerability. ReSALT supports the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) field campaign in Alaska and northwest Canada and is a precursor for a potential NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) product. ReSALT includes uncertainties for all parameters and is validated against in situ measurements from the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) network, Ground Penetrating Radar and mechanical probe measurements. Here we present examples of ReSALT products in Alaska to highlight the untapped potential of the InSAR technique to understand permafrost dynamics, with a strong emphasis on the underlying processes that drive the subsidence.

  5. Landsat-based trend analysis of lake dynamics across northern permafrost regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Ulrich, Mathias; Federov, Alexander; Veremeeva, Alexandra

    2017-01-01

    Lakes are a ubiquitous landscape feature in northern permafrost regions. They have a strong impact on carbon, energy and water fluxes and can be quite responsive to climate change. The monitoring of lake change in northern high latitudes, at a sufficiently accurate spatial and temporal resolution, is crucial for understanding the underlying processes driving lake change. To date, lake change studies in permafrost regions were based on a variety of different sources, image acquisition periods and single snapshots, and localized analysis, which hinders the comparison of different regions. Here we present, a methodology based on machine-learning based classification of robust trends of multi-spectral indices of Landsat data (TM,ETM+, OLI) and object-based lake detection, to analyze and compare the individual, local and regional lake dynamics of four different study sites (Alaska North Slope, Western Alaska, Central Yakutia, Kolyma Lowland) in the northern permafrost zone from 1999 to 2014. Regional patterns of lake area change on the Alaska North Slope (-0.69%), Western Alaska (-2.82%), and Kolyma Lowland (-0.51%) largely include increases due to thermokarst lake expansion, but more dominant lake area losses due to catastrophic lake drainage events. In contrast, Central Yakutia showed a remarkable increase in lake area of 48.48%, likely resulting from warmer and wetter climate conditions over the latter half of the study period. Within all study regions, variability in lake dynamics was associated with differences in permafrost characteristics, landscape position (i.e. upland vs. lowland), and surface geology. With the global availability of Landsat data and a consistent methodology for processing the input data derived from robust trends of multi-spectral indices, we demonstrate a transferability, scalability and consistency of lake change analysis within the northern permafrost region.

  6. Numerical modeling of permafrost dynamics in Alaska using a high spatial resolution dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Jafarov

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate projections for the 21st century indicate that there could be a pronounced warming and permafrost degradation in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Climate warming is likely to cause permafrost thawing with subsequent effects on surface albedo, hydrology, soil organic matter storage and greenhouse gas emissions.

    To assess possible changes in the permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness, we implemented the GIPL2-MPI transient numerical model for the entire Alaska permafrost domain. The model input parameters are spatial datasets of mean monthly air temperature and precipitation, prescribed thermal properties of the multilayered soil column, and water content that are specific for each soil class and geographical location. As a climate forcing, we used the composite of five IPCC Global Circulation Models that has been downscaled to 2 by 2 km spatial resolution by Scenarios Network for Alaska Planning (SNAP group.

    In this paper, we present the modeling results based on input of a five-model composite with A1B carbon emission scenario. The model has been calibrated according to the annual borehole temperature measurements for the State of Alaska. We also performed more detailed calibration for fifteen shallow borehole stations where high quality data are available on daily basis. To validate the model performance, we compared simulated active layer thicknesses with observed data from Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM stations. The calibrated model was used to address possible ground temperature changes for the 21st century. The model simulation results show widespread permafrost degradation in Alaska could begin between 2040–2099 within the vast area southward from the Brooks Range, except for the high altitude regions of the Alaska Range and Wrangell Mountains.

  7. Permafrost Degradation Risk Zone Assessment using Simulation Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daanen, R.P.; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Marchenko, S.

    2011-01-01

    In this proof-of-concept study we focus on linking large scale climate and permafrost simulations to small scale engineering projects by bridging the gap between climate and permafrost sciences on the one hand and on the other technical recommendation for adaptation of planned infrastructures...... to climate change in a region generally underlain by permafrost. We present the current and future state of permafrost in Greenland as modelled numerically with the GIPL model driven by HIRHAM climate projections up to 2080. We develop a concept called Permafrost Thaw Potential (PTP), defined...... as the potential active layer increase due to climate warming and surface alterations. PTP is then used in a simple risk assessment procedure useful for engineering applications. The modelling shows that climate warming will result in continuing wide-spread permafrost warming and degradation in Greenland...

  8. Geophysical Investigations of Saline Permafrost at Ilulissat, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Foged, Niels Nielsen; Butzbach, Rune

    2008-01-01

    The technical properties and general state of permafrost in Greenland is not well documented. A new coordinated investigation has been initiated, for ground temperature measurements and permafrost mapping in Greenlandic towns in sporadic, discontinuous and continuous permafrost zones. We present...... investigation results from one of the sites, located at Ilulissat, in an area of discontinuous saline permafrost. We have established ground temperature measurement stations and conducted a shallow geoelectrical study. Our results show that the sediments in the studied area mainly consist of very frost...... susceptible silty clays. The area has permafrost with a maximum active layer thickness between 0.9 and 1 m. In spite of low permafrost temperatures a considerable part of the pore water is unfrozen, due to high residual salt concentrations. Consequently, the unfrozen water content dominates the technical...

  9. Semiautomatic mapping of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbrandsen, Mats Lundh; Minsley, Burke J.; Ball, Lyndsay B.; Hansen, Thomas Mejer

    2016-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost due to global warming can have major impacts on hydrogeological processes, climate feedback, arctic ecology, and local environments. To understand these effects and processes, it is crucial to know the distribution of permafrost. In this study we exploit the fact that airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data are sensitive to the distribution of permafrost and demonstrate how the distribution of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska, is mapped in an efficient (semiautomatic) way, using a combination of supervised and unsupervised (machine) learning algorithms, i.e., Smart Interpretation and K-means clustering. Clustering is used to sort unfrozen and frozen regions, and Smart Interpretation is used to predict the depth of permafrost based on expert interpretations. This workflow allows, for the first time, a quantitative and objective approach to efficiently map permafrost based on large amounts of AEM data.

  10. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristofer D.; Harden, Jennifer W.; McGuire, A. David; Clark, Mark; Yuan, Fengming; Finley, Andrew O.

    2013-09-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF), OLT, and other topographic factors were investigated using structural equation modeling in a multi-group analysis. Groups were defined by slope, soil texture type, and shallow (OLT increase in shallow OLT soils (OLTs) due to an insulation effect, but PF decreased in deep OLT soils (OLTd) by 0.06 for every 10-cm increase. Across the MAT gradient, PF in sandy soils varied little, but PF in loamy and silty soils decreased substantially from cooler to warmer temperatures. The change in OLT was more heterogeneous across soil texture types—in some there was no change while in others OLTs soils thinned and/or OLTd soils thickened at warmer locations. Furthermore, when soil organic carbon was estimated using a relationship with thickness, the average increase in carbon in OLTd soils was almost four times greater compared to the average decrease in carbon in OLTs soils across all soil types. If soils follow a trajectory of warming that mimics the spatial gradients found today, then heterogeneities of permafrost degradation and organic layer thinning and thickening should be considered in the regional carbon balance.

  11. Data-driven mapping of the potential mountain permafrost distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2017-07-15

    Existing mountain permafrost distribution models generally offer a good overview of the potential extent of this phenomenon at a regional scale. They are however not always able to reproduce the high spatial discontinuity of permafrost at the micro-scale (scale of a specific landform; ten to several hundreds of meters). To overcome this lack, we tested an alternative modelling approach using three classification algorithms belonging to statistics and machine learning: Logistic regression, Support Vector Machines and Random forests. These supervised learning techniques infer a classification function from labelled training data (pixels of permafrost absence and presence) with the aim of predicting the permafrost occurrence where it is unknown. The research was carried out in a 588km 2 area of the Western Swiss Alps. Permafrost evidences were mapped from ortho-image interpretation (rock glacier inventorying) and field data (mainly geoelectrical and thermal data). The relationship between selected permafrost evidences and permafrost controlling factors was computed with the mentioned techniques. Classification performances, assessed with AUROC, range between 0.81 for Logistic regression, 0.85 with Support Vector Machines and 0.88 with Random forests. The adopted machine learning algorithms have demonstrated to be efficient for permafrost distribution modelling thanks to consistent results compared to the field reality. The high resolution of the input dataset (10m) allows elaborating maps at the micro-scale with a modelled permafrost spatial distribution less optimistic than classic spatial models. Moreover, the probability output of adopted algorithms offers a more precise overview of the potential distribution of mountain permafrost than proposing simple indexes of the permafrost favorability. These encouraging results also open the way to new possibilities of permafrost data analysis and mapping. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Permafrost and peatland evolution in the northern Hudson Bay lowland, Manitoba

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dyke, L.D.; Sladen, W.E. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Geological Survey of Canada

    2010-12-15

    This article reported on a study that investigated the sensitivity of peat plateau terrain to continued climate warming in the area of the northern Hudson Bay lowland. Snow and shallow standing water were assessed as the environmental factors most likely to create above-freezing ground temperatures in peat plateau terrain that is otherwise frozen. The relationships between air and ground temperatures in creating these surface environmental conditions were determined and used with air temperature records to predict whether peat plateaus will thaw as a result of foreseeable climate warming. Lake erosion was also assessed as a mechanism for the degradation of frozen peat plateau terrain. Environmental conditions that result in elevated ground temperatures at the margin of peat plateaus either eliminate permafrost or promote permafrost temperatures that are warmer than those beneath unforested peat plateaus. Under present climatic conditions, the process in which a frozen peat plateau degrades and transitions to fen is slow, but with continued warming the subsidence at plateau edges will become more pronounced, accelerating the subsidence process. The consequences of continued warming will be the expansion of thawed zones, subsidence at plateau margins, and potentially the collapse of plateau surfaces and conversion into fen. Peat plateau bog is also being lost to wave erosion of subsiding plateau borders at lake shorelines. 30 refs., 14 figs.

  13. Thermokarst transformation of permafrost preserved glaciated landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokelj, S.; Tunnicliffe, J. F.; Fraser, R.; Kokoszka, J.; Lacelle, D.; Lantz, T. C.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Rudy, A.; Shakil, S.; Tank, S. E.; van der Sluijs, J.; Wolfe, S.; Zolkos, S.

    2017-12-01

    Thermokarst is the fundamental mechanism of landscape change and a primary driver of downstream effects in a warming circumpolar world. Permafrost degradation is inherently non-linear because latent heat effects can inhibit thawing. However, once this thermal transition is crossed thermokarst can accelerate due to the interaction of thermal, physical and ecological feedbacks. In this paper we highlight recent climate and precipitation-driven intensification of thaw slumping that is transforming permafrost preserved glaciated landscapes in northwestern Canada. The continental distribution of slump affected terrain reflects glacial extents and recessional positions of the Laurentide Ice sheet. On this basis and in conjunction with intense thermokarst in cold polar environments, we highlight the critical roles of geological legacy and climate history in dictating the sensitivity of permafrost terrain. These glaciated landscapes, maintained in a quasi-stable state throughout much of the late Holocene are now being transformed into remarkably dynamic environments by climate-driven thermokarst. Individual disturbances displace millions of cubic metres of previously frozen material downslope, converting upland sedimentary stores into major source areas. Precipitation-driven evacuation of sediment by fluidized mass flows perpetuates non-linear enlargement of disturbances. The infilling of valleys with debris deposits tens of metres thick increases stream base-levels and promotes rapid valley-side erosion. These processes destabilize adjacent slopes and proliferate disturbance effects. Physically-based modeling of thaw slump development provides insight into the trajectories of landscape change, and the mapping of fluvial linkages portrays the cascade of effects across watershed scales. Post-glacial or "paraglacial" models of landscape evolution provide a useful framework for understanding the nature and magnitude of climate-driven changes in permafrost preserved glaciated

  14. Data Integration Tool: Permafrost Data Debugging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, H.; Schaefer, K. M.; Jafarov, E. E.; Pulsifer, P. L.; Strawhacker, C.; Yarmey, L.; Basak, R.

    2017-12-01

    We developed a Data Integration Tool (DIT) to significantly speed up the time of manual processing needed to translate inconsistent, scattered historical permafrost data into files ready to ingest directly into the Global Terrestrial Network-Permafrost (GTN-P). The United States National Science Foundation funded this project through the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) with the GTN-P to improve permafrost data access and discovery. We leverage this data to support science research and policy decisions. DIT is a workflow manager that divides data preparation and analysis into a series of steps or operations called widgets (https://github.com/PermaData/DIT). Each widget does a specific operation, such as read, multiply by a constant, sort, plot, and write data. DIT allows the user to select and order the widgets as desired to meet their specific needs, incrementally interact with and evolve the widget workflows, and save those workflows for reproducibility. Taking ideas from visual programming found in the art and design domain, debugging and iterative design principles from software engineering, and the scientific data processing and analysis power of Fortran and Python it was written for interactive, iterative data manipulation, quality control, processing, and analysis of inconsistent data in an easily installable application. DIT was used to completely translate one dataset (133 sites) that was successfully added to GTN-P, nearly translate three datasets (270 sites), and is scheduled to translate 10 more datasets ( 1000 sites) from the legacy inactive site data holdings of the Frozen Ground Data Center (FGDC). Iterative development has provided the permafrost and wider scientific community with an extendable tool designed specifically for the iterative process of translating unruly data.

  15. Microbial diversity in European alpine permafrost and active layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Beat; Rime, Thomas; Phillips, Marcia; Stierli, Beat; Hajdas, Irka; Widmer, Franco; Hartmann, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Permafrost represents a largely understudied genetic resource. Thawing of permafrost with global warming will not only promote microbial carbon turnover with direct feedback on greenhouse gases, but also unlock an unknown microbial diversity. Pioneering metagenomic efforts have shed light on the permafrost microbiome in polar regions, but temperate mountain permafrost is largely understudied. We applied a unique experimental design coupled to high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers to characterize the microbiota at the long-term alpine permafrost study site 'Muot-da-Barba-Peider' in eastern Switzerland with an approximate radiocarbon age of 12 000 years. Compared to the active layers, the permafrost community was more diverse and enriched with members of the superphylum Patescibacteria (OD1, TM7, GN02 and OP11). These understudied phyla with no cultured representatives proposedly feature small streamlined genomes with reduced metabolic capabilities, adaptations to anaerobic fermentative metabolisms and potential ectosymbiotic lifestyles. The permafrost microbiota was also enriched with yeasts and lichenized fungi known to harbour various structural and functional adaptation mechanisms to survive under extreme sub-zero conditions. These data yield an unprecedented view on microbial life in temperate mountain permafrost, which is increasingly important for understanding the biological dynamics of permafrost in order to anticipate potential ecological trajectories in a warming world. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Gas hydrates and permafrost in continental northern West Siberia; Gashydrate und Permafrost im kontinentalen noerdlichen Westsibirien

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cramer, B. [Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover (Germany); Braun, A.; Poelchau, H.S. [Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany). Inst. fuer Erdoel und Organische Geochemie; Littke, R. [RWTH Aachen (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Geologie, Geochemie und Lagerstaetten des Erdoels und der Kohle

    1997-12-31

    The largest natural gas pool in the world is located in northern part of the West Siberian Basin. During the Quaternary this reservoir became overlaid with several hundreds of metres of permafrost. The pressure and temperature conditions prevailing under this permafrost zone have led to the development of gas hydrates. As far as is known today there is no genetic relationship between the formation of the gas pool and the development of gas hydrates. The present contribution deals with these questions in detail. (MSK) [Deutsch] Im Nordteil des westsibirischen Beckens liegt die groesste Erdgaslagerstaette der Erde. Darueber hat sich im Quartaer ein mehrere hundert Meter maechtiger Permafrost gebildet. Die unter der Premafrostzone herrschenden Druck-und Temperaturbedingungen ermoeglichten die Bildung von Gashydraten. Nach heutigen Erkenntnisse besteht kein genetischer Zusammenhang zwischen Lagerstaettenbildung und Gashydraten. Im Folgenden werden Einzelheiten geschildert.

  17. Borehole permafrost data, Kumtor and Taragai Valleys, Tienshan, Kazakhstan, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This dataset includes observations of the permafrost temperatures in the Inner Tien Shan were started in 1986 by Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory....

  18. Permafrost and organic layer interactions over a climate gradient in a discontinuous permafrost zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Kristofer D; Harden, Jennifer W; David McGuire, A; Clark, Mark; Yuan, Fengming; Finley, Andrew O

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost is tightly coupled to the organic soil layer, an interaction that mediates permafrost degradation in response to regional warming. We analyzed changes in permafrost occurrence and organic layer thickness (OLT) using more than 3000 soil pedons across a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Cause and effect relationships between permafrost probability (PF), OLT, and other topographic factors were investigated using structural equation modeling in a multi-group analysis. Groups were defined by slope, soil texture type, and shallow (<28 cm) versus deep organic (≥28 cm) layers. The probability of observing permafrost sharply increased by 0.32 for every 10-cm OLT increase in shallow OLT soils (OLTs) due to an insulation effect, but PF decreased in deep OLT soils (OLTd) by 0.06 for every 10-cm increase. Across the MAT gradient, PF in sandy soils varied little, but PF in loamy and silty soils decreased substantially from cooler to warmer temperatures. The change in OLT was more heterogeneous across soil texture types—in some there was no change while in others OLTs soils thinned and/or OLTd soils thickened at warmer locations. Furthermore, when soil organic carbon was estimated using a relationship with thickness, the average increase in carbon in OLTd soils was almost four times greater compared to the average decrease in carbon in OLTs soils across all soil types. If soils follow a trajectory of warming that mimics the spatial gradients found today, then heterogeneities of permafrost degradation and organic layer thinning and thickening should be considered in the regional carbon balance. (letter)

  19. Field Biogeochemical Measurements in Support of Remote Sensing Signatures and Characterization of Permafrost Terrain: Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    Characterization of Permafrost Terrain Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions En gi ne er R es ea rc h an d...Signatures and Characterization of Permafrost Terrain Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions Robyn A. Barbato...Center-Directed Research Project, “Integrated Technologies for Delineating Permafrost and Ground-State Conditions” ERDC TR-15-1 ii Abstract This

  20. Climate hazards caused by thawing permafrost? Background information of the Federal Environmental Agency; Klimagefahr durch tauenden Permafrost? UBA-Hintergrundpapier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-08-15

    The thawing of permafrost regions is supposed to increase climatic change processes due to the released methane. During the last decades the temperature of permafrost soils has increased by several tenths of degree up to 2 deg C. It is supposed that 10 to 20% of the permafrost regions will thaw during the next 100 years. The southern boundary of the permafrost region will move several hundred kilometers toward the north. Besides the increased risk for the climate system there will also be disadvantageous consequences for the ecosystems. Negative economic consequences are already observed and will be enhanced in the futures with significant cost for the public.

  1. Diagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W.; Rinke, A.; Moore, J. C.; Cui, X.; Ji, D.; Li, Q.; Zhang, N.; Wang, C.; Zhang, S.; Lawrence, D. M.; McGuire, A. D.; Zhang, W.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; Saito, K.; MacDougall, A.; Burke, E.; Decharme, B.

    2016-02-01

    We perform a land-surface model intercomparison to investigate how the simulation of permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) varies among six modern stand-alone land-surface models (CLM4.5, CoLM, ISBA, JULES, LPJ-GUESS, UVic). We also examine the variability in simulated permafrost area and distribution introduced by five different methods of diagnosing permafrost (from modeled monthly ground temperature, mean annual ground and air temperatures, air and surface frost indexes). There is good agreement (99 to 135 × 104 km2) between the two diagnostic methods based on air temperature which are also consistent with the observation-based estimate of actual permafrost area (101 × 104 km2). However the uncertainty (1 to 128 × 104 km2) using the three methods that require simulation of ground temperature is much greater. Moreover simulated permafrost distribution on the TP is generally only fair to poor for these three methods (diagnosis of permafrost from monthly, and mean annual ground temperature, and surface frost index), while permafrost distribution using air-temperature-based methods is generally good. Model evaluation at field sites highlights specific problems in process simulations likely related to soil texture specification, vegetation types and snow cover. Models are particularly poor at simulating permafrost distribution using the definition that soil temperature remains at or below 0 °C for 24 consecutive months, which requires reliable simulation of both mean annual ground temperatures and seasonal cycle, and hence is relatively demanding. Although models can produce better permafrost maps using mean annual ground temperature and surface frost index, analysis of simulated soil temperature profiles reveals substantial biases. The current generation of land-surface models need to reduce biases in simulated soil temperature profiles before reliable contemporary permafrost maps and predictions of changes in future permafrost distribution can be made for

  2. Resilience and vulnerability of permafrost to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.Torre Jorgenson; Vladimir Romanovsky; Jennifer Harden; Yuri Shur; Jonathan O' Donnell; Edward A.G. Schuur; Mikhail Kanevskiy; Sergei. Marchenko

    2010-01-01

    The resilience and vulnerability of permafrost to climate change depends on complex interactions among topography, water, soil, vegetation, and snow, which allow permafrost to persist at mean annual air temperatures (MAATs) as high as +2 °C and degrade at MAATs as low as -20°C. To assess these interactions, we compiled existing data and tested effects of varying...

  3. Future permafrost conditions along environmental gradients in Zackenberg, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westermann, Sebastian; Elberling, Bo; Pedersen, Stine Højlund

    2015-01-01

    The future development of ground temperatures in permafrost areas is determined by a number of factors varying on different spatial and temporal scales. For sound projections of impacts of permafrost thaw, scaling procedures are of paramount importance. We present numerical simulations of present...

  4. Evidence for nonuniform permafrost degradation after fire in boreal landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Brown, Dana R.N.; Kass, M. Andy

    2016-01-01

    Fire can be a significant driver of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to fire-induced change. As fire frequency is expected to increase in the high latitudes, methods to understand the vulnerability and resilience of different landscapes to permafrost degradation are needed. We present a combination of multiscale remote sensing, geophysical, and field observations that reveal details of both near-surface (1 m) impacts of fire on permafrost. Along 11 transects that span burned-unburned boundaries in different landscape settings within interior Alaska, subsurface electrical resistivity and nuclear magnetic resonance data indicate locations where permafrost appears to be resilient to disturbance from fire, areas where warm permafrost conditions exist that may be most vulnerable to future change, and also areas where permafrost has thawed. High-resolution geophysical data corroborate remote sensing interpretations of near-surface permafrost and also add new high-fidelity details of spatial heterogeneity that extend from the shallow subsurface to depths of about 10 m. Results show that postfire impacts on permafrost can be variable and depend on multiple factors such as fire severity, soil texture, soil moisture, and time since fire.

  5. Methane emissions from permafrost thaw lakes limited by lake drainage.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Huissteden, J.; Berrittella, C.; Parmentier, F.J.W.; Mi, Y.; Maximov, T.C.; Dolman, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Thaw lakes in permafrost areas are sources of the strong greenhouse gas methane. They develop mostly in sedimentary lowlands with permafrost and a high excess ground ice volume, resulting in large areas covered with lakes and drained thaw-lake basins (DTLBs; refs,). Their expansion is enhanced by

  6. Mapping magnetic lineaments and subsurface basement beneath ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    65

    studied the basement structures beneath parts of the Lower Benue Trough (LBT). Anudu et .... order vertical derivatives can be calculated respectively using the relations below: 145. ( ) ... minerals as in the case of the FVD-RTP-TMI (Figure 6).

  7. Elastic and Anelastic Structure Beneath Eurasia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ekstrom, Goran

    1997-01-01

    The primary objective of this work has been to map the variations of elastic mantle properties beneath Eurasia over horizontal length scales of approximately 1000-1500 kilometers and vertial length...

  8. Transient thermal effects in Alpine permafrost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Noetzli

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In high mountain areas, permafrost is important because it influences the occurrence of natural hazards, because it has to be considered in construction practices, and because it is sensitive to climate change. The assessment of its distribution and evolution is challenging because of highly variable conditions at and below the surface, steep topography and varying climatic conditions. This paper presents a systematic investigation of effects of topography and climate variability that are important for subsurface temperatures in Alpine bedrock permafrost. We studied the effects of both, past and projected future ground surface temperature variations on the basis of numerical experimentation with simplified mountain topography in order to demonstrate the principal effects. The modeling approach applied combines a distributed surface energy balance model and a three-dimensional subsurface heat conduction scheme. Results show that the past climate variations that essentially influence present-day permafrost temperatures at depth of the idealized mountains are the last glacial period and the major fluctuations in the past millennium. Transient effects from projected future warming, however, are likely larger than those from past climate conditions because larger temperature changes at the surface occur in shorter time periods. We further demonstrate the accelerating influence of multi-lateral warming in steep and complex topography for a temperature signal entering the subsurface as compared to the situation in flat areas. The effects of varying and uncertain material properties (i.e., thermal properties, porosity, and freezing characteristics on the subsurface temperature field were examined in sensitivity studies. A considerable influence of latent heat due to water in low-porosity bedrock was only shown for simulations over time periods of decades to centuries. At the end, the model was applied to the topographic setting of the Matterhorn

  9. Quantifying Permafrost Characteristics with DCR-ERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, W.; Trochim, E.; Munk, J.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Shur, Y.; Fortier, R.

    2012-12-01

    Geophysical methods are an efficient method for quantifying permafrost characteristics for Arctic road design and engineering. In the Alaskan Arctic construction and maintenance of roads requires integration of permafrost; ground that is below 0 degrees C for two or more years. Features such as ice content and temperature are critical for understanding current and future ground conditions for planning, design and evaluation of engineering applications. This study focused on the proposed Foothills West Transportation Access project corridor where the purpose is to construct a new all-season road connecting the Dalton Highway to Umiat. Four major areas were chosen that represented a range of conditions including gravel bars, alluvial plains, tussock tundra (both unburned and burned conditions), high and low centered ice-wedge polygons and an active thermokarst feature. Direct-current resistivity using galvanic contact (DCR-ERT) was applied over transects. In conjunction complimentary site data including boreholes, active layer depths, vegetation descriptions and site photographs was obtained. The boreholes provided information on soil morphology, ice texture and gravimetric moisture content. Horizontal and vertical resolutions in the DCR-ERT were varied to determine the presence or absence of ground ice; subsurface heterogeneity; and the depth to groundwater (if present). The four main DCR-ERT methods used were: 84 electrodes with 2 m spacing; 42 electrodes with 0.5 m spacing; 42 electrodes with 2 m spacing; and 84 electrodes with 1 m spacing. In terms of identifying the ground ice characteristics the higher horizontal resolution DCR-ERT transects with either 42 or 84 electrodes and 0.5 or 1 m spacing were best able to differentiate wedge-ice. This evaluation is based on a combination of both borehole stratigraphy and surface characteristics. Simulated apparent resistivity values for permafrost areas varied from a low of 4582 Ω m to a high of 10034 Ω m. Previous

  10. The International Permafrost Association: current initiatives for cryospheric research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schollaen, Karina; Lewkowicz, Antoni G.; Christiansen, Hanne H.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Lantuit, Hugues; Schrott, Lothar; Sergeev, Dimitry; Wei, Ma

    2015-04-01

    The International Permafrost Association (IPA), founded in 1983, has as its objectives to foster the dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and to promote cooperation among persons and national or international organizations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering work on permafrost. The IPA's primary responsibilities are convening International Permafrost Conferences, undertaking special projects such as preparing databases, maps, bibliographies, and glossaries, and coordinating international field programs and networks. Membership is through adhering national or multinational organizations or as individuals in countries where no Adhering Body exists. The IPA is governed by its Executive Committee and a Council consisting of representatives from 26 Adhering Bodies having interests in some aspect of theoretical, basic and applied frozen ground research, including permafrost, seasonal frost, artificial freezing and periglacial phenomena. This presentation details the IPA core products, achievements and activities as well as current projects in cryospheric research. One of the most important core products is the circumpolar permafrost map. The IPA also fosters and supports the activities of the Global Terrestrial Network on Permafrost (GTN-P) sponsored by the Global Terrestrial Observing System, GTOS, and the Global Climate Observing System, GCOS, whose long-term goal is to obtain a comprehensive view of the spatial structure, trends, and variability of changes in the active layer thickness and permafrost temperature. A further important initiative of the IPA are the biannually competitively-funded Action Groups which work towards the production of well-defined products over a period of two years. Current IPA Action Groups are working on highly topical and interdisciplinary issues, such as the development of a regional Palaeo-map of Permafrost in Eurasia, the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge about the use of thermokarst and permafrost

  11. Anaerobic methanotrophic communities thrive in deep submarine permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkel, Matthias; Mitzscherling, Julia; Overduin, Pier P; Horn, Fabian; Winterfeld, Maria; Rijkers, Ruud; Grigoriev, Mikhail N; Knoblauch, Christian; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Wagner, Dirk; Liebner, Susanne

    2018-01-22

    Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and δ 13 C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2 Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.

  12. Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Paul F.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Aiken, George R.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; Dewild, John F.; Gryziec, Joshua D.; Gusmeroli, Alessio; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Liu, Lin; Herman-Mercer, Nicole; Mu, Cuicui; Roth, David A.; Schaefer, Tim; Striegl, Robert G.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zhang, Tingjun

    2018-02-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil-1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C-1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

  13. Permafrost stores a globally significant amount of mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, K. M.; Schuster, P. F.; Antweiler, R.; Aiken, G.; DeWild, J.; Gryziec, J. D.; Gusmeroli, A.; Hugelius, G.; Jafarov, E.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Liu, L.; Herman-Mercer, N. M.; Mu, C.; Roth, D. A.; Schaefer, T.; Striegl, R. G.; Wickland, K.; Zhang, T.

    2017-12-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the cycling of mercury in arctic and subarctic ecosystems. Permafrost occurs in nearly one quarter of the Earth's Northern Hemisphere. We measured total soil mercury concentration in 588 samples from 13 soil permafrost cores from the interior and the North Slope of Alaska. The median concentration was 47.7±23.4 ng Hg g soil-1 and the median ratio of Hg to carbon was 1.56±0.86 µg Hg g C-1. We estimate Alaskan permafrost stores 56±32 kilotons of mercury and the entire northern hemisphere permafrost land mass stores 773±441 kilotons of mercury. This increases estimates of mercury stored in soils by 60%, making permafrost the second largest reservoir of mercury on the planet. Climate projections indicate extensive permafrost thawing, releasing mercury into the environment through a variety of mechanisms, for example, terrestrial transport via dissolved organic carbon (DOC), gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) evasion, forest fires, atmospheric mixing processes with ozone, and Springtime atmospheric Hg depletion after the polar sunrise. These findings have major implications for terrestrial and aquatic life, the world's fisheries, and ultimately human health.

  14. Tundra permafrost thaw causes significant shifts in energy partitioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Stiegler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost, a key component of the arctic and global climate system, is highly sensitive to climate change. Observed and ongoing permafrost degradation influences arctic hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry, and models predict that rapid warming is expected to significantly reduce near-surface permafrost and seasonally frozen ground during the 21st century. These changes raise concern of how permafrost thaw affects the exchange of water and energy with the atmosphere. However, associated impacts of permafrost thaw on the surface energy balance and possible feedbacks on the climate system are largely unknown. In this study, we show that in northern subarctic Sweden, permafrost thaw and related degradation of peat plateaus significantly change the surface energy balance of three peatland complexes by enhancing latent heat flux and, to less degree, also ground heat flux at the cost of sensible heat flux. This effect is valid at all radiation levels but more pronounced at higher radiation levels. The observed differences in flux partitioning mainly result from the strong coupling between soil moisture availability, vegetation composition, albedo and surface structure. Our results suggest that ongoing and predicted permafrost degradation in northern subarctic Sweden ultimately result in changes in land–atmosphere coupling due to changes in the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes. This in turn has crucial implications for how predictive climate models for the Arctic are further developed.

  15. Permafrost stores a globally significant amount of mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Paul F.; Schaefer, Kevin; Aiken, George R.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; DeWild, John F.; Gryziec, Joshua D.; Gusmeroli, Alessio; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Liu, Lin; Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; Mu, Cuicui; Roth, David A.; Schaefer, Tim; Striegl, Robert G.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zhang, Tingjun

    2018-01-01

    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil−1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C−1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

  16. Transient thermal modeling of permafrost conditions in Southern Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Westermann

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Thermal modeling is a powerful tool to infer the temperature regime of the ground in permafrost areas. We present a transient permafrost model, CryoGrid 2, that calculates ground temperatures according to conductive heat transfer in the soil and in the snowpack. CryoGrid 2 is forced by operational air temperature and snow-depth products for potential permafrost areas in Southern Norway for the period 1958 to 2009 at 1 km2 spatial resolution. In total, an area of about 80 000 km2 is covered. The model results are validated against borehole temperatures, permafrost probability maps from "bottom temperature of snow" measurements and inventories of landforms indicative of permafrost occurrence. The validation demonstrates that CryoGrid 2 can reproduce the observed lower permafrost limit to within 100 m at all validation sites, while the agreement between simulated and measured borehole temperatures is within 1 K for most sites. The number of grid cells with simulated permafrost does not change significantly between the 1960s and 1990s. In the 2000s, a significant reduction of about 40% of the area with average 2 m ground temperatures below 0 °C is found, which mostly corresponds to degrading permafrost with still negative temperatures in deeper ground layers. The thermal conductivity of the snow is the largest source of uncertainty in CryoGrid 2, strongly affecting the simulated permafrost area. Finally, the prospects of employing CryoGrid 2 as an operational soil-temperature product for Norway are discussed.

  17. Improving permafrost distribution modelling using feature selection algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluigi, Nicola; Lambiel, Christophe; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2016-04-01

    The availability of an increasing number of spatial data on the occurrence of mountain permafrost allows the employment of machine learning (ML) classification algorithms for modelling the distribution of the phenomenon. One of the major problems when dealing with high-dimensional dataset is the number of input features (variables) involved. Application of ML classification algorithms to this large number of variables leads to the risk of overfitting, with the consequence of a poor generalization/prediction. For this reason, applying feature selection (FS) techniques helps simplifying the amount of factors required and improves the knowledge on adopted features and their relation with the studied phenomenon. Moreover, taking away irrelevant or redundant variables from the dataset effectively improves the quality of the ML prediction. This research deals with a comparative analysis of permafrost distribution models supported by FS variable importance assessment. The input dataset (dimension = 20-25, 10 m spatial resolution) was constructed using landcover maps, climate data and DEM derived variables (altitude, aspect, slope, terrain curvature, solar radiation, etc.). It was completed with permafrost evidences (geophysical and thermal data and rock glacier inventories) that serve as training permafrost data. Used FS algorithms informed about variables that appeared less statistically important for permafrost presence/absence. Three different algorithms were compared: Information Gain (IG), Correlation-based Feature Selection (CFS) and Random Forest (RF). IG is a filter technique that evaluates the worth of a predictor by measuring the information gain with respect to the permafrost presence/absence. Conversely, CFS is a wrapper technique that evaluates the worth of a subset of predictors by considering the individual predictive ability of each variable along with the degree of redundancy between them. Finally, RF is a ML algorithm that performs FS as part of its

  18. High-resolution Mapping of Permafrost and Soil Freeze/thaw Dynamics in the Tibetan Plateau Based on Multi-sensor Satellite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, W.; Yi, Y.; Yang, K.; Kimball, J. S.

    2016-12-01

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is underlain by the world's largest extent of alpine permafrost ( 2.5×106 km2), dominated by sporadic and discontinuous permafrost with strong sensitivity to climate warming. Detailed permafrost distributions and patterns in most of the TP region are still unknown due to extremely sparse in-situ observations in this region characterized by heterogeneous land cover and large temporal dynamics in surface soil moisture conditions. Therefore, satellite-based temperature and moisture observations are essential for high-resolution mapping of permafrost distribution and soil active layer changes in the TP region. In this study, we quantify the TP regional permafrost distribution at 1-km resolution using a detailed satellite data-driven soil thermal process model (GIPL2). The soil thermal model is calibrated and validated using in-situ soil temperature/moisture observations from the CAMP/Tibet field campaign (9 sites: 0-300 cm soil depth sampling from 1997-2007), a multi-scale soil moisture and temperature monitoring network in the central TP (CTP-SMTMN, 57 sites: 5-40 cm, 2010-2014) and across the whole plateau (China Meteorology Administration, 98 sites: 0-320 cm, 2000-2015). Our preliminary results using the CAMP/Tibet and CTP-SMTMN network observations indicate strong controls of surface thermal and soil moisture conditions on soil freeze/thaw dynamics, which vary greatly with underlying topography, soil texture and vegetation cover. For regional mapping of soil freeze/thaw and permafrost dynamics, we use the most recent soil moisture retrievals from the NASA SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) sensor to account for the effects of temporal soil moisture dynamics on soil thermal heat transfer, with surface thermal conditions defined by MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) land surface temperature records. Our study provides the first 1-km map of spatial patterns and recent changes of permafrost conditions in the TP.

  19. Permafrost soil characteristics and microbial community structure across a boreal forest watershed vary over short spatial scales and dictate community responses to thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, J.; Bottos, E. M.; Kennedy, D.; Romero, E. B.; Fansler, S.; Chu, R. K.; Tfaily, M.; Jansson, J.; Bernstein, H. C.; Brown, J. M.; Markillie, L. M.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding drivers of permafrost microbial community structure and function is critical for understanding permafrost microbiology and predicting ecosystem responses to thaw; however, studies describing ecological controls on these communities are lacking. We hypothesize that permafrost communities are uniquely shaped by constraints imposed by prolonged freezing, and decoupled from the selective factors that influence non-permafrost soil communities, but that pre-thaw environmental and community characteristics will be strong determinants of community structure and function post-thaw. We characterized patterns of environmental variation and microbial community composition in sixty permafrost samples spanning landscape gradients in a boreal forest watershed, and monitored community responses to thaw. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that, proportionally, the strongest process influencing permafrost community composition was dispersal limitation (0.36), exceeding the influence of homogenous selection (0.21) and variable selection (0.16), and that deterministic selection arose primarily from energetic constraints of the permafrost environment. Our data supported a structural equation model in which organic carbon thermodynamics and organic acid content, influenced redox conditions and total selection. Post-thaw community composition was found to be driven primarily by pre-thaw community composition, indicating a strong influence of historical conditions. Together, these results suggest that community responses to thaw may be highly varied over short distances and that changes in community structure and function are likely to be drastic, as changes to system hydrology mobilize organisms and nutrients, thereby relieving the primary constraints on the system. These findings are being integrated with metabolomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to improve understanding of how pre-thaw conditions can be used to predict microbial activity post-thaw.

  20. Permafrost warming and vegetation changes in continental Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guglielmin, Mauro; Dalle Fratte, Michele; Cannone, Nicoletta

    2014-01-01

    Continental Antarctica represents the last pristine environment on Earth and is one of the most suitable contexts to analyze the relations between climate, active layer and vegetation. In 2000 we started long-term monitoring of the climate, permafrost, active layer and vegetation in Victoria Land, continental Antarctica. Our data confirm the stability of mean annual and summer air temperature, of snow cover, and an increasing trend of summer incoming short wave radiation. The active layer thickness is increasing at a rate of 0.3 cm y −1 . The active layer is characterized by large annual and spatial differences. The latter are due to scarce vegetation, a patchy and very thin organic layer and large spatial differences in snow accumulation. The active layer thickening, probably due to the increase of incoming short wave radiation, produced a general decrease of the ground water content due to the better drainage of the ground. The resultant drying may be responsible for the decline of mosses in xeric sites, while it provided better conditions for mosses in hydric sites, following the species-specific water requirements. An increase of lichen vegetation was observed where the climate drying occurred. This evidence emphasizes that the Antarctic continent is experiencing changes that are in total contrast to the changes reported from maritime Antarctica. (paper)

  1. Susceptibility of Permafrost Soil Organic Carbon under Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Z.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Liang, L.; Graham, D. E.; Gu, B.

    2015-12-01

    Degradation of soil organic carbon (SOC) that has been stored in permafrost is a key concern under warming climate because it could provide a positive feedback. Studies and conceptual models suggest that SOC degradation is largely controlled by the decomposability of SOC, but it is unclear exactly what portions of SOC are susceptible to rapid breakdown and what mechanisms may be involved in SOC degradation. Using a suite of analytical techniques, we examined the dynamic consumption and production of labile SOC compounds, including sugars, alcohols, and small molecular weight organic acids in incubation experiments (up to 240 days at either -2 or 8 °C) with a tundra soil under anoxic conditions, where SOC respiration and iron(III) reduction were monitored. We observe that sugars and alcohols are main components in SOC accounting for initial rapid release of CO2 and CH4 through anaerobic fermentation, whereas the fermentation products such as acetate and formate are subsequently utilized as primary substrates for methanogenesis. Iron(III) reduction is correlated to acetate production and methanogenesis, suggesting its important roles as an electron acceptor in tundra SOC respiration. These observations corroborate strongly with the glucose addition during incubation, in which rapid CO2 and CH4 production is observed concurrently with rapid production and consumption of organics such as acetate. Thus, the biogeochemical processes we document here are pertinent to understanding the accelerated SOC decomposition with temperature and could provide basis for model predicting feedbacks to climate warming in the Arctic.

  2. GAPHAZ: improving knowledge management of glacier and permafrost hazards and risks in mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggel, Christian; Burn, Chris; Clague, John J.; Hewitt, Ken; Kääb, Andreas; Krautblatter, Michael; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Reynolds, John; Sokratov, Sergey

    2014-05-01

    -researched and monitored regions to the more extensive and diverse regions needs to be addressed.. Standards are required to ensure an adequate level of quality and to avoid incorrect assessments with potentially adverse consequences, as experiences in the past have shown. Concepts and terminologies related to hazard and risk assessments must follow recently issued consensus statements, such as those of UN-ISDR and IPCC. Hazard assessments must be undertaken routinely and regularly, combined with appropriate ground-based and remote sensing monitoring. Assessments need to adequately consider the physical processes and their interactions. Integrative risk assessments should be achieved by interdisciplinary cooperation. There is still a lack of integration of physical/engineering and social aspects of glacier and permafrost hazards; therefore communication and exchange between natural and social science experts must be strengthened. In the design and implementation of risk reduction and adaptation measures, a close collaboration among scientists, policy makers, and local populations is necessary. Recognizing different perceptions of risks among actors are particularly important if risk reduction efforts are to be successful. Measures should generally be adapted to the local social, cultural, economic, political, and institutional context. Early warning systems are becoming increasingly important, and a growing number of experiences are available also for high-mountain environments. A systematic analysis and exchange of experiences using dedicated expert networks will be fostered by GAPHAZ in collaboration with other initiatives and actors.

  3. Microorganisms Trapped Within Permafrost Ice In The Fox Permafrost Tunnel, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, T.; Tanaka, M.; Douglas, T. A.; Cai, Y.; Tomita, F.; Asano, K.; Fukuda, M.

    2008-12-01

    Several different types of massive ice are common in permafrost. Ice wedges are easily recognized by their shape and foliated structure. They grow syngenetically or epigenetically as a result of repeated cycles of frost cracking followed by the infiltration of snow, melt water, soil or other material into the open frost cracks. Material incorporated into ice wedges becomes frozen and preserved. Pool ice, another massive ice type, is formed by the freezing of water resting on top of frozen thermokarst sediment or melting wedges and is not foliated. The Fox Permafrost Tunnel in Fairbanks was excavated within the discontinuous permafrost zone of central Alaska and it contains permafrost, ice wedges, and pool ice preserved at roughly -3°C. We collected samples from five ice wedges and three pool ice structures in the Fox Permafrost Tunnel. If the microorganisms were incorporated into the ice during its formation, a community analysis of the microorganisms could elucidate the environment in which the ice was formed. Organic material from sediments in the tunnel was radiocarbon-dated between 14,000 and 30,000 years BP. However, it is still not clear when the ice wedges were formed or subsequently deformed because they are only partially exposed and their upper surfaces are above the tunnel walls. The objectives of our study were to determine the biogeochemical conditions during massive ice formation and to analyze the microbial community within the ices by incubation-based and DNA-based analyses. The geochemical profile and the PCR-DGGE band patterns of bacteria among five ice wedge and 3 portions of pool ice samples were markedly different. The DGGE band patterns of fungi were simple with a few bands of fungi or yeast. The dominant bands of ice wedge and pool ice samples were affiliated with the genus Geomyces and Doratomyces, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis using rRNA gene ITS regions indicated isolates of Geomyces spp. from different ice wedges were affiliated

  4. Adaptation to permafrost in the Canadian north: Present and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo Mingko; Rouse, W.R.; Young, K.L.; Lewkowicz, A.G.

    1993-01-01

    Human-induced climate warming is believed to be imminent, although its exact magnitude is uncertain. Such a warming will have a dramatic effect on permafrost, which underlies about half of Canada's land mass. Adaptation of the land to climatic warming will include diminution of permafrost both in lateral and vertical extent, with concomitant responses in the landscape such as development of thermokarst, slides and slumping in hilly terrain, and altering of hydrologic regimes. Since northern development has relied on special techniques that preserve permafrost to ensure foundation stability, climatic warming will demand adjustment in engineering designs for new facilities and alteration of maintenance procedures for existing facilities. Recommendations are presented for future research, both on permafrost and its linkages to climatic and other environmental factors, and on risk analyses of engineering projects

  5. Assessment of three mitigation techniques for permafrost protection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr

    The presence of permafrost is an important aspect in civil engineering in arctic regions. The construction of engineering structures, such as road and airfield embankments, will change the thermal regime of the ground, and may lead to permafrost degradation under or adjacent to such structures....... This problem, has in the last decades, been amplified by the climate warming, which has been most evident in the arctic regions. The construction of a road embankment usually results in an increased mean annual surface temperature, which will increase the thawing of permafrost and expose the road embankment...... objective has been to study the three above-mentioned techniques and evaluate their potential for minimizing the problems with thaw settlements in permafrost areas. The air convection embankment and heat drain techniques have been tested for the implementation in the shoulders of road and airfield...

  6. Discovery of a novel methanogen prevalent in thawing permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondav, Rhiannon; Woodcroft, Ben J; Kim, Eun-Hae; McCalley, Carmody K; Hodgkins, Suzanne B; Crill, Patrick M; Chanton, Jeffrey; Hurst, Gregory B; VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Saleska, Scott R; Hugenholtz, Philip; Rich, Virginia I; Tyson, Gene W

    2014-01-01

    Thawing permafrost promotes microbial degradation of cryo-sequestered and new carbon leading to the biogenic production of methane, creating a positive feedback to climate change. Here we determine microbial community composition along a permafrost thaw gradient in northern Sweden. Partially thawed sites were frequently dominated by a single archaeal phylotype, Candidatus 'Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis' gen. nov. sp. nov., belonging to the uncultivated lineage 'Rice Cluster II' (Candidatus 'Methanoflorentaceae' fam. nov.). Metagenomic sequencing led to the recovery of its near-complete genome, revealing the genes necessary for hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. These genes are highly expressed and methane carbon isotope data are consistent with hydrogenotrophic production of methane in the partially thawed site. In addition to permafrost wetlands, 'Methanoflorentaceae' are widespread in high methane-flux habitats suggesting that this lineage is both prevalent and a major contributor to global methane production. In thawing permafrost, Candidatus 'M. stordalenmirensis' appears to be a key mediator of methane-based positive feedback to climate warming.

  7. Dalton Highway 9 to 11 Mile expedient resistivity permafrost investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This project performed capacitive coupled resistivity surveys over a roadway reconstruction project in Interior Alaska, for the determination of permafrost extent. The : objective was to ascertain the ability of an expedient earth resistivity survey ...

  8. Searching for eukaryotic life preserved in Antarctic permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zucconi, L.; Selbmann, L.; Buzzini, P.

    2012-01-01

    Fungi and yeasts isolated in pure culture from Antarctic permafrost collected at different depths in the McMurdo Dry Valleys were identified with cultural, physiological and molecular methods. Fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Eurotium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Engyodonthium, Aureobasidium...

  9. The behaviour of petroleum spills in permafrost soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biggar, K. W.; Nahir, M.

    1999-01-01

    Recent laboratory and field investigations of the migration of non-aqueous phase liquids into frozen soil dispelled the general assumption that permafrost provides an impermeable barrier, thus preventing the migration of spilled hydrocarbons into the frozen soil. In actual fact, these investigations confirm gravity-driven downward migration in the presence of air voids within the frozen soil matrix. This paper reviews the results of research on the migration of hydrocarbons into permafrost and frozen soils, and explains the mechanisms believed to be responsible for the phenomenon. To date, unfrozen portion of the pore water in permafrost, air voids in unsaturated fill installed for construction pads, and the network of fissures that develop as a result of frozen soil undergoing thermal contraction as temperature decreases, have been identified as conduits facilitating the migration of free phase petroleum hydrocarbons into permafrost or frozen soils. Each of these mechanisms and their potential impact are discussed. 4 refs., 5 figs

  10. Diagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Moore, J.C.; Cui, Xingquan; Ji, D.; Li, Q.; Zhang, N.; Wang, C.; Zhang, S.; Lawrence, D.M.; McGuire, A.D.; Zhang, W.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; Saito, K.; MacDougall, A.; Burke, E.; Decharme, B.

    2016-01-01

     We perform a land-surface model intercomparison to investigate how the simulation of permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) varies among six modern stand-alone land-surface models (CLM4.5, CoLM, ISBA, JULES, LPJ-GUESS, UVic). We also examine the variability in simulated permafrost area and distribution introduced by five different methods of diagnosing permafrost (from modeled monthly ground temperature, mean annual ground and air temperatures, air and surface frost indexes). There is good agreement (99 to 135  ×  104 km2) between the two diagnostic methods based on air temperature which are also consistent with the observation-based estimate of actual permafrost area (101  × 104 km2). However the uncertainty (1 to 128  ×  104 km2) using the three methods that require simulation of ground temperature is much greater. Moreover simulated permafrost distribution on the TP is generally only fair to poor for these three methods (diagnosis of permafrost from monthly, and mean annual ground temperature, and surface frost index), while permafrost distribution using air-temperature-based methods is generally good. Model evaluation at field sites highlights specific problems in process simulations likely related to soil texture specification, vegetation types and snow cover. Models are particularly poor at simulating permafrost distribution using the definition that soil temperature remains at or below 0 °C for 24 consecutive months, which requires reliable simulation of both mean annual ground temperatures and seasonal cycle, and hence is relatively demanding. Although models can produce better permafrost maps using mean annual ground temperature and surface frost index, analysis of simulated soil temperature profiles reveals substantial biases. The current generation of land-surface models need to reduce biases in simulated soil temperature profiles before reliable contemporary permafrost maps and predictions of changes in future

  11. Permafrost Thaw increases Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Subarctic Peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, C.; Marushchak, M. E.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Lindgren, A.; Mastepanov, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Granlund, L.; Tahvanainen, T.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils in the Arctic are thawing, exposing not only carbon but also large nitrogen stocks. The decomposition of this vast pool of long-term immobile C and N stocks results in the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Among these, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are being studied extensively, and gaseous C release from thawing permafrost is known to be substantial. Most recent studies, however, show that Arctic soils may further be a relevant source of the strong greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). As N2O is almost 300 times more powerful in warming the climate than CO2 based on a 100-yr time horizon, the release of N2O from thawing permafrost could create a significant non-carbon permafrost-climate feedback. To study the effect of permafrost thaw on N2O fluxes, we collected peat mesocosms from a Subarctic permafrost peatland, and subjected these intact soil-plant systems to sequential thawing from the top of the active layer down to the upper permafrost layer. Measurements of N2O fluxes were coupled with detailed soil analyses and process studies. Since N2O fluxes are highly dependent on moisture conditions and vegetation cover, we applied two distinct moisture treatments (dry vs. wet) and simulated permafrost thaw in vegetated as well as in naturally bare mesocosms. Under dry conditions, permafrost thaw clearly increased N2O emissions. We observed the largest post-thaw emissions from bare peat surfaces, a typical landform in subarctic peatlands previously identified as hot spots for Arctic N2O emissions. There, permafrost thaw caused a five-fold increase in emissions (0.56 vs. 2.81 mg N2O m-2 d-1). While water-logged conditions suppressed N2O emissions, the presence of vegetation lowered, but did not prevent post-thaw N2O release. Based on these findings, we show that one fourth of the Arctic land area could be vulnerable for N2O emissions when permafrost thaws. Our results demonstrate that Arctic N2O emissions may be larger than

  12. The VULCAN Project: Toward a better understanding of the vulnerability of soil organic matter to climate change in permafrost ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza, C.; Schuur, E.; Maestre, F. T.

    2015-12-01

    Despite much recent research, high uncertainty persists concerning the extent to which global warming influences the rate of permafrost soil organic matter loss and how this affects the functioning of permafrost ecosystems and the net transfer of C to the atmosphere. This uncertainty continues, at least in part, because the processes that protect soil organic matter from decomposition and stabilize fresh plant-derived organic materials entering the soil are largely unknown. The objective of the VULCAN (VULnerability of soil organic CArboN to climate change in permafrost and dryland ecosystems) project is to gain a deeper insight into these processes, especially at the molecular level, and to explore potential implications in terms of permafrost ecosystem functioning and feedback to climate change. We will capitalize on a globally unique ecosystem warming experiment in Alaska, the C in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project, which is monitoring soil temperature and moisture, thaw depth, water table depth, plant productivity, phenology, and nutrient status, and soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Soil samples have been collected from the CiPEHR experiment from strategic depths, depending on thaw depth, and allow us to examine effects related to freeze/thaw, waterlogging, and organic matter relocation along the soil profile. We will use physical fractionation methods to separate soil organic matter pools characterized by different preservation mechanisms of aggregation and mineral interaction. We will determine organic C and total N content, transformation rates, turnovers, ages, and structural composition of soil organic matter fractions by elemental analysis, stable and radioactive isotope techniques, and nuclear magnetic resonance tools. Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 654132. Web site: http://vulcan.comule.com

  13. NORPERM, the Norwegian Permafrost Database - a TSP NORWAY IPY legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juliussen, H.; Christiansen, H. H.; Strand, G. S.; Iversen, S.; Midttømme, K.; Rønning, J. S.

    2010-10-01

    NORPERM, the Norwegian Permafrost Database, was developed at the Geological Survey of Norway during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009 as the main data legacy of the IPY research project Permafrost Observatory Project: A Contribution to the Thermal State of Permafrost in Norway and Svalbard (TSP NORWAY). Its structural and technical design is described in this paper along with the ground temperature data infrastructure in Norway and Svalbard, focussing on the TSP NORWAY permafrost observatory installations in the North Scandinavian Permafrost Observatory and Nordenskiöld Land Permafrost Observatory, being the primary data providers of NORPERM. Further developments of the database, possibly towards a regional database for the Nordic area, are also discussed. The purpose of NORPERM is to store ground temperature data safely and in a standard format for use in future research. The IPY data policy of open, free, full and timely release of IPY data is followed, and the borehole metadata description follows the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) standard. NORPERM is purely a temperature database, and the data is stored in a relation database management system and made publically available online through a map-based graphical user interface. The datasets include temperature time series from various depths in boreholes and from the air, snow cover, ground-surface or upper ground layer recorded by miniature temperature data-loggers, and temperature profiles with depth in boreholes obtained by occasional manual logging. All the temperature data from the TSP NORWAY research project is included in the database, totalling 32 temperature time series from boreholes, 98 time series of micrometeorological temperature conditions, and 6 temperature depth profiles obtained by manual logging in boreholes. The database content will gradually increase as data from previous and future projects are added. Links to near real-time permafrost temperatures, obtained

  14. Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (PAGE21): A very large international and integrated project to measure the impact of permafrost degradation on the climate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantuit, Hugues; Boike, Julia; Dahms, Melanie; Hubberten, Hans-Wolfgang

    2013-04-01

    The northern permafrost region contains approximately 50% of the estimated global below-ground organic carbon pool and more than twice as much as is contained in the current atmos-pheric carbon pool. The sheer size of this carbon pool, together with the large amplitude of predicted arctic climate change im-plies that there is a high potential for global-scale feedbacks from arctic climate change if these carbon reservoirs are desta-bilized. Nonetheless, significant gaps exist in our current state of knowledge that prevent us from producing accurate assess-ments of the vulnerability of the arctic permafrost to climate change, or of the implications of future climate change for global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Specifically: • Our understanding of the physical and biogeochemical processes at play in permafrost areas is still insuffi-cient in some key aspects • Size estimates for the high latitude continental carbon and nitrogen stocks vary widely between regions and research groups. • The representation of permafrost-related processes in global climate models still tends to be rudimentary, and is one reason for the frequently poor perform-ances of climate models at high latitudes. The key objectives of PAGE21 are: • to improve our understanding of the processes affect-ing the size of the arctic permafrost carbon and nitro-gen pools through detailed field studies and monitor-ing, in order to quantify their size and their vulnerability to climate change, • to produce, assemble and assess high-quality datasets in order to develop and evaluate representations of permafrost and related processes in global models, • to improve these models accordingly, • to use these models to reduce the uncertainties in feed-backs from arctic permafrost to global change, thereby providing the means to assess the feasibility of stabili-zation scenarios, and • to ensure widespread dissemination of our results in order to provide direct input into the ongoing debate on

  15. Dynamics of Permafrost Associated Methane Hydrate in Response to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    The formation and melting of methane hydrate and ice are intertwined in permafrost regions. A shortage of methane supply leads to formation of hydrate only at depth, below the base of permafrost. We consider a system with the ground surface initially at 0 oC with neither ice nor hydrate present. We abruptly decrease the temperature from 0 to -10 oC to simulate the effect of marine regression/ global cooling. A low methane supply rate of 0.005 kg m-2 yr-1 from depth leads to distinct ice and hydrate layers: a 100 m continuous hydrate layer is present beneath 850 m at 80 k.y.. However, a high methane supply rate of 0.1 kg m-2 yr-1 leads to 50 m ice-bonded methane hydrate at the base of permafrost, and the hydrate layer distributes between the depth of 350 and 700 m at 80 k.y.. We apply our model to illuminate future melting of hydrate at Mallik, a known Arctic hydrate accumulation. We assume a 600 m thick ice saturated (average 90%) layer extending downward from the ground surface. We increase the surface temperature linearly from -6 to 0 oC for 300 yr and then keep the surface temperature at 0 oC to reflect future climate warming caused by doubling of CO2. Hydrate melting is initiated at the base of the hydrate layer after 15 k.y.. Methane gas starts to vent to the atmosphere at 38 k.y. with an average flux of ~ 0.35 g m-2 yr-1. If the 600 m thick average ice saturation is decreased to half (45%) (or to zero), methane gas starts to vent to the atmosphere at 29 k.y. (or at 20 k.y.) with the same average flux. These results are found by a newly-developed fully-coupled multiphase multicomponent fluid flow and heat transport model. Our thermodynamic equilibrium-based model emphasizes the role of salinity in both ice and hydrate dynamics.

  16. Coupled thermo-geophysical inversion for permafrost monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tomaskovicova, Sona

    temperature dataset within ±0.55 ◦C, provided that the freeze-thaw water content hysteresis was accounted for. The calibrated model predicted the temperature variation in two testing datasets within ±0.32 to ±0.62 ◦C, depending on length of the testing timeseries. The coupled inversion approach showed...... on borehole temperatures. Thermal parameters optimized in coupled inversion predicted the temperature variation in the two testing datasets within ±0 ◦C to 0 ◦C. A number of possibilities and paths for improvement of both coupled and uncoupled optimization approaches has been identified and identification...

  17. The research station "Vaskiny Dachi", Central Yamal, West Siberia, Russia – a review of 25 years of permafrost studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina O. Leibman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The research station "Vaskiny Dachi" on the Yamal Peninsula was established in 1988. Activities aimed at monitoring of permafrost and related environmental features under a relatively low level of nature disturbances caused by gas field development. Cryogenic processes that may affect the environment and their structures have been of primary interest. Landslides are the most common cryogenic processes in Central Yamal in general and also in the proximity of the station. Field surveys of numerous landslides, analysis of their dependence on climatic parameters and their fluctuations resulted in novel classification of cryogenic landslides based on mechanisms of their development. Dating by radiocarbon and dendrochronology allows the separation of cycles of landslide activation. Cryogenic landslides control the development of other processes, such as thermal erosion, river channel erosion and thermokarst. It also affects topography, vegetation pattern, geochemistry of vegetation, ground water and soils. As a result, permafrost parameters, specifically active layer depth and ground temperature, moisture and ice content in the active layer, depend indirectly on landsliding. Monitoring within the framework of the main programs of the International Permafrost Association, such as Circumarctic Active Layer Monitoring (CALM, since 1993 and Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP, since 2011, play an important role among the research activities. From the collected data one can conclude that ground temperature increased on average by about 1 °C since the 1990s. At the same time, active layer fluctuations do not exactly follow the air temperature changes. Spatial changes in ground temperature are controlled by the redistribution of snow which is resulting from strong winds characteristic for tundra environments and the highly dissected relief of Central Yamal. Temporal variations rather depend on air temperature fluctuations but the rate differs in various

  18. Numerical investigations of the fluid flows at deep oceanic and arctic permafrost-associated gas hydrate deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick, Jennifer Mary

    older than the host sediment. Old pore fluid age may reflect complex flow patterns, such a fluid focusing, which can cause significant lateral migration as well as regions where downward flow reverses direction and returns toward the seafloor. Longer pathlines can produce pore fluid ages much older than that expected with a one-dimensional compaction model. For steady-state models with geometry representative of Blake Ridge (USA), a well-studied hydrate province, pore fluid ages beneath regions of topography and within fractured zones can be up to 70 Ma old. Results suggest that the measurements of 129-I/127-I reflect a mixture of new and old pore fluid. However, old pore fluid need not originate at great depths. Methane within pore fluids can travel laterally several kilometers, implying an extensive source region around the deposit. Iodine age measurements support the existence of fluid focusing beneath regions of seafloor topography at Blake Ridge, and suggest that the methane source at Blake Ridge is likely shallow. The response of methane hydrate reservoirs to warming is poorly understood. The great depths may protect deep oceanic hydrates from climate change for the time being because transfer of heat by conduction is slow, but warming will eventually be felt albeit in the far future. On the other hand, unique permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits exist at shallow depths within the sediments of the circum-Arctic continental shelves. Arctic hydrates are thought to be a relict of cold glacial periods, aggrading when sea levels are much lower and shelf sediments are exposed to freezing air temperatures. During interglacial periods, rising sea levels flood the shelf, bringing dramatic warming to the permafrost- and hydrate-bearing sediments. Permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits have been responding to warming since the last glacial maximum ~18 kaBP as a consequence of these natural glacial cycles. This `experiment,' set into motion by nature itself

  19. Quantifying uncertainties of permafrost carbon–climate feedbacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Burke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The land surface models JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator, two versions and ORCHIDEE-MICT (Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems, each with a revised representation of permafrost carbon, were coupled to the Integrated Model Of Global Effects of climatic aNomalies (IMOGEN intermediate-complexity climate and ocean carbon uptake model. IMOGEN calculates atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 and local monthly surface climate for a given emission scenario with the land–atmosphere CO2 flux exchange from either JULES or ORCHIDEE-MICT. These simulations include feedbacks associated with permafrost carbon changes in a warming world. Both IMOGEN–JULES and IMOGEN–ORCHIDEE-MICT were forced by historical and three alternative future-CO2-emission scenarios. Those simulations were performed for different climate sensitivities and regional climate change patterns based on 22 different Earth system models (ESMs used for CMIP3 (phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, allowing us to explore climate uncertainties in the context of permafrost carbon–climate feedbacks. Three future emission scenarios consistent with three representative concentration pathways were used: RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Paired simulations with and without frozen carbon processes were required to quantify the impact of the permafrost carbon feedback on climate change. The additional warming from the permafrost carbon feedback is between 0.2 and 12 % of the change in the global mean temperature (ΔT by the year 2100 and 0.5 and 17 % of ΔT by 2300, with these ranges reflecting differences in land surface models, climate models and emissions pathway. As a percentage of ΔT, the permafrost carbon feedback has a greater impact on the low-emissions scenario (RCP2.6 than on the higher-emissions scenarios, suggesting that permafrost carbon should be taken into account when evaluating scenarios of heavy mitigation and stabilization

  20. Coupled Northern Hemisphere permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willeit, M.; Ganopolski, A.

    2015-09-01

    Permafrost influences a number of processes which are relevant for local and global climate. For example, it is well known that permafrost plays an important role in global carbon and methane cycles. Less is known about the interaction between permafrost and ice sheets. In this study a permafrost module is included in the Earth system model CLIMBER-2, and the coupled Northern Hemisphere (NH) permafrost-ice-sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle is explored. The model performs generally well at reproducing present-day permafrost extent and thickness. Modeled permafrost thickness is sensitive to the values of ground porosity, thermal conductivity and geothermal heat flux. Permafrost extent at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) agrees well with reconstructions and previous modeling estimates. Present-day permafrost thickness is far from equilibrium over deep permafrost regions. Over central Siberia and the Arctic Archipelago permafrost is presently up to 200-500 m thicker than it would be at equilibrium. In these areas, present-day permafrost depth strongly depends on the past climate history and simulations indicate that deep permafrost has a memory of surface temperature variations going back to at least 800 ka. Over the last glacial cycle permafrost has a relatively modest impact on simulated NH ice sheet volume except at LGM, when including permafrost increases ice volume by about 15 m sea level equivalent in our model. This is explained by a delayed melting of the ice base from below by the geothermal heat flux when the ice sheet sits on a porous sediment layer and permafrost has to be melted first. Permafrost affects ice sheet dynamics only when ice extends over areas covered by thick sediments, which is the case at LGM.

  1. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of

  2. Detecting the permafrost carbon feedback: talik formation and increased cold-season respiration as precursors to sink-to-source transitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parazoo, Nicholas C.; Koven, Charles D.; Lawrence, David M.; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Miller, Charles E.

    2018-01-01

    source early (late 21st century), emits 5 times more C (95 Pg C) by 2300, and prior to talik formation due to the high decomposition rates of shallow, young C in organic-rich soils coupled with low productivity. Our results provide important clues signaling imminent talik onset and C source transition, including (1) late cold-season (January-February) soil warming at depth ( ˜ 2 m), (2) increasing cold-season emissions (November-April), and (3) enhanced respiration of deep, old C in warm permafrost and young, shallow C in organic-rich cold permafrost soils. Our results suggest a mosaic of processes that govern carbon source-to-sink transitions at high latitudes and emphasize the urgency of monitoring soil thermal profiles, organic C age and content, cold-season CO2 emissions, and atmospheric 14CO2 as key indicators of the permafrost C feedback.

  3. Detecting the permafrost carbon feedback: talik formation and increased cold-season respiration as precursors to sink-to-source transitions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. C. Parazoo

    2018-01-01

    remaining C source region in cold northern Arctic permafrost, which shifts to a net source early (late 21st century, emits 5 times more C (95 Pg C by 2300, and prior to talik formation due to the high decomposition rates of shallow, young C in organic-rich soils coupled with low productivity. Our results provide important clues signaling imminent talik onset and C source transition, including (1 late cold-season (January–February soil warming at depth ( ∼  2 m, (2 increasing cold-season emissions (November–April, and (3 enhanced respiration of deep, old C in warm permafrost and young, shallow C in organic-rich cold permafrost soils. Our results suggest a mosaic of processes that govern carbon source-to-sink transitions at high latitudes and emphasize the urgency of monitoring soil thermal profiles, organic C age and content, cold-season CO2 emissions, and atmospheric 14CO2 as key indicators of the permafrost C feedback.

  4. Quantifying shallow and deep permafrost changes using radar remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teshebaeva, K.; van Huissteden, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    Widespread thawing of permafrost in the northern Eurasian continent cause severe problems for infrastructure and global climate. Permafrost thaw by climate warming creates land surface instability, resulting in severe problems for infrastructure, and release of organic matter to the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Recent discoveries of CH4 seeps in lakes, in the Arctic Ocean, and CH4 emitting craters in the permafrost. These features indicate that permafrost destabilization might no longer be a surface feature only, but that also deeper layers of the permafrost, up to tens of meters, may be affected by warming. We study two potential areas in Siberian arctic; one of the test site is the Kytalyk research station near Chokurdagh town affected with a recent inundation of the Indigirka river in July 2017, which resulted in standing surface water for the period over a month. The wet soil and standing water may cause changes in active layer thickness and influence the thermal regime of the permafrost for the next decades in the region. The second test site is Yamal peninsula with recently CH4 emitting craters, which may start to contribute to emission hotspots. We hypothesize that these deeper subsurface processes also can be detected by mapping surface elevation changes using advanced SAR techniques. We test the potential of SAR imagery to enhance detection of these features, including surface movement related to permafrost active layer changes using InSAR time-series analysis. We also apply radar backscatter signal to detect seasonal changes related to the freeze-thaw cycles. The PRISM elevation data are used to estimate elevation changes in the region along with ground-based geophysical and geodetical fieldwork.

  5. Exploring Viral Mediated Carbon Cycling in Thawing Permafrost Microbial Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trubl, G. G.; Solonenko, N.; Moreno, M.; Sullivan, M. B.; Rich, V. I.

    2014-12-01

    Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on Earth and their impact on carbon cycling in permafrost habitats is poorly understood. Arctic C cycling is particularly important to interpret due to the rapid climate change occurring and the large amount of C stockpiled there (~1/3 of global soil C is stored in permafrost). Viruses of microbes (i.e. phages) play central roles in C cycling in the oceans, through cellular lysis (phage drive the largest ocean C flux about 150 Gt yr-1, dwarfing all others by >5-fold), production of associated DOC, as well as transport and expression during infection (1029 transduction events day-1). C cycling in thawing permafrost systems is critical in understanding the climate trajectory and phages may be as important for C cycling here as they are in the ocean. The thawed C may become a food source for microbes, producing CO2 and potentially CH4, both potent greenhouse gases. To address the potential role of phage in C cycling in these dynamic systems, we are examining phage from an arctic permafrost thaw gradient in northern Sweden. We have developed a protocol for successfully extracting phage from peat soils and are quantifying phage in 15 peat and 2 lake sediment cores, with the goal of sequencing viromes. Preliminary data suggest that phage are present at 109 g-1 across the permafrost thaw gradient (compared to the typical marine count ~105 ml-1), implying a potentially robust phage-host interaction web in these changing environments. We are examining phage from 11 depth intervals (covering the active and permafrost layer) in the cores to assess phage-host community dynamics. Phage morphology and abundance for each layer and environment are being determined using qTEM and EFM. Understanding the phage that infect bacteria and archaea in these rapidly changing habitats will provide insight into the controls on current and future CH4 and CO2 emissions in permafrost habitats.

  6. Suggested best practice for geotechnical characterisation of permafrost in the Nordic countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agergaard, Frederik Ancker; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Foged, Niels Nielsen

    2012-01-01

    Even though permafrost is a specialty within Nordic geotechnical engineering, engineers and researcher will be faced with managing the consequences of projected climatic influences to construction design in permafrost areas. This requires the determination of the frozen soil engineering propertie...

  7. Extraction of Water from Lunar Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin C.; Kaukler, William

    2009-01-01

    Remote sensing indicates the presence of hydrogen rich regions associated with the lunar poles. The logical hypothesis is that there is cryogenically trapped water ice located in craters at the lunar poles. Some of the craters have been in permanent darkness for a billion years. The presence of water at the poles as well as other scientific advantages of a polar base, have influenced NASA plans for the lunar outpost. The lunar outpost has water and oxygen requirements on the order of 1 ton per year scaling up to as much as 5 tons per year. Microwave heating of the frozen permafrost has unique advantages for water extraction. Proof of principle experiments have successfully demonstrated that microwaves will couple to the cryogenic soil in a vacuum and the sublimed water vapor can be successfully captured on a cold trap. Dielectric property measurements of lunar soil simulant have been measured. Microwave absorption and attenuation in lunar soil simulant has been correlated with measured dielectric properties. Future work will be discussed.

  8. Crustal Structure beneath Alaska from Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Li, A.

    2017-12-01

    The crustal structure in Alaska has not been well resolved due to the remote nature of much of the state. The USArray Transportable Array (TA), which is operating in Alaska and northwestern Canada, significantly increases the coverage of broadband seismic stations in the region and allows for a more comprehensive study of the crust. We have analyzed P-receiver functions from earthquake data recorded by 76 stations of the TA and AK networks. Both common conversion point (CCP) and H-K methods are used to estimate the mean crustal thickness. The results from the CCP stacking method show that the Denali fault marks a sharp transition from thick crust in the south to thin crust in the north. The thickest crust up to 52 km is located in the St. Elias Range, which has been formed by oblique collision between the Yakutat microplate and North America. A thick crust of 48 km is also observed beneath the eastern Alaska Range. These observations suggest that high topography in Alaska is largely compensated by the thick crust root. The Moho depth ranges from 28 km to 35 km beneath the northern lowlands and increases to 40-45 km under the Books Range. The preliminary crustal thickness from the H-K method generally agrees with that from the CCP stacking with thicker crust beneath high mountain ranges and thinner crust beneath lowlands and basins. However, the offshore part is not well constrained due to the limited coverage of stations. The mean Vp/Vs ratio is around 1.7 in the Yukon-Tanana terrane and central-northern Alaska. The ratio is about 1.9 in central and southern Alaska with higher values at the Alaska Range, Wrangell Mountains, and St. Elias Range. Further data analyses are needed for obtaining more details of the crustal structure in Alaska to decipher the origin and development of different tectonic terranes.

  9. In situ nuclear magnetic response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kass, Mason Andrew; Irons, Trevor; Minsley, Burke J.

    2017-01-01

    Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience...... of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) response of the active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes and show...

  10. Using Modeling Tools to Better Understand Permafrost Hydrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément Fabre

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Modification of the hydrological cycle and, subsequently, of other global cycles is expected in Arctic watersheds owing to global change. Future climate scenarios imply widespread permafrost degradation caused by an increase in air temperature, and the expected effect on permafrost hydrology is immense. This study aims at analyzing, and quantifying the daily water transfer in the largest Arctic river system, the Yenisei River in central Siberia, Russia, partially underlain by permafrost. The semi-distributed SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool hydrological model has been calibrated and validated at a daily time step in historical discharge simulations for the 2003–2014 period. The model parameters have been adjusted to embrace the hydrological features of permafrost. SWAT is shown capable to estimate water fluxes at a daily time step, especially during unfrozen periods, once are considered specific climatic and soils conditions adapted to a permafrost watershed. The model simulates average annual contribution to runoff of 263 millimeters per year (mm yr−1 distributed as 152 mm yr−1 (58% of surface runoff, 103 mm yr−1 (39% of lateral flow and 8 mm yr−1 (3% of return flow from the aquifer. These results are integrated on a reduced basin area downstream from large dams and are closer to observations than previous modeling exercises.

  11. Finite-Frequency Seismic Tomography of Body Waves and Surface Waves from Ambient Seismic Noise: Crustal and Mantle Structure Beneath Eastern Eurasia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ren, Yong; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Ting; Shen, Yang; Yang, Xiaoping

    2008-01-01

    To improve seismic calibration for nuclear explosion monitoring, we use 3D sensitivity kernels of finite-frequency body and surface waves to develop models of the crustal and mantle structures beneath eastern Eurasia...

  12. Progress in studies on hydrological impacts of degrading permafrost in the Source Area of Yellow River on NE Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, H.; Ma, Q.; Jin, X.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost degradation substantially impacts hydrological processes in the Source Area of the Yellow River (SAYR). Deepening active layer has directly led to a reduction of surface runoffs, alters the generation and dynamics of slope runoffs and groundwater, leading to a deepening of groundwater flow paths. At present, however, there is only a limited understanding of the hydrological impact mechanisms of degrading permafrost. On the basis of analyzing and evaluating the current states, changing history and developing trends of climate, permafrost and hydrological processes, this program aims at further and better quantifying the nature of these mechanisms linking the degrading permafrost with changing hydrological processes. The key scientific themes for this research are the characterization of interactions between ground freezing-thawing and hydrogeology in the SAYR. For this study, a coupling is made between geothermal states and the occurrences of taliks in river systems, in order to understand how expanding taliks control groundwater and surface-water interactions and how these interactions might intensify or weaken when the climate warms and dries persistently. Numerical models include freeze-thaw dynamics coupled to groundwater and surface flow processes. For the proper parameterization of these models, field and laboratory studies are conducted with a focus on the SAYR. Geophysical investigations are employed for mapping permafrost distribution in relation to landscape elements. Boreholes and water wells and observation sites for the hydrothermal processes and water tables are used for establishing the current thermal state of frozen ground and talik and monitor their changes over time, and serve to ground-truth surface geophysical observations. Boreholes and wellbores, water wells and active layer sites have provided access to the permafrost and aquifer systems, allowing the dating of ground-water and -ice and soil strata for elucidating the regional

  13. Permafrost and infrastructure in the Usa Basin (Northeast European Russia) : Possible impacts of global warming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazhitova, G.; Karstkarel, N.; Oberman, N.; Romanovsky, V.; Kuhry, P.

    The relationship between permafrost conditions and the distribution of infrastructure in the Usa Basin, Northeast European Russia, is analyzed. About 75% of the Basin is underlain by permafrost terrain with various degrees of continuity (isolated patches to continuous permafrost). The region has a

  14. Brief Communication : Future avenues for permafrost science from the perspective of early career researchers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fritz, M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Bouchard, F.; Högström, E.; Malenfant-Lepage, J.; Morgenstern, A.; Nieuwendam, A.; Oliva, M.; Paquette, M.; Rudy, A. C A; Siewert, M. B.; Sjöberg, Y.; Weege, S.

    2015-01-01

    Accelerating climate change and increased economic and environmental interests in permafrost-affected regions have resulted in an acute need for more directed permafrost research. In June 2014, 88 early career researchers convened to identify future priorities for permafrost research. This

  15. Fossil organic matter characteristics in permafrost deposits of the northeast Siberian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz Schirrmeister; Guido Grosse; Sebastian Wetterich; Pier Paul Overduin; Jens Straub; Edward A.G. Schuur; Hans-Wolfgang. Hubberton

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost deposits constitute a large organic carbon pool highly vulnerable to degradation and potential carbon release due to global warming. Permafrost sections along coastal and river bank exposures in NE Siberia were studied for organic matter (OM) characteristics and ice content. OM stored in Quaternary permafrost grew, accumulated, froze, partly decomposed, and...

  16. Soil CO2 production in upland tundra where permafrost is thawing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna Lee; Edward A.G. Schuur; Jason G. Vogel

    2010-01-01

    Permafrost soils store nearly half of global soil carbon (C), and therefore permafrost thawing could lead to large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions via decomposition of soil organic matter. When ice-rich permafrost thaws, it creates a localized surface subsidence called thermokarst terrain, which changes the soil microenvironment. We used soil profile CO2...

  17. Variability in the sensitivity among model simulations of permafrost and carbon dynamics in the permafrost region between 1960 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A. David; Koven, Charles; Lawrence, David M.; Clein, Joy S.; Xia, Jiangyang; Beer, Christian; Burke, Eleanor J.; Chen, Guangsheng; Chen, Xiaodong; Delire, Christine; Jafarov, Elchin; MacDougall, Andrew H.; Marchenko, Sergey S.; Nicolsky, Dmitry J.; Peng, Shushi; Rinke, Annette; Saito, Kazuyuki; Zhang, Wenxin; Alkama, Ramdane; Bohn, Theodore J.; Ciais, Philippe; Decharme, Bertrand; Ekici, Altug; Gouttevin, Isabelle; Hajima, Tomohiro; Hayes, Daniel J.; Ji, Duoying; Krinner, Gerhard; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Luo, Yiqi; Miller, Paul A.; Moore, John C.; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Schädel, Christina; Schaefer, Kevin; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Smith, Benjamin; Sueyoshi, Tetsuo; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2016-01-01

    A significant portion of the large amount of carbon (C) currently stored in soils of the permafrost region in the Northern Hemisphere has the potential to be emitted as the greenhouse gases CO2and CH4 under a warmer climate. In this study we evaluated the variability in the sensitivity of permafrost and C in recent decades among land surface model simulations over the permafrost region between 1960 and 2009. The 15 model simulations all predict a loss of near-surface permafrost (within 3 m) area over the region, but there are large differences in the magnitude of the simulated rates of loss among the models (0.2 to 58.8 × 103 km2 yr−1). Sensitivity simulations indicated that changes in air temperature largely explained changes in permafrost area, although interactions among changes in other environmental variables also played a role. All of the models indicate that both vegetation and soil C storage together have increased by 156 to 954 Tg C yr−1between 1960 and 2009 over the permafrost region even though model analyses indicate that warming alone would decrease soil C storage. Increases in gross primary production (GPP) largely explain the simulated increases in vegetation and soil C. The sensitivity of GPP to increases in atmospheric CO2 was the dominant cause of increases in GPP across the models, but comparison of simulated GPP trends across the 1982–2009 period with that of a global GPP data set indicates that all of the models overestimate the trend in GPP. Disturbance also appears to be an important factor affecting C storage, as models that consider disturbance had lower increases in C storage than models that did not consider disturbance. To improve the modeling of C in the permafrost region, there is the need for the modeling community to standardize structural representation of permafrost and carbon dynamics among models that are used to evaluate the permafrost C feedback and for the modeling and observational communities to

  18. Petroleum contamination movement into permafrost in the high Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biggar, K.W.

    1997-01-01

    The extent of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination that has penetrated the active layer into the permafrost at sites where spills have occurred in Canada's Arctic was discussed. There was evidence to suggest that hydrocarbon contamination may enter the permafrost layer through gravity drainage and cap suction through fissures in the frozen soil, and perhaps by diffusion through the unfrozen water of fine-grained soils. Core samples were taken in frozen silty clay to be sectioned and analyzed for total petroleum hydrocarbons, using ultrasonic solvent extraction and gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. It was concluded that it is possible for petroleum contamination in permafrost to migrate by gravity drainage down soil fissures and then diffuse into surrounding soil. 2 figs

  19. The Ecological Situation in the Russian Arctic Permafrost Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrov Sergei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes innovative approaches to ensure environmental safety in the production of hydrocarbon material in a permafrost zone. Studies the anthropogenic environmental factors, climatic and geographical and geological conditions of Purovskiy district of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area (YaNAO. We consider the chemical characteristics of wastewater discharged into surface water objects, polluting emissions into the atmosphere. The conclusions of the environmental situation in Purovskiy and Ustpurovsk-Tazovskiy permafrost areas. Calculate the concentration of pollutants in the control section of the water object and the maximum ground-level concentrations of pollutants in the atmospheric air. The conclusions about the exceeding the maximum permissible concentration (MPC in the atmospheric air for solids, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide. Was examined the climatic conditions of the Far North. Correlational analysis was performed between human factors and temperature conditions of the northern territories, as well as between the climate and natural features cryological and disturbed permafrost soils.

  20. Permafrost at Lupin. Interpretation of SAMPO electromagnetic soundings at Lupin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paananen, M.; Ruskeeniemi, T.

    2003-01-01

    The Permafrost Project at the Lupin Mine in northern Canada is an international project, aiming to improve the understanding of behaviour and processes of crystalline bedrock under permafrost conditions. As a part of this project, the Geological Survey of Finland carried out electromagnetic SAMPO soundings in the vicinity of the mine between 11th and 23rd of June 2002 in order to give additional information on the permafrost depth, the location and electrical characteristics of fracture zones and possible talik structures. The total number of sounding points was 214, forming 17 separate survey lines. Used coil separation was 100 - 800 m. According to the temperature data from Lupin Mine, the base of the permafrost is at the depth of 540 m. However, there is no information about the depth distribution outside the mine. The starting point of this survey was the possible existence of a saline water horizon below the permafrost, resulting from repeated segregation and enrichment of salts in front of advancing freezing front. The main result of the survey was a deep conductor, observed at numerous sounding points irrespectively of the measurement configuration. These sounding anomalies form a subhorizontal layer at the depths between 400 and 700 m, in contrast to the vertical orientation of the geological units in the area. According to the results, the conductor gets weaker or deeper close to the Lake Contwoyto and seems to be absent below the lake. There also seems to be a lithological control, since the conducting layer is not observed in granodiorite. It is assumed that the conducting layer represents saline or brackish waters at the base of the permafrost; their calculated TDS-values are in a realistic range for such waters (5000-30 000 mg/l). The subvertical fracture zone VI, previously interpreted from the seismic survey, could be observed as a slight decrease in resistivity in 3 survey profiles using a coil separation of 100 m. (orig.)

  1. Permafrost at Lupin. Interpretation of SAMPO electromagnetic soundings at Lupin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paananen, M.; Ruskeeniemi, T

    2003-07-01

    The Permafrost Project at the Lupin Mine in northern Canada is an international project, aiming to improve the understanding of behaviour and processes of crystalline bedrock under permafrost conditions. As a part of this project, the Geological Survey of Finland carried out electromagnetic SAMPO soundings in the vicinity of the mine between 11th and 23rd of June 2002 in order to give additional information on the permafrost depth, the location and electrical characteristics of fracture zones and possible talik structures. The total number of sounding points was 214, forming 17 separate survey lines. Used coil separation was 100 - 800 m. According to the temperature data from Lupin Mine, the base of the permafrost is at the depth of 540 m. However, there is no information about the depth distribution outside the mine. The starting point of this survey was the possible existence of a saline water horizon below the permafrost, resulting from repeated segregation and enrichment of salts in front of advancing freezing front. The main result of the survey was a deep conductor, observed at numerous sounding points irrespectively of the measurement configuration. These sounding anomalies form a subhorizontal layer at the depths between 400 and 700 m, in contrast to the vertical orientation of the geological units in the area. According to the results, the conductor gets weaker or deeper close to the Lake Contwoyto and seems to be absent below the lake. There also seems to be a lithological control, since the conducting layer is not observed in granodiorite. It is assumed that the conducting layer represents saline or brackish waters at the base of the permafrost; their calculated TDS-values are in a realistic range for such waters (5000-30 000 mg/l). The subvertical fracture zone VI, previously interpreted from the seismic survey, could be observed as a slight decrease in resistivity in 3 survey profiles using a coil separation of 100 m. (orig.)

  2. Improving Permafrost Hydrology Prediction Through Data-Model Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C. J.; Andresen, C. G.; Atchley, A. L.; Bolton, W. R.; Busey, R.; Coon, E.; Charsley-Groffman, L.

    2017-12-01

    The CMIP5 Earth System Models were unable to adequately predict the fate of the 16GT of permafrost carbon in a warming climate due to poor representation of Arctic ecosystem processes. The DOE Office of Science Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic project aims to reduce uncertainty in the Arctic carbon cycle and its impact on the Earth's climate system by improved representation of the coupled physical, chemical and biological processes that drive how much buried carbon will be converted to CO2 and CH4, how fast this will happen, which form will dominate, and the degree to which increased plant productivity will offset increased soil carbon emissions. These processes fundamentally depend on permafrost thaw rate and its influence on surface and subsurface hydrology through thermal erosion, land subsidence and changes to groundwater flow pathways as soil, bedrock and alluvial pore ice and massive ground ice melts. LANL and its NGEE colleagues are co-developing data and models to better understand controls on permafrost degradation and improve prediction of the evolution of permafrost and its impact on Arctic hydrology. The LANL Advanced Terrestrial Simulator was built using a state of the art HPC software framework to enable the first fully coupled 3-dimensional surface-subsurface thermal-hydrology and land surface deformation simulations to simulate the evolution of the physical Arctic environment. Here we show how field data including hydrology, snow, vegetation, geochemistry and soil properties, are informing the development and application of the ATS to improve understanding of controls on permafrost stability and permafrost hydrology. The ATS is being used to inform parameterizations of complex coupled physical, ecological and biogeochemical processes for implementation in the DOE ACME land model, to better predict the role of changing Arctic hydrology on the global climate system. LA-UR-17-26566.

  3. Methane Ebullition During Simulated Lake Expansion and Permafrost Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazéas, O.; von Fischer, J. C.; Whelan, M.; Rhew, R.

    2007-12-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted by Arctic tundra and lakes. Ebullition, or bubbling, of methane from Arctic lakes has been shown to be a major transport mechanism from the sediment to the atmosphere, and ebullition rates are greatest near the edges of the lakes where active erosion is occurring. In regions of continuous permafrost, Arctic lakes have been expanding in recent decades, attributed to permafrost melting and development of thermokarst. Lake expansion occurs when the margins erode into water, supplying large amounts of organic rich material to the sediment-water interface. This allows carbon that was previously stored in the soil (active layer and permafrost) to become bioavailable and subject to decomposition. An increase in Arctic methane emissions as a result of permafrost thawing and lake expansion would constitute a positive feedback to Arctic warming. In order to better understand these processes, an experiment was initiated in July 2007 at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, AK. Different layers of locally collected tundra soil were placed into incubation chambers at the bottom of a shallow (about 1 m deep) lake. Each experimental chamber consists of a bucket fixed underneath an inverted funnel, with a sampling port on top to capture and collect the emitted gases. Gas samples are analyzed for methane and carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as relevant isotopic compositions. Gas sampling has occurred at frequent intervals during the late summer and will continue through the early winter. Three replicates of each layer (active layer, seasonally frozen active layer and permafrost) were incubated, as well as an empty control chamber. An additional chamber containing thawed permafrost and cellulose-rich sawdust was placed for comparison, as cellulose is a major component of plant tissue and the fermentation of the cellulose should yield substrates for methanogenesis. Total production of methane versus organic carbon content of

  4. Isolated ecosystems on supercooled scree slopes in subalpine environments - interaction between permafrost, soil and vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwindt, Daniel; Kozák, Johanna-Luise; Kohlpaintner, Michael

    2017-04-01

    In the central European Alps, permafrost can be expected in altitudes above 2300 m a.s.l., where mean annual air temperatures are below -1°C. However, attributed to the thermally induced "chimney effect", isolated permafrost lenses can be found in scree slopes far below the timberline where mean annual air temperature is positive. Usually the supercooled subsurface appears as lenses at the foot of talus slopes, covered by a thick layer of organic material and a unique vegetation composition most obviously characterized by dwarf grown trees ("Hexenwäldli") and azonal plant species. The fact that mean annual air temperature is positive and therefore can be excluded as a driving factor makes these sites unique for studying interdependencies between a supercooled subsurface, plant adaptation and vegetation sociology as well as the soil development. Three study sites in the Swiss Alps, differing in altitude and substrate (granite, dolomite, limestone) were investigated. Studies covered the permafrost-affected central parts of the slope as well as the surrounding areas. For characterizing distribution and temporal variability of ground ice geophysical methods were applied (electrical resistivity- and seismic refraction tomography). Temperature data loggers were used for monitoring the thermal regime (air-, surface- and soil temperatures). Chemical parameters (pH, C/N ratio) and nutrient contents (N, P, Ca, Mg, Mn, K) were analyzed in different depth levels. Plant communities were analyzed with the Braun-Blanquet method. To characterize physiognomic adaptation of trees, transects have been determined parallel to slope, measuring tree height, diameter and age. Results show a strong spatial correlation between frozen ground, formation of a thick organic layer (Tangelhumus), azonal plant species distribution and pronounced dwarfing of trees. Surrounding areas with unfrozen subsurface show an - for the particular altitude - expected species and soil composition and normal

  5. Impact of physical permafrost processes on hydrological change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Stefan; Blome, Tanja; Beer, Christian; Ekici, Altug

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost or perennially frozen ground is an important part of the terrestrial cryosphere; roughly one quarter of Earth's land surface is underlain by permafrost. As it is a thermal phenomenon, its characteristics are highly dependent on climatic factors. The impact of the currently observed warming, which is projected to persist during the coming decades due to anthropogenic CO2 input, certainly has effects for the vast permafrost areas of the high northern latitudes. The quantification of these effects, however, is scientifically still an open question. This is partly due to the complexity of the system, where several feedbacks are interacting between land and atmosphere, sometimes counterbalancing each other. Moreover, until recently, many global circulation models (GCMs) and Earth system models (ESMs) lacked the sufficient representation of permafrost physics in their land surface schemes. Within the European Union FP7 project PAGE21, the land surface scheme JSBACH of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology ESM (MPI-ESM) has been equipped with the representation of relevant physical processes for permafrost studies. These processes include the effects of freezing and thawing of soil water for both energy and water cycles, thermal properties depending on soil water and ice contents, and soil moisture movement being influenced by the presence of soil ice. In the present study, it will be analysed how these permafrost relevant processes impact projected hydrological changes over northern hemisphere high latitude land areas. For this analysis, the atmosphere-land part of MPI-ESM, ECHAM6-JSBACH, is driven by prescribed SST and sea ice in an AMIP2-type setup with and without the newly implemented permafrost processes. Observed SST and sea ice for 1979-1999 are used to consider induced changes in the simulated hydrological cycle. In addition, simulated SST and sea ice are taken from a MPI-ESM simulation conducted for CMIP5 following the RCP8.5 scenario. The

  6. THE RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF EXISTING REINFORCED CONCRETE PILES IN PERMAFROST REGIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir S. Utkin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the general problem of safe operation of buildings and structures with the dynamics of permafrost in Russia and other countries. The global warming on Earth will lead to global disasters such as failures of buildings and structures. The main reason of these failures will be a reduction of bearing capacity and the reliability of foundations. It is necessary to organize the observations (monitoring for the process of reducing the bearing capacity of foundations to prevent such accidents and reduce negative consequences, to development of preventive measures and operational methods for the piles reliability analysis. The main load-bearing elements of the foundation are reinforced concrete piles and frozen ground. Reinforced concrete piles have a tendency to decrease the bearing capacity and reliability of the upper (aerial part and the part in the soil. The article discusses the problem of reliability analysis of existing reinforced concrete piles in upper part in permafrost regions by the reason of pile degradation in the contact zone of seasonal thawing and freezing soil. The evaluation of the probability of failure is important in itself, but also it important for the reliability of foundation: consisting of piles and frozen soil. Authors offers the methods for reliability analysis of upper part of reinforced concrete piles in the contact zone with seasonally thawed soil under different number of random variables (fuzzy variables in the design mathematical model of a limit state by the strength criterion.

  7. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

    2001-03-01

    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix.

  8. Analysis of groundwater flow beneath ice sheets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boulton, G. S.; Zatsepin, S.; Maillot, B.

    2001-03-01

    The large-scale pattern of subglacial groundwater flow beneath European ice sheets was analysed in a previous report. It was based on a two-dimensional flowline model. In this report, the analysis is extended to three dimensions by exploring the interactions between groundwater and tunnel flow. A theory is developed which suggests that the large-scale geometry of the hydraulic system beneath an ice sheet is a coupled, self-organising system. In this system the pressure distribution along tunnels is a function of discharge derived from basal meltwater delivered to tunnels by groundwater flow, and the pressure along tunnels itself sets the base pressure which determines the geometry of catchments and flow towards the tunnel. The large-scale geometry of tunnel distribution is a product of the pattern of basal meltwater production and the transmissive properties of the bed. The tunnel discharge from the ice margin of the glacier, its seasonal fluctuation and the sedimentary characteristics of eskers are largely determined by the discharge of surface meltwater which penetrates to the bed in the terminal zone. The theory explains many of the characteristics of esker systems and can account for tunnel valleys. It is concluded that the large-scale hydraulic regime beneath ice sheets is largely a consequence of groundwater/tunnel flow interactions and that it is essential similar to non-glacial hydraulic regimes. Experimental data from an Icelandic glacier, which demonstrates measured relationships between subglacial tunnel flow and groundwater flow during the transition from summer to winter seasons for a modern glacier, and which support the general conclusions of the theory is summarised in an appendix

  9. PYRN-Bib: The Permafrost Young Researchers Network Bibliography of Permafrost-Related Degree-Earning Theses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosse, Guido; Lantuit, Hugues; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle

    2010-05-01

    PYRN-Bib is an international bibliographical database aiming at collecting and distributing information on all theses submitted for earning a scientific degree in permafrost-related research. PYRN-Bib is hosted by the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN, http://pyrn.ways.org), an international network of early career students and young scientists in permafrost related research with currently more than 750 members. The fully educational, non-profit project PYRN-Bib is published under the patronage of the International Permafrost Association (IPA). The bibliography covers all theses as long as they clearly treat aspects of permafrost research from such diverse fields as: Geophysics, Geology, Cryolithology, Biology, Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, Astrobiology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, Modeling, Mineral and Hydrocarbon Exploration, and Science History and Education. The specific goals of PYRN-Bib are (1) to generate a comprehensive database that includes all degree-earning theses (e.g. Diploma, Ph.D., Master, etc.), coming from any country and any scientific field, under the single condition that the thesis is strongly related to research on permafrost and/or periglacial processes; (2) to reference unique but buried sources of information including theses published in languages other than English; (3) to make the database widely available to the scientific community and the general public; (4) to solicit PYRN membership; and (5) to provide a mean to map the evolution of permafrost research over the last decades, including regional trends, shifts in research direction, and/or the place of permafrost research in society. PYRN-Bib is available online and maintained by PYRN. The complete bibliography can be downloaded at no cost and is offered in different file formats: tagged Endnote library, XML, BibTex, and PDF. New entries are continuously provided by PYRN members and the scientific community. PYRN-Bib currently contains more than

  10. Effects of temperature on biological activity of permafrost microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalyonova, L F; Novikova, M A; Subbotin, A M; Bazhin, A S

    2015-04-01

    The number and viability of microorganism specimens Bacillus spp. isolated from permafrost soil remained unchanged after incubation at temperatures of -16-37°C. Experiments on F1 CBA/Black-6 mice showed that incubation of bacteria at -5°C for 72 h promotes a decrease in their toxicity and an increase in their immunostimulating effect.

  11. Bacterial communities in ancient permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Purnima; Singh, Shiv M; Singh, Ram N; Naik, Simantini; Roy, Utpal; Srivastava, Alok; Bölter, Manfred

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils are unique habitats in polar environment and are of great ecological relevance. The present study focuses on the characterization of bacterial communities from permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic. Counts of culturable bacteria range from 1.50 × 10 3 to 2.22 × 10 5 CFU g -1 , total bacterial numbers range from 1.14 × 10 5 to 5.52 × 10 5 cells g -1 soil. Bacterial isolates are identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Arthrobacter and Pseudomonas are the most dominant genera, and A. sulfonivorans, A. bergeri, P. mandelii, and P. jessenii as the dominant species. Other species belong to genera Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Rhodococcus, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus. To the best of our knowledge, genera Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus are the first northernmost records from Arctic permafrost. The present study fills the knowledge gap of culturable bacterial communities and their chronological characterization from permafrost soils of Ny-Ålesund (79°N), Arctic. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Permafrost in Marine Deposits at Ilulissat Airport in Greenland, Revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Niels Nielsen; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    residual salt content in the porewater. However, in the less saline top zone massive ice layers was found constituting up to 30 volume%. These formations representing a type example of saline permafrost caused the planned position of the runway to be shifted towards northwest and a removal of the layers...

  13. The effect of petroleum spills on permafrost at CFS Alert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haidar, S.; Jarrett, P.

    1997-01-01

    Site investigations have been carried out at two decommissioned tank farm sites at Canadian Forces Station Alert on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. The purpose was to study the mechanism of spilt fuel movement in frozen ground and its effects on frozen soils. The investigations consisted of sampling to depths below the permafrost table to assess vertical fuel migration, hydrocarbon pollutant concentration and water content. Results showed vertical migration of spilled fuel into permafrost. The migration was attributed to gravity drainage through interconnected air voids in fill material or movement through fissures in the soil induced by thermal contraction. Unweathered contaminants were found below the liners on top of the permafrost, believed to have been caused by holes in the liner. The entrapment of the spilled fuel may have been responsible for the enhanced vertical migration of contaminants observed at these sites. It was concluded that permafrost should not be considered as an impermeable barrier to contaminants with freezing points below 0 degree C. 4 figs

  14. Permafrost knowledge to serve as foundation for Inuit community planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibéryen, T.; Allard, M.

    2011-12-01

    With the recent announcement of Québec's provincial government's Plan Nord, Nunavik will see a 500 new houses sweep onto it's territory over the next 5 years. The local Inuit communities are confronted with the pressuring need to find suitable land to safely accommodate the new infrastructures in the long term. Additional to human and environmental constraints are those related to warming permafrost. Intensive studies on four Nunavik communities (Inukjuak, Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Kangirsuk) have allowed us to extensively consult local and regional authorities on their planning and management considerations. Recent and archived drilling data have been used to corroborate air photo interpretation, surficial geology and permafrost mapping. All collected information are integrated into aggregated maps that will eventually serve as community master plans. General recommendations on how to best manage and plan for community expansions on warming permafrost are made. Appropriate engineering techniques assuring long-term stable foundations are outlined and additionally mapped, taking into consideration the variable terrain conditions and simulated changes in permafrost temperature and active layer thickness according to climate change scenarios. The final purpose of our results is for them to support local and regional governments in their community planning process towards the best possible climate change adaptation strategies.

  15. Threshold loss of discontinuous permafrost and landscape evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasmer, Laura; Hopkinson, Chris

    2017-07-01

    This study demonstrates linkages between the 1997/1998 El Niño/Southern Oscillation index and a threshold shift to increased permafrost loss within a southern Taiga Plains watershed, Northwest Territories, Canada. Three-dimensional contraction of permafrost plateaus and changes in vegetation structural characteristics are determined from multitemporal airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) surveys in 2008, 2011 and 2015. Morphological changes in permafrost cover are compared with optical image analogues from 1970, 1977, 2000 and 2008 and time-series hydro-climate data. Results demonstrate that significant changes in air temperature, precipitation, runoff and a shortening of the snow-covered season by 35 days (1998-2014) and 50 days (1998 only) occurred after 1997. The albedo reduction associated with 35 and 50 days less snow cover leads to increases in shortwave energy receipt during the active thaw period of ~12% (3% annually) and ~16% (5% annually), respectively. From 2000 to 2015, sporadic permafrost loss accelerated from 0.19% (of total basin area) per year between 1970 and 2000 to 0.58% per year from 2000 to 2015, with a projected total loss of permafrost by ~2044. From ~1997 to 2011, we observe a corresponding shift to increased runoff ratio. However, observed increases in the proportion of snow precipitation and the volumetric contribution of permafrost loss to runoff post-1997 (0.6-6.4% per year) cannot fully explain this shift. This suggests increases in drainage efficiency and possible losses from long-term groundwater storage as a result of subtle terrain morphological and soil zone hydraulic conductivity changes. These hydrological changes appear coincident with high vegetation mortality at plateau margins combined with succession-related canopy growth in some bog and fen areas, which are presumed to be drying. Similar changes in runoff response were observed at adjacent Birch, Trout and Jean Marie River watersheds indicating that observations

  16. Characterization and Modeling Of Microbial Carbon Metabolism In Thawing Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, D. E.; Phelps, T. J.; Xu, X.; Carroll, S.; Jagadamma, S.; Shakya, M.; Thornton, P. E.; Elias, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Increased annual temperatures in the Arctic are warming the surface and subsurface, resulting in thawing permafrost. Thawing exposes large pools of buried organic carbon to microbial degradation, increasing greenhouse gas generation and emission. Most global-scale land-surface models lack depth-dependent representations of carbon conversion and GHG transport; therefore they do not adequately describe permafrost thawing or microbial mineralization processes. The current work was performed to determine how permafrost thawing at moderately elevated temperatures and anoxic conditions would affect CO2 and CH4 generation, while parameterizing depth-dependent GHG production processes with respect to temperature and pH in biogeochemical models. These enhancements will improve the accuracy of GHG emission predictions and identify key biochemical and geochemical processes for further refinement. Three core samples were obtained from discontinuous permafrost terrain in Fairbanks, AK with a mean annual temperature of -3.3 °C. Each core was sectioned into surface/near surface (0-0.8 m), active layer (0.8-1.6 m), and permafrost (1.6-2.2 m) horizons, which were homogenized for physico-chemical characterization and microcosm construction. Surface samples had low pH values (6.0), low water content (18% by weight), low organic carbon (0.8%), and high C:N ratio (43). Active layer samples had higher pH values (6.4), higher water content (34%), more organic carbon (1.4%) and a lower C:N ratio (24). Permafrost samples had the highest pH (6.5), highest water content (46%), high organic carbon (2.5%) and the lowest C:N ratio (19). Most organic carbon was quantified as labile or intermediate pool versus stable pool in each sample, and all samples had low amounts of carbonate. Surface layer microcosms, containing 20 g sediment in septum-sealed vials, were incubated under oxic conditions, while similar active and permafrost layer samples were anoxic. These microcosms were incubated at -2

  17. Effects of permafrost aggradation on peat properties as determined from a pan-Arctic synthesis of plant macrofossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, C.C.; Jones, Miriam C.; Camill, P.; Gallego-Sala, A.; Garneau, M.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, G.; Klein, E.S.; Kokfelt, U.; Kuhry, P.; Loisel, Julie; Mathijssen, J.H.; O'Donnell, J.A.; Oksanen, P.O.; Ronkainen, T.M.; Sannel, A.B.K.; Talbot, J. J.; Tarnocal, C.M.; Valiranta, M.

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost dynamics play an important role in high-latitude peatland carbon balance and are key to understanding the future response of soil carbon stocks. Permafrost aggradation can control the magnitude of the carbon feedback in peatlands through effects on peat properties. We compiled peatland plant macrofossil records for the northern permafrost zone (515 cores from 280 sites) and classified samples by vegetation type and environmental class (fen, bog, tundra and boreal permafrost, and thawed permafrost). We examined differences in peat properties (bulk density, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and organic matter content, and C/N ratio) and C accumulation rates among vegetation types and environmental classes. Consequences of permafrost aggradation differed between boreal and tundra biomes, including differences in vegetation composition, C/N ratios, and N content. The vegetation composition of tundra permafrost peatlands was similar to permafrost-free fens, while boreal permafrost peatlands more closely resembled permafrost-free bogs. Nitrogen content in boreal permafrost and thawed permafrost peatlands was significantly lower than in permafrost-free bogs despite similar vegetation types (0.9% versus 1.5% N). Median long-term C accumulation rates were higher in fens (23 g C m−2 yr−1) than in permafrost-free bogs (18 g C m−2 yr−1) and were lowest in boreal permafrost peatlands (14 g C m−2 yr−1). The plant macrofossil record demonstrated transitions from fens to bogs to permafrost peatlands, bogs to fens, permafrost aggradation within fens, and permafrost thaw and reaggradation. Using data synthesis, we have identified predominant peatland successional pathways, changes in vegetation type, peat properties, and C accumulation rates associated with permafrost aggradation.

  18. Computing a ground appropriateness index for route selection in permafrost regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi Zhang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The reasonable calculation of ground appropriateness index in permafrost region is the precondition of highway route design in permafrost region. The theory of knowledge base and fuzzy mathematics are applied, and the damage effect of permafrost is considered in the paper. Based on the idea of protecting permafrost the calculation method of ground appropriateness index is put forward. Firstly, based on the actual environment conditions, the paper determines the factors affecting the road layout in permafrost areas by qualitative and quantitative analysis, including the annual slope, the average annual ground temperature of permafrost, the amount of ice in frozen soil, and the interference engineering. Secondly, based on the knowledge base theory and the use of Delphi method, the paper establishes the knowledge base, the rule base of the permafrost region and inference mechanism. The method of selecting the road in permafrost region is completed and realized by using the software platform. Thirdly, taking the Tuotuo River to Kaixin Mountain section of permafrost region as an example, the application of the method is studied by using an ArcGIS platform. Results show that the route plan determined by the method of selecting the road in permafrost region can avoid the high temperature and high ice content area, conform the terrain changes and evade the heat disturbance among the existing projects. A reasonable route plan can be achieved, and it can provide the basis for the next engineering construction.

  19. Grey relation projection model for evaluating permafrost environment in the Muli coal mining area, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Cao; Yu Sheng; Yinghong Qin; Jing Li; Jichun Wu [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou (China). State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering

    2010-12-15

    This study attempts to estimate the current stage of the permafrost environment in the Muli coal mining area, an opencast mining site in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, China. The estimation is done by regarding this site's permafrost environment as a system which was divided into three subsystems consisting of permafrost freeze-thaw erosion sensibility, permafrost thermal stability, and permafrost ecological fragility. The subsystems were characterized with their influencing indicators, each of which was assigned with a weight according to analytic hierarchy process. The relationship between these indictors is established using an environmental evaluation model based on grey system theory. The evaluated results show that currently the normalised grey relation projection values (GRPV) of permafrost freezing-thawing erosion sensibility, permafrost thermal stability, permafrost ecological fragility and permafrost environment are 0.58 (general situation), 0.47 (bad situation), 0.63 (general situation) and 0.56 (general situation), respectively. These values imply that the permafrost environment has been deteriorated to a certain degree by human activities and potentially could be further degraded. However, at this degree, a new equilibrium could be achieved if the current environmental degradation ratio is held and if effective treatments are constructed against further damages.

  20. Thermal regime of warm-dry permafrost in relation to ground surface temperature in the Source Areas of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, SW China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luo, Dongliang; Jin, Huijun; Wu, Qingbai; Bense, Victor F.; He, Ruixia; Ma, Qiang; Gao, Shuhui; Jin, Xiaoying; Lu¨, Lanzhi

    2018-01-01

    Ecology, hydrology, and natural resources in the source areas of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers (SAYYR) are closely linked to interactions between climate and permafrost. However, a comprehensive study of the interactions is currently hampered by sparsely- and unevenly-distributed monitoring sites

  1. Improved Understanding of Permafrost Controls on Hydrology in Interior Alaska by Integration of Ground-Based Geophysical Permafrost Characterization and Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    freeze/thaw dynamics, geophysics, ground ice, groundwater modeling, hydrologic impacts , interior Alaska, lakes, permafrost, sub-arctic, taliks, Yukon...21  Figure 4.1.1 Location map of Beaver Meadow and Twelvemile study areas...modeling, hydrologic impacts , interior Alaska, lakes, permafrost, sub-arctic, taliks, Yukon Flats Acknowledgements We would like to

  2. Permafrost at its limits: The most easterly evidence of existing permafrost in the European Alps as indicated by ground temperature and geoelectrical measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, A.; Kühnast, B.

    2009-04-01

    Mountain permafrost is a widespread phenomenon in alpine regions in the European Alps. For instance, some 2000 km² or 4% of the Austrian Alps are underlain by permafrost. Up to recent times most research on permafrost issues in Austria focused on the central and highest section of the Austrian Alps. By contrast, knowledge concerning marginal permafrost zones is fairly limited. To increase knowledge about the easternmost limit of permafrost in the European Alps, a research project focusing on the Seckauer Tauern Mountains (14°30'E to 15°00'E) and particularly on the Hochreichart area was initiated in 2004 by the first author. Since then, different methods have been applied such as e.g. geomorphic mapping, numerical permafrost modelling, multi-annual BTS measurements (since 2004) or continuous ground surface and near ground surface temperature measurements by miniature temperature data loggers/MTDs (since 2004). In order to verify the temperature data and to extend the spatial knowledge about permafrost distribution beyond point information, a geoelectrical survey was carried out at the end of August 2008 by applying the electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) method along a 120 m long profile covering the upper part of the rooting zone of a (more-or-less) relict rock glacier and the talus slope above. For this survey the two-dimensional (2D) electrical surveys was performed using the Wenner-Alfa configuration with 2.5 m spacing and an LGM-Lippmann 4-Punkt light hp resistivity-meter. The ERT results indicate an active layer of 2 to 4 m underlain by a permafrost body along 3/4 of the entire profile with resistivity values between 50 to 100 kOhm.m and extending to a depth of 10 to 15 m. The permafrost body is substantially thicker at the lower part of the profile (rock glacier; first 50 m of profile) compared to most of the upper part (talus slope). Focusing on the talus slope, the permafrost body is thickest on the central section of the profile (~5-6 m thickness

  3. ADAPT: building conceptual models of the physical and biological processes across permafrost landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allard, M.; Vincent, W. F.; Lemay, M.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental and applied permafrost research is called upon in Canada in support of environmental protection, economic development and for contributing to the international efforts in understanding climatic and ecological feedbacks of permafrost thawing under a warming climate. The five year "Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition" program (ADAPT) funded by NSERC brings together 14 scientists from 10 Canadian universities and involves numerous collaborators from academia, territorial and provincial governments, Inuit communities and industry. The geographical coverage of the program encompasses all of the permafrost regions of Canada. Field research at a series of sites across the country is being coordinated. A common protocol for measuring ground thermal and moisture regime, characterizing terrain conditions (vegetation, topography, surface water regime and soil organic matter contents) is being applied in order to provide inputs for designing a general model to provide an understanding of transfers of energy and matter in permafrost terrain, and the implications for biological and human systems. The ADAPT mission is to produce an 'Integrated Permafrost Systems Science' framework that will be used to help generate sustainable development and adaptation strategies for the North in the context of rapid socio-economic and climate change. ADAPT has three major objectives: to examine how changing precipitation and warming temperatures affect permafrost geosystems and ecosystems, specifically by testing hypotheses concerning the influence of the snowpack, the effects of water as a conveyor of heat, sediments, and carbon in warming permafrost terrain and the processes of permafrost decay; to interact directly with Inuit communities, the public sector and the private sector for development and adaptation to changes in permafrost environments; and to train the new generation of experts and scientists in this critical domain of research in Canada

  4. Modeling sub-sea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf: the Dmitry Laptev Strait

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolsky, D; Shakhova, N

    2010-01-01

    The present state of sub-sea permafrost modeling does not agree with certain observational data on the permafrost state within the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. This suggests a need to consider other mechanisms of permafrost destabilization after the recent ocean transgression. We propose development of open taliks wherever thaw lakes and river paleo-valleys were submerged shelf-wide as a possible mechanism for the degradation of sub-sea permafrost. To test the hypothesis we performed numerical modeling of permafrost dynamics in the Dmitry Laptev Strait area. We achieved sufficient agreement with the observed distribution of thawed and frozen layers to suggest that the proposed mechanism of permafrost destabilization is plausible.

  5. Investigation of Soil and Vegetation Characteristics in Discontinuous Permafrost Landscapes Near Fairbanks, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    ER D C TR -1 5- 7 ERDC Center-Directed Research Investigation of Soil and Vegetation Characteristics in Discontinuous Permafrost ...Characteristics in Discontinuous Permafrost Landscapes Near Fairbanks, Alaska Jacob F. Berkowitz U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC...Washington, DC 20314-1000 Under ERDC Center-Directed Research project “Integrated Technologies for Delineat- ing Permafrost and Ground-State

  6. Groundwater controls on post-fire permafrost thaw: Water and energy balance effects

    OpenAIRE

    Rocha, Adrian; Mckenzie, Jeffrey; Lamontagne-Halle, Pierrick; Zipper, Samuel

    2018-01-01

    Fire frequency and severity is increasing in high latitude regions, with large impacts on the water and energy balances. However, the degree to which groundwater flow impacts the permafrost response to fire remains poorly understood and understudied. Here, we use the Anaktuvuk River Fire (Alaska, USA) as an archetypal example to investigate groundwater-permafrost interactions following fire. We identify key thermal and hydrologic parameters controlling permafrost and active layer response to ...

  7. Influences of Moisture Regimes and Functional Plant Types on Nutrient Cycling in Permafrost Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaully, R. E.; Arendt, C. A.; Newman, B. D.; Heikoop, J. M.; Wilson, C. J.; Sevanto, S.; Wales, N. A.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    In the permafrost-dominated Arctic, climatic feedbacks exist between permafrost, soil moisture, functional plant type and presence of nutrients. Functional plant types present within the Arctic regulate and respond to changes in hydrologic regimes and nutrient cycling. Specifically, alders are a member of the birch family that use root nodules to fix nitrogen, which is a limiting nutrient strongly linked to fertilizing Arctic ecosystems. Previous investigations in the Seward Peninsula, AK show elevated presence of nitrate within and downslope of alder patches in degraded permafrost systems, with concentrations an order of magnitude greater than that of nitrate measured above these patches. Further observations within these degraded permafrost systems are crucial to assess whether alders are drivers of, or merely respond to, nitrate fluxes. In addition to vegetative feedbacks with nitrate supply, previous studies have also linked low moisture content to high nitrate production. Within discontinuous permafrost regions, the absence of permafrost creates well-drained regions with unsaturated soils whereas the presence of permafrost limits vertical drainage of soil-pore water creating elevated soil moisture content, which likely corresponds to lower nitrate concentrations. We investigate these feedbacks further in the Seward Peninsula, AK, through research supported by the United States Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) - Arctic. Using soil moisture and thaw depth as proxies to determine the extent of permafrost degradation, we identify areas of discontinuous permafrost over a heterogeneous landscape and collect co-located soilwater chemistry samples to highlight the complex relationships that exist between alder patches, soil moisture regimes, the presence of permafrost and available nitrate supply. Understanding the role of nitrogen in degrading permafrost systems, in the context of both vegetation present and soil moisture, is crucial

  8. Vejbygning i områder med permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr

    2009-01-01

    Siden begyndelsen af 1990’erne er der registreret en markant stigning i den årlige middeltemperatur i Nunavik, Québec Canada. Dette har ført til en reduktion i udbredelsen af permafrost, hvilket truer stabiliteten af lufthavne og veje i området. I sommeren 2007 blev en teststrækning opført i...... Tasiujaq Lufthavn for at studere effekten af tre forskellige metoder, som skal være med til at reducere optøningen af permafrost under landingsbanen. De tre metoder, som er blevet undersøgt, er konvektionskøling (air convection embankment), varmeudtrækning (heat drain) samt et forsøg med ændring af...

  9. Impacts of Permafrost on Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trochim, E.; Schuur, E.; Schaedel, C.; Kelly, B. P.

    2017-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program developed knowledge pyramids as a tool for advancing scientific understanding and making this information accessible for decision makers. Knowledge pyramids are being used to synthesize, curate and disseminate knowledge of changing land ice, sea ice, and permafrost in the Arctic. Each pyramid consists of a one-two page summary brief in broadly accessible language and literature organized by levels of detail including synthesizes and scientific building blocks. Three knowledge pyramids have been produced related to permafrost on carbon, infrastructure, and ecosystem services. Each brief answers key questions with high societal relevance framed in policy-relevant terms. The knowledge pyramids concerning infrastructure and ecosystem services were developed in collaboration with researchers specializing in the specific topic areas in order to identify the most pertinent issues and accurately communicate information for integration into policy and planning. For infrastructure, the main issue was the need to build consensus in the engineering and science communities for developing improved methods for incorporating data applicable to building infrastructure on permafrost. In ecosystem services, permafrost provides critical landscape properties which affect basic human needs including fuel and drinking water availability, access to hunting and harvest, and fish and wildlife habitat. Translating these broad and complex topics necessitated a systematic and iterative approach to identifying key issues and relating them succinctly to the best state of the art research. The development of the knowledge pyramids provoked collaboration and synthesis across distinct research and engineering communities. The knowledge pyramids also provide a solid basis for policy development and the format allows the content to be regularly updated as the research community advances.

  10. Effects of permafrost microorganisms on skin wound reparation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalenova, L F; Novikova, M A; Subbotin, A M

    2015-02-01

    Local application of ointment with Bacillus spp. strain MG8 (15,000-20,000 living bacterial cells), isolated from permafrost specimens, on the skin wound of about 60 mm(2) stimulated the reparation processes in experimental mice. A possible mechanism stimulating the regeneration of the damaged tissues under the effect of MG8 could be modulation of the immune system reactivity with more rapid switchover to humoral immunity anti-inflammatory mechanisms aimed at de novo synthesis of protein.

  11. Physiological characteristics of bacteria isolated from water brines within permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, V.; Rivkina, E.; Laurinavichuis, K.; Pecheritsina, S.; Gilichinsky, D.

    2004-01-01

    In the Arctic there are lenses of overcooled water brines (cryopegs) sandwiched within permafrost marine sediments 100 120 thousand years old. We have investigated the physiological properties of the pure cultures of anaerobic Clostridium sp. strain 14D1 and two strains of aerobic bacteria Psychrobacter sp. isolated from these cryopegs. The structural and physiological characteristics of new bacteria from water brines have shown their ability to survive and develop under harsh conditions, such as subzero temperatures and high salinity.

  12. Presence of rapidly degrading permafrost plateaus in south-central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Baughman, Carson; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Parsekian, Andrew D.; Babcock, Esther; Stephani, Eva; Jones, Miriam C.; Grosse, Guido; Berg, Edward E

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost presence is determined by a complex interaction of climatic, topographic, and ecological conditions operating over long time scales. In particular, vegetation and organic layer characteristics may act to protect permafrost in regions with a mean annual air temperature (MAAT) above 0 °C. In this study, we document the presence of residual permafrost plateaus in the western Kenai Peninsula lowlands of south-central Alaska, a region with a MAAT of 1.5 ± 1 °C (1981–2010). Continuous ground temperature measurements between 16 September 2012 and 15 September 2015, using calibrated thermistor strings, documented the presence of warm permafrost (−0.04 to −0.08 °C). Field measurements (probing) on several plateau features during the fall of 2015 showed that the depth to the permafrost table averaged 1.48 m but at some locations was as shallow as 0.53 m. Late winter surveys (augering, coring, and GPR) in 2016 showed that the average seasonally frozen ground thickness was 0.45 m, overlying a talik above the permafrost table. Measured permafrost thickness ranged from 0.33 to  >  6.90 m. Manual interpretation of historic aerial photography acquired in 1950 indicates that residual permafrost plateaus covered 920 ha as mapped across portions of four wetland complexes encompassing 4810 ha. However, between 1950 and ca. 2010, permafrost plateau extent decreased by 60.0 %, with lateral feature degradation accounting for 85.0 % of the reduction in area. Permafrost loss on the Kenai Peninsula is likely associated with a warming climate, wildfires that remove the protective forest and organic layer cover, groundwater flow at depth, and lateral heat transfer from wetland surface waters in the summer. Better understanding the resilience and vulnerability of ecosystem-protected permafrost is critical for mapping and predicting future permafrost extent and degradation across all permafrost regions that are currently warming

  13. Effect of permafrost properties on gas hydrate petroleum system in the Qilian Mountains, Qinghai, Northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pingkang; Zhang, Xuhui; Zhu, Youhai; Li, Bing; Huang, Xia; Pang, Shouji; Zhang, Shuai; Lu, Cheng; Xiao, Rui

    2014-12-01

    The gas hydrate petroleum system in the permafrost of the Qilian Mountains, which exists as an epigenetic hydrocarbon reservoir above a deep-seated hydrocarbon reservoir, has been dynamic since the end of the Late Pleistocene because of climate change. The permafrost limits the occurrence of gas hydrate reservoirs by changing the pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions, and it affects the migration of the underlying hydrocarbon gas because of its strong sealing ability. In this study, we reconstructed the permafrost structure of the Qilian Mountains using a combination of methods and measured methane permeability in ice-bearing sediment permafrost. A relationship between the ice saturation of permafrost and methane permeability was established, which permitted the quantitative evaluation of the sealing ability of permafrost with regard to methane migration. The test results showed that when ice saturation is >80%, methane gas can be completely sealed within the permafrost. Based on the permafrost properties and genesis of shallow gas, we suggest that a shallow "gas pool" occurred in the gas hydrate petroleum system in the Qilian Mountains. Its formation was related to a metastable gas hydrate reservoir controlled by the P-T conditions, sealing ability of the permafrost, fault system, and climatic warming. From an energy perspective, the increasing volume of the gas pool means that it will likely become a shallow gas resource available for exploitation; however, for the environment, the gas pool is an underground "time bomb" that is a potential source of greenhouse gas.

  14. Mountain permafrost, glacier thinning, and slope stability - a perspective from British Columbia (and Alaska)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geertsema, Marten

    2016-04-01

    The association of landslides with thinning glaciers and mapped, or measured, mountain permafrost is increasing. Glacier thinning debuttresses slopes and promotes joint expansion. It is relatively easy to map. Permafrost, a thermal condition, is generally not visually detectible, and is difficult to map. Much mountain permafrost may have been overlooked in hazard analysis. Identifying, and characterizing mountain permafrost, and its influence on slope instability is crucial for hazard and risk analysis in mountainous terrain. Rock falls in mountains can be the initial event in process chains. They can transform into rock avalanches, debris flows or dam burst floods, travelling many kilometres, placing infrastructure and settlements at risk.

  15. Microbial survival strategies in ancient permafrost: insights from metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, Rachel; Burkert, Alexander; Haw, Monica; Mahendrarajah, Tara; Conaway, Christopher H; Douglas, Thomas A; Waldrop, Mark P

    2017-10-01

    In permafrost (perennially frozen ground) microbes survive oligotrophic conditions, sub-zero temperatures, low water availability and high salinity over millennia. Viable life exists in permafrost tens of thousands of years old but we know little about the metabolic and physiological adaptations to the challenges presented by life in frozen ground over geologic time. In this study we asked whether increasing age and the associated stressors drive adaptive changes in community composition and function. We conducted deep metagenomic and 16 S rRNA gene sequencing across a Pleistocene permafrost chronosequence from 19 000 to 33 000 years before present (kyr). We found that age markedly affected community composition and reduced diversity. Reconstruction of paleovegetation from metagenomic sequence suggests vegetation differences in the paleo record are not responsible for shifts in community composition and function. Rather, we observed shifts consistent with long-term survival strategies in extreme cryogenic environments. These include increased reliance on scavenging detrital biomass, horizontal gene transfer, chemotaxis, dormancy, environmental sensing and stress response. Our results identify traits that may enable survival in ancient cryoenvironments with no influx of energy or new materials.

  16. Metagenomic analysis of permafrost microbial community response to thaw

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mackelprang, R.; Waldrop, M.P.; DeAngelis, K.M.; David, M.M.; Chavarria, K.L.; Blazewicz, S.J.; Rubin, E.M.; Jansson, J.K.

    2011-07-01

    We employed deep metagenomic sequencing to determine the impact of thaw on microbial phylogenetic and functional genes and related this data to measurements of methane emissions. Metagenomics, the direct sequencing of DNA from the environment, allows for the examination of whole biochemical pathways and associated processes, as opposed to individual pieces of the metabolic puzzle. Our metagenome analyses revealed that during transition from a frozen to a thawed state there were rapid shifts in many microbial, phylogenetic and functional gene abundances and pathways. After one week of incubation at 5°C, permafrost metagenomes converged to be more similar to each other than while they were frozen. We found that multiple genes involved in cycling of C and nitrogen shifted rapidly during thaw. We also constructed the first draft genome from a complex soil metagenome, which corresponded to a novel methanogen. Methane previously accumulated in permafrost was released during thaw and subsequently consumed by methanotrophic bacteria. Together these data point towards the importance of rapid cycling of methane and nitrogen in thawing permafrost.

  17. Water Travel Time Distributions in Permafrost-affected Catchments: Challenges, Progress and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. A.; Piovano, T. I.; Tetzlaff, D.; Ala-aho, P. O. A.; Wookey, P. A.; Soulsby, C.

    2017-12-01

    Characterising the travel times of water has been a major research focus in catchment science over the past decade. Use of isotopes to quantify the temporal dynamics of the transformation of precipitation into runoff has revealed fundamental new insights into catchment flow paths and mixing processes that influence biogeochemical transport. However, permafrost-affected catchments have received little attention, despite their global importance in terms of rapid environmental change. Such places have limited access for data collection during critical periods (e.g. early phases of snowmelt), temporal and spatially variable freeze-thaw cycles, and the development of the active layer has a time variant influence on catchment hydrology. All of these characteristics make the application of traditional transit time estimation approaches challenging. This contribution describes an isotope-based study undertaken to provide a preliminary assessment of travel times at SikSik Creek in the Canadian Arctic. We adopted a model-data fusion approach to estimate the volumes and isotopic characteristics of snowpack and meltwater. Using sampling in the spring/summer we characterise the isotopic composition of summer rainfall, melt from residual snow, soil water and stream water. In addition, soil moisture dynamics and the temporal evolution of the active layer profile were also monitored. Transit times were estimated for soil and stream water compositions using lumped convolution integral models and temporally variable inputs including snowmelt, ice thaw, and summer rainfall. Comparing transit time estimates using a variety of inputs reveals transit time is best estimated using all available inflows (i.e. snowmelt, ice thaw, and rainfall). Early spring transit times are short, dominated by snowmelt and ice thaw and limited catchment storage when soils are predominantly frozen. However, significant and increasing mixing with water in the active layer during the summer results in more

  18. Empowering the village communities for sustained observation of permafrost-related environmental changes, Upper Kuskokwim, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, S. K.; Kholodov, A. L.; Hanson, T.

    2016-12-01

    A suite of environmental changes are underway in the North directly affecting the socio-economic state of native communities in remote Arctic villages. We cannot possibly have enough scientists and professionals on the ground to timely predict and effectively respond to the major changes. We believe the most cost-effective and possibly sustainable approach to cover more ground for monitoring and prediction of changes is by building community capacity for monitoring and research, and supporting communities to use resulting data and new findings to address emerging environmental issues and ensuing socio-economic challenges. The goal of this project is to help the communities of Upper Kuskokwim region take the lead in assessing and responding to the environmental changes that are coming with warmer climate and thawing permafrost. The permafrost related societal impacts that the communities are aware of are a) drying of lakes which affect their fishing and trapping, b) lower water level in Rivers due to bank erosion which affect their main mode of transportation in summer, c) appearance of sinkholes that pose threat to the safety of the community members and their properties, and d) eruption of a sand dune in the middle of the Telida village air strip. In August 2016 we will spend ten days in the Nikolai and Telida communities to understand the community need for monitoring through a community survey. We will offer training workshop on climate science and landscape change, and in making scientific observation and data collection. Also, we will install sensors to monitor air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture, and snow at 12 sites spread across different ecotypes and topographic settings. Also, we will survey sites of major change to help develop a geo-hazard map for the region to facilitate safe subsistence practices and land use. As broader impact, the project will offer the traditionally-underserved native communities of the Upper Kuskokwim region an

  19. Identifying biogeochemical processes beneath stormwater infiltration ponds in support of a new best management practice for groundwater protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, Andrew M.; Chang, Ni-Bin; Wanielista, Martin P.; Xuan, Zhemin; Schirmer, Mario; Hoehn, Eduard; Vogt, Tobias

    2011-01-01

     When applying a stormwater infiltration pond best management practice (BMP) for protecting the quality of underlying groundwater, a common constituent of concern is nitrate. Two stormwater infiltration ponds, the SO and HT ponds, in central Florida, USA, were monitored. A temporal succession of biogeochemical processes was identified beneath the SO pond, including oxygen reduction, denitrification, manganese and iron reduction, and methanogenesis. In contrast, aerobic conditions persisted beneath the HT pond, resulting in nitrate leaching into groundwater. Biogeochemical differences likely are related to soil textural and hydraulic properties that control surface/subsurface oxygen exchange. A new infiltration BMP was developed and a full-scale application was implemented for the HT pond. Preliminary results indicate reductions in nitrate concentration exceeding 50% in soil water and shallow groundwater beneath the HT pond.

  20. Thermal classification of lithospheric discontinuities beneath USArray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Steven M.; Dueker, Ken; Schmandt, Brandon

    2015-12-01

    Broadband seismic data from the United States were processed into Ps and Sp receiver function image volumes for the purpose of constraining negative velocity gradients (NVG) at depths between the Moho and 200 km. Moho depth picks from the two independent datasets are in good agreement, however, large discrepancies in NVG picks occur and are attributed to free-surface multiples which obscure deep NVG arrivals in the Ps data. From the Sp data, shallow NVG are found west of the Rockies and in the central US while deep and sporadic NVG are observed beneath the Great Plains and northern Rockies. To aid the interpretation of the observed NVG arrivals, the mantle thermal field is estimated by mapping surface wave tomography velocities to temperature assuming an anelastic olivine model. The distribution of temperature versus NVG depth is bi-modal and displays two distinct thermal populations that are interpreted to represent both the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) and mid-lithosphere discontinuities (MLD). LAB arrivals occur in the western US at 60-85 km and 1200-1400 °C depth suggesting that they manifest partial melt near the base of the thermal plate. MLD arrivals primarily occur at 70-110 km depth and 700-900 °C and we hypothesize that these arrivals are caused by a low-velocity metasomatic layer containing phlogopite resulting from magma crystallization products that accumulate within long-lived thick lithosphere.

  1. Channelization of plumes beneath ice shelves

    KAUST Repository

    Dallaston, M.  C.; Hewitt, I. J.; Wells, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 Cambridge University Press. We study a simplified model of ice-ocean interaction beneath a floating ice shelf, and investigate the possibility for channels to form in the ice shelf base due to spatial variations in conditions at the grounding line. The model combines an extensional thin-film description of viscous ice flow in the shelf, with melting at its base driven by a turbulent ocean plume. Small transverse perturbations to the one-dimensional steady state are considered, driven either by ice thickness or subglacial discharge variations across the grounding line. Either forcing leads to the growth of channels downstream, with melting driven by locally enhanced ocean velocities, and thus heat transfer. Narrow channels are smoothed out due to turbulent mixing in the ocean plume, leading to a preferred wavelength for channel growth. In the absence of perturbations at the grounding line, linear stability analysis suggests that the one-dimensional state is stable to initial perturbations, chiefly due to the background ice advection.

  2. Channelization of plumes beneath ice shelves

    KAUST Repository

    Dallaston, M. C.

    2015-11-11

    © 2015 Cambridge University Press. We study a simplified model of ice-ocean interaction beneath a floating ice shelf, and investigate the possibility for channels to form in the ice shelf base due to spatial variations in conditions at the grounding line. The model combines an extensional thin-film description of viscous ice flow in the shelf, with melting at its base driven by a turbulent ocean plume. Small transverse perturbations to the one-dimensional steady state are considered, driven either by ice thickness or subglacial discharge variations across the grounding line. Either forcing leads to the growth of channels downstream, with melting driven by locally enhanced ocean velocities, and thus heat transfer. Narrow channels are smoothed out due to turbulent mixing in the ocean plume, leading to a preferred wavelength for channel growth. In the absence of perturbations at the grounding line, linear stability analysis suggests that the one-dimensional state is stable to initial perturbations, chiefly due to the background ice advection.

  3. Turbulence beneath finite amplitude water waves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beya, J.F. [Universidad de Valparaiso, Escuela de Ingenieria Civil Oceanica, Facultad de Ingenieria, Valparaiso (Chile); The University of New South Wales, Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Peirson, W.L. [The University of New South Wales, Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sydney, NSW (Australia); Banner, M.L. [The University of New South Wales, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Sydney, NSW (Australia)

    2012-05-15

    Babanin and Haus (J Phys Oceanogr 39:2675-2679, 2009) recently presented evidence of near-surface turbulence generated below steep non-breaking deep-water waves. They proposed a threshold wave parameter a {sup 2}{omega}/{nu} = 3,000 for the spontaneous occurrence of turbulence beneath surface waves. This is in contrast to conventional understanding that irrotational wave theories provide a good approximation of non-wind-forced wave behaviour as validated by classical experiments. Many laboratory wave experiments were carried out in the early 1960s (e.g. Wiegel 1964). In those experiments, no evidence of turbulence was reported, and steep waves behaved as predicted by the high-order irrotational wave theories within the accuracy of the theories and experimental techniques at the time. This contribution describes flow visualisation experiments for steep non-breaking waves using conventional dye techniques in the wave boundary layer extending above the wave trough level. The measurements showed no evidence of turbulent mixing up to a value of a {sup 2}{omega}/{nu} = 7,000 at which breaking commenced in these experiments. These present findings are in accord with the conventional understandings of wave behaviour. (orig.)

  4. Nuclear wastes beneath the deep sea floor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bishop, W.P.; Hollister, C.D.

    1974-01-01

    Projections of energy demands for the year 2000 show that nuclear power will likely be one of our energy sources. But the benefits of nuclear power must be balanced against the drawbacks of its by-product: high-level wastes. While it may become possible to completely destroy or eliminate these wastes, it is at least equally possible that we may have to dispose of them on earth in such a way as to assure their isolation from man for periods of the order of a million years. Undersea regions in the middle of tectonic plates and in the approximate center of major current gyres offer some conceptual promise for waste disposal because of their geologic stability and comparatively low organic productivity. The advantages of this concept and the types of detailed information needed for its accurate assessment are discussed. The technical feasibility of permanent disposal beneath the deep sea floor cannot be accurately assessed with present knowledge, and there is a need for a thorough study of the types and rates of processes that affect this part of the earth's surface. Basic oceanographic research aimed at understanding these processes is yielding answers that apply to this societal need. (U.S.)

  5. Treatment of Chlorinated Solvents in Groundwater Beneath an Occupied Building at the Young-Rainey STAR Center, Pinellas, FL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel, Joe [Navarro Research and Engineering; Surovchak, Scott [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Legacy Management; Tabor, Charles [Navarro Research and Engineering

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater contamination, consisting of two dissolved-phase plumes originating from chlorinated solvent source areas, in the southeastern portion of the Young- Rainey Star Center (also known as the Pinellas County, Florida, Site) in Largo, Florida, has migrated beyond the property boundary, beneath the roadways, and beneath adjacent properties to the south and east. Groundwater contamination will persist as long as the onsite contaminant source remains. The origin of the contamination appears to be multiple long-term point sources beneath Building 100, a 4.5 ha (11 acre) building that housed manufacturing facilities during US DOE operations at the site. The site is now owned by Pinellas County, and most of the space inside the building is leased to private companies, so DOE chose not to conduct characterization or remediation through the floor of the building, instead choosing to conduct all work from outside the building. Injection of emulsified soybean oil and a microbial culture has been used at other areas of the site to accelerate naturally occurring bacterial processes that degrade groundwater contaminants to harmless compounds, and that same approach was chosen for this task. The technical approach consisted of installing horizontal wells from outside the building footprint, extending through and around the identified subsurface treatment areas, and terminating beneath the building. Two 107 m (350 ft) long wells, two 122 m (400 ft) long wells, and four 137 m (450 ft) long wells have been installed to intersect the inferred source areas and confirmed contaminant plumes beneath the building. DOE then injected emulsified vegetable oil and a microbial culture into the horizontal wells at each of several target areas beneath the building where the highest groundwater contaminant concentrations have been detected. The target areas are the northwest corner of the building between the old drum storage pad locations and monitoring well PIN12-S35B, the vicinity of

  6. Permafrost thaw and wildfire: Equally important drivers of boreal tree cover changes in the Taiga Plains, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbig, M.; Pappas, C.; Sonnentag, O.

    2016-02-01

    Boreal forests cover vast areas of the permafrost zones of North America, and changes in their composition and structure can lead to pronounced impacts on the regional and global climate. We partition the variation in regional boreal tree cover changes between 2000 and 2014 across the Taiga Plains, Canada, into its main causes: permafrost thaw, wildfire disturbance, and postfire regrowth. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Percent Tree Cover (PTC) data are used in combination with maps of historic fires, and permafrost and drainage characteristics. We find that permafrost thaw is equally important as fire history to explain PTC changes. At the southern margin of the permafrost zone, PTC loss due to permafrost thaw outweighs PTC gain from postfire regrowth. These findings emphasize the importance of permafrost thaw in controlling regional boreal forest changes over the last decade, which may become more pronounced with rising air temperatures and accelerated permafrost thaw.

  7. Historical and Possible Future Changes in Permafrost and Active Layer Thickness in Alaska: Implications to Landscape Changes and Permafrost Carbon Pool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchenko, S. S.; Helene, G.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Breen, A. L.; McGuire, D.; Rupp, S. T.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Walsh, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Soil Temperature and Active Layer Thickness (ALT) Gridded Data was developed to quantify the nature and rate of permafrost degradation and its impact on ecosystems, infrastructure, CO2 and CH4 fluxes and net C storage following permafrost thaw across Alaska. To develop this database, we used the process-based permafrost dynamics model GIPL2 developed in the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab, UAF and which is the permafrost module of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) for Alaska and Northwest Canada. The climate forcing data for simulations were developed by the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP, http://www.snap.uaf.edu/). These data are based on the historical CRU3.1 data set for the retrospective analysis period (1901-2009) and the five model averaged data were derived from the five CMIP5/AR5 IPCC Global Circulation Models that performed the best in Alaska and other northern regions: NCAR-CCSM4, GFDL-CM3, GISS-E2-R, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MRI-CGCM3. A composite of all five-model outputs for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were used in these particular permafrost dynamics simulations. Data sets were downscaled to a 771 m resolution, using the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climatology. Additional input data (snow characteristics, soil thermal properties, soil water content, organic matter accumulation or its loss due to fire, etc.) came from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) and the ALFRESCO (ALaska FRame-based EcoSystem COde) model simulations. We estimated the dynamics of permafrost temperature, active layer thickness, area occupied by permafrost, and volume of seasonally thawed soils within the 4.75 upper meters (original TEM soil column) across the Alaska domain. Simulations of future changes in permafrost indicate that, by the end of the 21st century, late-Holocene permafrost in Alaska will be actively thawing at all locations and that some Late Pleistocene carbon-rich peatlands underlain by permafrost will

  8. Variations in Growing-Season NDVI and Its Response to Permafrost Degradation in Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinting Guo

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost is extremely sensitive to climate change. The degradation of permafrost has strong and profound effects on vegetation. The permafrost zone of northeastern China is the second largest region of permafrost in China and lies on the south edge of the Eurasian cryolithozone. This study analyzed the spatiotemporal variations of the growing-season Normalization Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI in the permafrost zone of northeastern China and analyzed the correlation between NDVI and ground surface temperatures (GST during the years 1981–2014. Mean growing-season NDVI (MGS-NDVI experienced a marked increase of 0.003 year−1 across the entire permafrost zone. The spatial dynamics of vegetation cover had a high degree of heterogeneity on a per pixel scale. The MGS-NDVI value increased significantly (5% significance level in 80.57%, and this increase was mostly distributed in permafrost zone except for the western steppe region. Only 7.72% experienced a significant decrease in NDVI, mainly in the cultivated and steppe portions. In addition, MGS-NDVI increased significantly with increasing growing-season mean ground surface temperature (GS-MGST. Our results suggest that a warming of GS-MGST (permafrost degradation in the permafrost region of northeastern China played a positive role in increasing plant growth and activities. Although increasing ground surface temperature resulted in increased vegetation cover and growth in the short time of permafrost degradation, from the long term point of view, permafrost degradation or disappearance may weaken or even hinder vegetation activities.

  9. The thin brown line: The crucial role of peat in protecting permafrost in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaglioti, B.; Mann, D. H.; Farquharson, L. M.; Baughman, C. A.; Jones, B. M.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Williams, A. P.; Andreu-Hayles, L.

    2017-12-01

    Ongoing warming threatens to thaw Arctic permafrost and release its stored carbon, which could trigger a permafrost-carbon feedback capable of augmenting global warming. The effects of warming air temperatures on permafrost are complicated by the fact that across much of the Arctic and Subarctic a mat of living plants and decaying litter cover the ground and buffer underlying permafrost from air temperatures. For simplicity here, we refer to this organic mat as "peat". Because this peat modifies heat flow between ground and air, the rate and magnitude of permafrost responses to changing climate - and hence the permafrost-carbon feedback - are partly slaved to the peat layer's slower dynamics. To explore this relationship, we used 14C-age offsets within lake sediments in Alaskan watersheds underlain by yedoma deposits to track the changing responses of permafrost thaw to fluctuating climate as peat accumulated over the last 14,000 years. As the peat layer built up, warming events became less effective at thawing permafrost and releasing ancient carbon. Consistent with this age-offset record, the geological record shows that early in post-glacial times when the peat cover was still thin and limited in extent, warm intervals triggered extensive thermokarst that resulted in rapid aggradation of floodplains. Today in contrast, hillslopes and floodplains remain stable despite rapid warming, probably because of the buffering effects of the extensive peat cover. Another natural experiment is provided by tundra fires like the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire that removed the peat cover from tundra underlain by continuous permafrost and resulted in widespread thermkarsting. Further support for peat's critical role in protecting permafrost comes from the results of modeling how permafrost temperatures under different peat thicknesses respond to warming air temperature. Although post-industrial warming has not yet surpassed the buffering capacity of 14,000 years of peat buildup in

  10. Assessment of permafrost distribution maps in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region using rock glaciers mapped in Google Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmid, M.O.; Baral, P.; Gruber, S.; Shahi, S.; Shrestha, T.; Stumm, D.; Wester, P.

    2015-01-01

    The extent and distribution of permafrost in the mountainous parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region are largely unknown. A long tradition of permafrost research, predominantly on rather gentle relief, exists only on the Tibetan Plateau. Two permafrost maps are available digitally that

  11. Imaging voids beneath bridge bent using electrical resistivity tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Five electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) profiles and borehole control were acquired beneath two bridges on the bank of the : Gasconade River in order to determine extension of the underground water-filled openings in rock encountered during a dr...

  12. Distinct microbial communities in the active and permafrost layers on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yong-Liang; Deng, Ye; Ding, Jin-Zhi; Hu, Hang-Wei; Xu, Tian-Le; Li, Fei; Yang, Gui-Biao; Yang, Yuan-He

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost represents an important understudied genetic resource. Soil microorganisms play important roles in regulating biogeochemical cycles and maintaining ecosystem function. However, our knowledge of patterns and drivers of permafrost microbial communities is limited over broad geographic scales. Using high-throughput Illumina sequencing, this study compared soil bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities between the active and permafrost layers on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicated that microbial alpha diversity was significantly higher in the active layer than in the permafrost layer with the exception of fungal Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's diversity index, and microbial community structures were significantly different between the two layers. Our results also revealed that environmental factors such as soil fertility (soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and total nitrogen contents) were the primary drivers of the beta diversity of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in the active layer. In contrast, environmental variables such as the mean annual precipitation and total phosphorus played dominant roles in driving the microbial beta diversity in the permafrost layer. Spatial distance was important for predicting the bacterial and archaeal beta diversity in both the active and permafrost layers, but not for fungal communities. Collectively, these results demonstrated different driving factors of microbial beta diversity between the active layer and permafrost layer, implying that the drivers of the microbial beta diversity observed in the active layer cannot be used to predict the biogeographic patterns of the microbial beta diversity in the permafrost layer. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Chemical indicators of cryoturbation and microbial processing throughout an alaskan permafrost soil depth profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although permafrost soils contain vast stores of carbon, we know relatively little about the chemical composition of their constituent organic matter. Soil organic matter chemistry is an important predictor of decomposition rates, especially in the initial stages of decomposition. Permafrost, organi...

  14. Methane production as key to the greenhouse gas budget of thawing permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblauch, Christian; Beer, Christian; Liebner, Susanne; Grigoriev, Mikhail N.; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria

    2018-04-01

    Permafrost thaw liberates frozen organic carbon, which is decomposed into carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The release of these greenhouse gases (GHGs) forms a positive feedback to atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations and accelerates climate change1,2. Current studies report a minor importance of CH4 production in water-saturated (anoxic) permafrost soils3-6 and a stronger permafrost carbon-climate feedback from drained (oxic) soils1,7. Here we show through seven-year laboratory incubations that equal amounts of CO2 and CH4 are formed in thawing permafrost under anoxic conditions after stable CH4-producing microbial communities have established. Less permafrost carbon was mineralized under anoxic conditions but more CO2-carbon equivalents (CO2-Ce) were formed than under oxic conditions when the higher global warming potential (GWP) of CH4 is taken into account8. A model of organic carbon decomposition, calibrated with the observed decomposition data, predicts a higher loss of permafrost carbon under oxic conditions (113 ± 58 g CO2-C kgC-1 (kgC, kilograms of carbon)) by 2100, but a twice as high production of CO2-Ce (241 ± 138 g CO2-Ce kgC-1) under anoxic conditions. These findings challenge the view of a stronger permafrost carbon-climate feedback from drained soils1,7 and emphasize the importance of CH4 production in thawing permafrost on climate-relevant timescales.

  15. Paleo-Eskimo kitchen midden preservation in permafrost under future climate conditions at Qajaa, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elberling, Bo; Matthiesen, Henning; Jørgensen, Christian Juncher

    2011-01-01

    characteristics measured in situ and from permafrost cores. Measurements of thermal properties, heat generation, oxygen consumption and CO2 production show that the kitchen midden can be characterized as peat but produces 4–7 times more heat than natural sediment. An analytical model from permafrost research has...

  16. The circuitry of ecosystem metabolism: CO2 and CH4 flux from permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial decomposition of thawed permafrost organic matter could release greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere and accelerate the carbon (C)-climate feedback. Greenhouse gas emissions from thawed permafrost are difficult to predict because they result from complex interactions between abiotic dr...

  17. Vulnerability of Permafrost Soil Carbon to Climate Warming: Evaluating Controls on Microbial Community Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract: Despite the fact that permafrost soils contain up to half of the carbon (C) in terrestrial pools, we have a poor understanding of the controls on decomposition in thawed permafrost. Global climate models assume that decomposition increases linearly with temperature, yet decomposition in th...

  18. Draft Genome Sequence of Methylocella silvestris TVC, a Facultative Methanotroph Isolated from Permafrost

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Jing; Geng, Kan; Farhan Ul Haque, Muhammad; Crombie, Andrew; Street, Lorna E.; Wookey, Philip A.; Ma, Ke; Murrell, J. Colin; Pratscher, Jennifer

    2018-01-01

    Permafrost environments play a crucial role in global carbon and methane cycling. We report here the draft genome sequence of Methylocella silvestris TVC, a new facultative methanotroph strain, isolated from the Siksik Creek catchment in the continuous permafrost zone of Inuvik (Northwest Territories, Canada).

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of Methylocella silvestris TVC, a Facultative Methanotroph Isolated from Permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Geng, Kan; Farhan Ul Haque, Muhammad; Crombie, Andrew; Street, Lorna E; Wookey, Philip A; Ma, Ke; Murrell, J Colin; Pratscher, Jennifer

    2018-02-22

    Permafrost environments play a crucial role in global carbon and methane cycling. We report here the draft genome sequence of Methylocella silvestris TVC, a new facultative methanotroph strain, isolated from the Siksik Creek catchment in the continuous permafrost zone of Inuvik (Northwest Territories, Canada). Copyright © 2018 Wang et al.

  20. Molecular investigations into a globally important carbon pool: permafrost-protected carbon in Alaskan soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.P. Waldrop; K.P. Wickland; R. White; A.A. Berhe; J.W. Harden; V.E. Romanovsky

    2010-01-01

    The fate of carbon (C) contained within permafrost in boreal forest environments is an important consideration for the current and future carbon cycle as soils warm in northern latitudes. Currently, little is known about the microbiology or chemistry of permafrost soils that may affect its decomposition once soils thaw. We tested the hypothesis that low microbial...

  1. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Resistivity Technologies for Assessing Permafrost Geomorphologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-01

    resistivity, have been used to interrogate the subsur- face in permafrost terrains at the meters to kilometers scales. Airborne measurement techniques have...burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to Department of Defense... interrogate the subsurface in permafrost terrains at the meters to kilometers scales. Airborne measurement techniques have broad applicability at the

  2. Evaluating the use of testate amoebae for palaeohydrological reconstruction in permafrost peatlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Turner, T. Edward

    2015-01-01

    The melting of high-latitude permafrost peatlands is a major concern due to a potential positive feedback on global climate change. We examine the ecology of testate amoebae in permafrost peatlands, based on sites in Sweden (similar to 200 km north of the Arctic Circle). Multivariate statistical ...

  3. Reviews and syntheses : Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W.B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; Macmillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Wickland, K.P.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current

  4. Dissolved organic carbon loss from Yedoma permafrost amplified by ice wedge thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J.E.; Mann, P.J.; Dowdy, K.L.; Davydova, A.; Davydov, S.P.; Zimov, N.; Spencer, R.G.M.; Bulygina, E.B.; Eglinton, T.I.; Holmes, R.M.

    2013-01-01

    Pleistocene Yedoma permafrost contains nearly a third of all organic matter (OM) stored in circum-arctic permafrost and is characterized by the presence of massive ice wedges. Due to its rapid formation by sediment accumulation and subsequent frozen storage, Yedoma OM is relatively well preserved

  5. Vulnerability of permafrost carbon to climate change: implications for the global carbon cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edward A.G. Schuur; James Bockheim; Josep G. Canadell; Eugenie Euskirchen; Christopher B. Field; Sergey V. Goryachkin; Stefan Hagemann; Peter Kuhry; Peter M. Lafleur; Hanna Lee; Galina Mazhitova; Frederick E. Nelson; Annette Rinke; Vladimir E. Romanovsky; Nikolay Shiklomanov; Charles Tarnocai; Sergey Venevsky; Jason G. Vogel; Sergei A. Zimov

    2008-01-01

    Thawing permafrost and the resulting microbial decomposition of previously frozen organic carbon (C) is one of the most significant potential feedbacks from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere in a changing climate. In this article we present an overview of the global permafrost C pool and of the processes that might transfer this C into the atmosphere, as well as...

  6. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  7. Mapping surficial geology and assessment of permafrost conditions under the Iqaluit airport, Nunavut, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathon-Dufour, V.; Allard, M.; Leblanc, A.; L'Hérault, E.; Oldenborger, G. A.; Sladen, W. E.

    2012-12-01

    in the natural terrain. Analysis of ground penetrating radar profiles indeed shows parabolic reflectors typical of ice wedges under the larger runway cracks. Temperature data acquired with five thermistor cables in the runway, in a taxiway, in the apron and in nearby natural terrain shows that the thickness of the active layer varies between 90 centimeters for sectors covered with vegetation and more than 2 meters below paved surfaces which means that the thaw depth has now reached down into the original natural terrain under the infrastructure, thus causing settlements due to melting ice wedges. Sink holes are mostly localised on the edges of the northern part of the runway. Processes responsible for these holes possibly are seepage of water into the base course and the subgrade, melting of bodies of ice or soil compaction problems. This established context of permafrost is now used for planning a detailed investigation program in preparation for the restoration of the airport and its adaptation to climate change. The program will include drilling, more geophysical surveys, thermal monitoring and numerical simulations.

  8. New observations indicate the possible presence of permafrost in North Africa (Djebel Toubkal, High Atlas, Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Vieira

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Relict and present-day periglacial features have been reported in the literature for the upper reaches of the High Atlas mountains, which is the highest range in North Africa (Djebel Toubkal – 4167 m a.s.l.. A lobate feature in the Irhzer Ikhibi south at 3800 m a.s.l. has been previously interpreted as an active rock glacier, but no measurements of ground or air temperatures are known to exist for the area. In order to assess the possible presence of permafrost, we analyse data from June 2015 to June 2016 from two air temperature measurement sites at 2370 and 3210 m a.s.l. and from four ground surface temperature (GST sites at 3220, 3815, 3980 and 4160 m a.s.l. to characterize conditions along an altitudinal gradient along the Oued Ihghyghaye valley to the summit of the Djebel Toubkal. GSTs were collected at 1 h intervals, and the presence of snow cover at the monitoring sites was validated using Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 imagery. Two field visits allowed for logger installation and collection and for assessing the geomorphological features in the area. The results show that snow plays a major role on the thermal regime of the shallow ground, inducing important spatial variability. The lowest site at 3220 m had a thermal regime characterized by frequent freeze–thaw cycles during the cold season but with few days of snow. When snow settled, the ground surface remained isothermal at 0 °C , indicating the absence of permafrost. The highest sites at 3980 and 4160 m a.s.l. showed very frequent freeze–thaw cycles and a small influence of the snow cover on GST, reflecting the lack of snow accumulation due to the wind-exposed settings on a ridge and on the summit plateau. The site located at 3815 m in the Irhzer Ikhibi south valley had a cold, stable thermal regime with GST varying from −4.5 to −6 °C from December to March, under a continuous snow cover. The site's location in a concave setting favours wind

  9. The microbial diversity, distribution, and ecology of permafrost in China: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Weigang; Zhang, Qi; Tian, Tian; Cheng, Guodong; An, Lizhe; Feng, Huyuan

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost in China mainly located in high-altitude areas. It represents a unique and suitable ecological niche that can be colonized by abundant microbes. Permafrost microbial community varies across geographically separated locations in China, and some lineages are novel and possible endemic. Besides, Chinese permafrost is a reservoir of functional microbial groups involved in key biogeochemical cycling processes. In future, more work is necessary to determine if these phylogenetic groups detected by DNA-based methods are part of the viable microbial community, and their functional roles and how they potentially respond to climate change. This review summaries recent studies describing microbial biodiversity found in permafrost and associated environments in China, and provides a framework for better understanding the microbial ecology of permafrost.

  10. Mapping ice-bonded permafrost with electrical methods in Sisimiut, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Permafrost delineation and thickness determination is of great importance in engineering related projects in arctic areas. In this paper, 2D geoelectrical measurements are applied and evaluated for permafrost mapping in an area in West Greenland. Multi-electrode resistivity profiles (MEP) have been...... collected and are compared with borehole information. It is shown that the permafrost thickness in this case is grossly overestimated by a factor of two to three. The difference between the inverted 2D resistivity sections and the borehole information is explained by macro-anisotropy due to the presence...... of horizontal ice-lenses in the frozen clay deposits. It is concluded that where the resistivity method perform well for lateral permafrost mapping, great care should be taken in evaluating permafrost thickness based on 2D resistivity profiles alone. Additional information from boreholes or other geophysical...

  11. Microbial populations in Antarctic permafrost: biodiversity, state, age, and implication for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D A; Wilson, G S; Friedmann, E I; McKay, C P; Sletten, R S; Rivkina, E M; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Erokhina, L G; Ivanushkina, N E; Kochkina, G A; Shcherbakova, V A; Soina, V S; Spirina, E V; Vorobyova, E A; Fyodorov-Davydov, D G; Hallet, B; Ozerskaya, S M; Sorokovikov, V A; Laurinavichyus, K S; Shatilovich, A V; Chanton, J P; Ostroumov, V E; Tiedje, J M

    2007-04-01

    Antarctic permafrost soils have not received as much geocryological and biological study as has been devoted to the ice sheet, though the permafrost is more stable and older and inhabited by more microbes. This makes these soils potentially more informative and a more significant microbial repository than ice sheets. Due to the stability of the subsurface physicochemical regime, Antarctic permafrost is not an extreme environment but a balanced natural one. Up to 10(4) viable cells/g, whose age presumably corresponds to the longevity of the permanently frozen state of the sediments, have been isolated from Antarctic permafrost. Along with the microbes, metabolic by-products are preserved. This presumed natural cryopreservation makes it possible to observe what may be the oldest microbial communities on Earth. Here, we describe the Antarctic permafrost habitat and biodiversity and provide a model for martian ecosystems.

  12. Fossil plume head beneath the Arabian lithosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Mordechai; Hofmann, Albrecht W.

    1992-12-01

    Phanerozoic alkali basalts from Israel, which have erupted over the past 200 Ma, have isotopic compositions similar to PREMA ("prevalent mantle") with narrow ranges of initial ɛ Nd(T) = +3.9-+5.9; 87Sr/ 86Sr(T)= 0.70292-0.70334; 206Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 18.88-19.99; 207Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 15.58-15.70; and 208Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 38.42-39.57. Their Nb/U(43 ± 9) and Ce/Pb(26 ± 6) ratios are identical to those of normal oceanic basalts, demonstrating that the basalts are essentially free of crustal contamination. Overall, the basalts are chemically and isotopically indistinguishable from many ordinary plume basalts, but no plume track can be identified. We propose that these and other, similar, magmas from the Arabian plate originated from a "fossilized" head of a mantle plume, which was unable to penetrate the continental lithosphere and was therefore trapped and stored beneath it. The plume head was emplaced some time between the late Proterozoic crust formation and the initiation of the Phanerozoic magmatic cycles. Basalts from rift environments in other continental localities show similar geochemistry to that of the Arabian basalts and their sources may also represent fossil plume heads trapped below the continents. We suggest that plume heads are, in general, characterized by the PREMA isotopic mantle signature, because the original plume sources (which may have HIMU or EM-type composition) have been diluted by overlying mantle material, which has been entrained by the plume heads during ascent. On the Arabian plate, rifting and thinning of the lithosphere caused partial melting of the stored plume, which led to periodic volcanism. In the late Cenozoic, the lithosphere broke up and the Red Sea opened. N-MORB tholeiites are now erupting in the central trough of the Red Sea, where the lithosphere has moved apart and the fossil plume has been exhausted, whereas E-MORBs are erupting in the northern and southern troughs, still tapping the plume reservoir. Fossil plumes, which are

  13. Geophysical Investigation of a Thermokarst Lake Talik in Continuous Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creighton, A.; Parsekian, A.; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.; Babcock, E.; Bondurant, A. C.

    2016-12-01

    On the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska, shallow thermokarst lakes cover up to 25% of the landscape. These lakes occupy depressions created by the subsidence of thawed, ice-rich permafrost. Areas of unfrozen sediment, or taliks, can form under lakes that have a mean annual bottom temperature greater than 0°C. The geometry of these taliks, as well as the processes that create them, are important for understanding interactions between surface water, groundwater, and carbon cycling. Non-invasive geophysical methods are a useful means to study talik sediments as borehole studies yield few data points, and the contrast between unfrozen and frozen sediments is an ideal geophysical target. To study talik configuration associated with an actively expanding thermokarst lake, we conducted a geophysical transect across Peatball Lake. This lake has an estimated initiation age of 1400 calendar years BP. Over the past 60 years, lake surface area has increased through thermal and mechanical shoreline erosion. A talik of previously unknown thickness likely exists below Peatball Lake. We conducted a transect of transient electromagnetic soundings across the lake extending into the surrounding terrestrial environment. Since permafrost has relatively high resistivity compared to talik sediments, the interpreted electrical structure of the subsurface likely reflects talik geometry. We also conducted nuclear magnetic resonance soundings at representative locations along the transect. These measurements can provide data on sub-lake sediment properties including water content. Together, these measurements resolve the talik structure across the lake transect and showed evidence of varying talik thicknesses from the lake edge to center. These is no evidence of a talik at the terrestrial control sites. These results can help constrain talik development models and thus provide insight into Arctic and permafrost processes in the face of a changing climate.

  14. Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen release from boreal Holocene permafrost and seasonally frozen soils of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, Kimberly P.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Aiken, George R.; Koch, Joshua C.; Torre Jorgenson, M.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2018-06-01

    Permafrost (perennially frozen) soils store vast amounts of organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) that are vulnerable to mobilization as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved organic and inorganic nitrogen (DON, DIN) upon thaw. Such releases will affect the biogeochemistry of permafrost regions, yet little is known about the chemical composition and source variability of active-layer (seasonally frozen) and permafrost soil DOC, DON and DIN. We quantified DOC, total dissolved N (TDN), DON, and DIN leachate yields from deep active-layer and near-surface boreal Holocene permafrost soils in interior Alaska varying in soil C and N content and radiocarbon age to determine potential release upon thaw. Soil cores were collected at three sites distributed across the Alaska boreal region in late winter, cut in 15 cm thick sections, and deep active-layer and shallow permafrost sections were thawed and leached. Leachates were analyzed for DOC, TDN, nitrate (NO3 ‑), and ammonium (NH4 +) concentrations, dissolved organic matter optical properties, and DOC biodegradability. Soils were analyzed for C, N, and radiocarbon (14C) content. Soil DOC, TDN, DON, and DIN yields increased linearly with soil C and N content, and decreased with increasing radiocarbon age. These relationships were significantly different for active-layer and permafrost soils such that for a given soil C or N content, or radiocarbon age, permafrost soils released more DOC and TDN (mostly as DON) per gram soil than active-layer soils. Permafrost soil DOC biodegradability was significantly correlated with soil Δ14C and DOM optical properties. Our results demonstrate that near-surface Holocene permafrost soils preserve greater relative potential DOC and TDN yields than overlying seasonally frozen soils that are exposed to annual leaching and decomposition. While many factors control the fate of DOC and TDN, the greater relative yields from newly thawed Holocene permafrost soils will have the largest

  15. Influence of vertical and lateral heat transfer on permafrost thaw, peatland landscape transition, and groundwater flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurylyk, Barret L.; Masaki, Masaki; Quinton, William L.; McKenzie, Jeffrey M.; Voss, Clifford I.

    2016-01-01

    Recent climate change has reduced the spatial extent and thickness of permafrost in many discontinuous permafrost regions. Rapid permafrost thaw is producing distinct landscape changes in the Taiga Plains of the Northwest Territories, Canada. As permafrost bodies underlying forested peat plateaus shrink, the landscape slowly transitions into unforested wetlands. The expansion of wetlands has enhanced the hydrologic connectivity of many watersheds via new surface and near-surface flow paths, and increased streamflow has been observed. Furthermore, the decrease in forested peat plateaus results in a net loss of boreal forest and associated ecosystems. This study investigates fundamental processes that contribute to permafrost thaw by comparing observed and simulated thaw development and landscape transition of a peat plateau-wetland complex in the Northwest Territories, Canada from 1970 to 2012. Measured climate data are first used to drive surface energy balance simulations for the wetland and peat plateau. Near-surface soil temperatures simulated in the surface energy balance model are then applied as the upper boundary condition to a three-dimensional model of subsurface water flow and coupled energy transport with freeze-thaw. Simulation results demonstrate that lateral heat transfer, which is not considered in many permafrost models, can influence permafrost thaw rates. Furthermore, the simulations indicate that landscape evolution arising from permafrost thaw acts as a positive feedback mechanism that increases the energy absorbed at the land surface and produces additional permafrost thaw. The modeling results also demonstrate that flow rates in local groundwater flow systems may be enhanced by the degradation of isolated permafrost bodies.

  16. Hydrological patterns in warming permafrost: comparing results from a control and drained site on a floodplain tundra near Chersky, Northeast Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelck, Sandra; Goeckede, Mathias; Hildebrandt, Anke; Vonk, Jorien; Heimann, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost areas represent a major reservoir for organic carbon. At the same time, permafrost ecosystems are very susceptible to changing climate conditions. The stability of this reservoir, i.e. changes in lateral and vertical carbon fluxes in permafrost ecosystems, largely depends on groundwater level, temperature and vegetation community. Particularly during summer when the soil thaws and a so-called active layer develops, fluctuations in carbon flux rates are often dominantly driven by water availability. Such dry soil conditions are expected to become more frequent in the future due to deepening active layers as a consequence of climate change. This could result in degradation of polygonal tundra landscape properties with channelled water transport pathways. Therefore, water table depth and the associated groundwater fluxes are crucial to understand transport patterns and to quantify the lateral export of carbon through an aquatic system. Consequently, a fundamental understanding of hydrological patterns on ecosystem structure and function is required to close the carbon balance of permafrost ecosystems. This study focuses on small-scale hydrological patterns and its influencing factors, such as topography and precipitation events. Near Chersky, Northeast Siberia, we monitored (i) a control site of floodplain tundra, and (ii) a drained site, characterised by a drainage ring which was constructed in 2004, to study the effects of water availability on the carbon cycle. This experimental disturbance simulates drainage effects following the degradation of ice-rich permafrost ecosystems under future climate change. Continuous monitoring of water table depth in drained and control areas revealed small-scale water table variations. At several key locations, we collected water samples to determine the isotopic composition (δ18O, δD) of surface water, suprapermafrost groundwater and precipitation. Furthermore, a weir at the drainage ditch was constructed to directly

  17. Viral impacts on microbial carbon cycling in thawing permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trubl, G. G.; Roux, S.; Bolduc, B.; Jang, H. B.; Emerson, J. B.; Solonenko, N.; Li, F.; Solden, L. M.; Vik, D. R.; Wrighton, K. C.; Saleska, S. R.; Sullivan, M. B.; Rich, V. I.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost contains 30-50% of global soil carbon (C) and is rapidly thawing. While the fate of this C is unknown, it will be shaped in part by microbes and their associated viruses, which modulate host activities via mortality and metabolic control. To date, viral research in soils has been outpaced by that in aquatic environments, due to the technical challenges of accessing viruses as well as the dramatic physicochemical heterogeneity in soils. Here, we describe advances in soil viromics from our research on permafrost-associated soils, and their implications for associated terrestrial C cycling. First, we optimized viral resuspension-DNA extraction methods for a range of soil types. Second, we applied cutting-edge viral-specific informatics methods to recover viral populations, define their gene content, connect them to potential hosts, and analyze their relationships to environmental parameters. A total of 781 viral populations were recovered from size-fractionated virus samples of three soils along a permafrost thaw gradient. Ecological analyses revealed endemism as recovered viral populations were largely unique to each habitat and unlike those in aquatic communities. Genome- and network-based classification assigned these viruses into 226 viral clusters (VCs; genus-level taxonomy), 55% of which were novel. This increases the number of VCs by a third and triples the number of soil viral populations in the RefSeq database (currently contains 256 VCs and 316 soil viral populations). Genomic analyses revealed 85% of the genes were functionally unknown, though 5% of the annotatable genes contained C-related auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs; e.g. glycoside hydrolases). Using sequence-based features and microbial population genomes, we were able to in silico predict hosts for 30% of the viral populations. The identified hosts spanned 3 phyla and 6 genera but suggested these viruses have species-specific host ranges as >80% of hosts for a given virus were in the same

  18. Reparation and Immunomodulating Properties of Bacillus sp. Metabolites from Permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalenova, L F; Melnikov, V P; Besedin, I M; Bazhin, A S; Gabdulin, M A; Kolyvanova, S S

    2017-09-01

    An ointment containing metabolites of Bacillus sp. microorganisms isolated from permafrost samples was applied onto the skin wound of BALB/c mice. Metabolites isolated during culturing of Bacillus sp. at 37°C produced a potent therapeutic effect and promoted wound epithelialization by 30% in comparison with the control (ointment base) and by 20% in comparison with Solcoseryl. Treatment with Bacillus sp. metabolites stimulated predominantly humoral immunity, reduced the time of wound contraction and the volume of scar tissue, and promoted complete hair recovery. These metabolites can be considered as modulators of the wound process with predominance of regeneration mechanisms.

  19. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallbeck, Lotta

    2009-10-01

    of microorganisms, both aerobic and anaerobic. The oxygen concentration in the subsurface varies depending on whether the surface water has been transported over a long or short residence time. The pro-glacial environment including rivers and lakes, are also very microbiologically active. Recent research has demonstrated that microorganisms are more active than previously expected in permafrost environments. This research is increasing due to the effect of global warming on microbial activity in permanently frozen environments. The groundwater beneath the ice sheets and glaciers still needs to be explored. There will be increasing knowledge from the ongoing research project in Greenland (Greenland Analogue Project). The chemical composition of the groundwater and the subsurface microbiology is therefore still unknown

  20. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallbeck, Lotta (Microbial Analytics Sweden AB, Moelnlycke (Sweden))

    2009-10-15

    of microorganisms, both aerobic and anaerobic. The oxygen concentration in the subsurface varies depending on whether the surface water has been transported over a long or short residence time. The pro-glacial environment including rivers and lakes, are also very microbiologically active. Recent research has demonstrated that microorganisms are more active than previously expected in permafrost environments. This research is increasing due to the effect of global warming on microbial activity in permanently frozen environments. The groundwater beneath the ice sheets and glaciers still needs to be explored. There will be increasing knowledge from the ongoing research project in Greenland (Greenland Analogue Project). The chemical composition of the groundwater and the subsurface microbiology is therefore still unknown

  1. Extending airborne electromagnetic surveys for regional active layer and permafrost mapping with remote sensing and ancillary data, Yukon Flats ecoregion, central Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastick, Neal J.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Wylie, Bruce K.; Minsley, Burke J.; Ji, Lei; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Smith, Bruce D.; Abraham, Jared D.; Rose, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    Machine-learning regression tree models were used to extrapolate airborne electromagnetic resistivity data collected along flight lines in the Yukon Flats Ecoregion, central Alaska, for regional mapping of permafrost. This method of extrapolation (r = 0.86) used subsurface resistivity, Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) at-sensor reflectance, thermal, TM-derived spectral indices, digital elevation models and other relevant spatial data to estimate near-surface (0–2.6-m depth) resistivity at 30-m resolution. A piecewise regression model (r = 0.82) and a presence/absence decision tree classification (accuracy of 87%) were used to estimate active-layer thickness (ALT) (remote sensing and map data. At site scale, the predicted ALTs were similar to those previously observed for different vegetation types. At the landscape scale, the predicted ALTs tended to be thinner on higher-elevation loess deposits than on low-lying alluvial and sand sheet deposits of the Yukon Flats. The ALT and permafrost maps provide a baseline for future permafrost monitoring, serve as inputs for modelling hydrological and carbon cycles at local to regional scales, and offer insight into the ALT response to fire and thaw processes.

  2. Review: Impacts of permafrost degradation on inorganic chemistry of surface fresh water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Nicola; Salerno, Franco; Gruber, Stephan; Freppaz, Michele; Williams, Mark; Fratianni, Simona; Giardino, Marco

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that climate change is impacting the inorganic chemical characteristics of surface fresh water in permafrost areas and affecting aquatic ecosystems. Concentrations of major ions (e.g., Ca2 +, Mg2 +, SO42 -, NO3-) can increase following permafrost degradation with associated deepening of flow pathways and increased contributions of deep groundwater. In addition, thickening of the active layer and melting of near-surface ground ice can influence inorganic chemical fluxes from permafrost into surface water. Permafrost degradation has also the capability to modify trace element (e.g., Ni, Mn, Al, Hg, Pb) contents in surface water. Although several local and regional modifications of inorganic chemistry of surface fresh water have been attributed to permafrost degradation, a comprehensive review of the observed changes is lacking. The goal of this paper is to distil insight gained across differing permafrost settings through the identification of common patterns in previous studies, at global scale. In this review we focus on three typical permafrost configurations (pervasive permafrost degradation, thermokarst, and thawing rock glaciers) as examples and distinguish impacts on (i) major ions and (ii) trace elements. Consequences of warming climate have caused spatially-distributed progressive increases of major ion and trace element delivery to surface fresh water in both polar and mountain areas following pervasive permafrost degradation. Moreover, localised releases of major ions and trace elements to surface water due to the liberation of soluble materials sequestered in permafrost and ground ice have been found in ice-rich terrains both at high latitude (thermokarst features) and high elevation (rock glaciers). Further release of solutes and related transport to surface fresh water can be expected under warming climatic conditions. However, complex interactions among several factors able to influence the timing and magnitude of the impacts

  3. Changes to the Carbon and Energy fluxes in a Northern Peatland with Thawing Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, S. R.; Roulet, N. T.; Crill, P. M.; Strachan, I. B.

    2017-12-01

    The maintenance of thaw of high carbon density landscapes in the permafrost region ultimately depends of how the energy balance is partitioned as temperatures and precipitation change, yet there are comparatively few energy balance studies, especially in peatlands that contain permafrost. While permafrost peatlands are currently net sinks of carbon, as Arctic temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, the future of these ecosystems and their capacity for carbon uptake is in question. Since 2012 we have been measuring the spatially integrated CO2, energy and water vapour fluxes from the Stordalen peatland (68°22'N, 19°03'E) using eddy covariance (EC). The Stordalen peatland is a heterogeneous peatland in the discontinuous permafrost zone where permafrost thaw is actively occurring, resulting in large changes to the landscape from year to year. Areas where permafrost is present are elevated by up to 1.5 m compared to the areas where permafrost has thawed causing differences in water table depth, peat temperatures, snow distribution, vegetation community and therefore in the carbon and energy fluxes. Our EC tower is located on the edge of a permafrost peat plateau (or palsa) where one fetch measures fluxes from an area underlain by permafrost and the other fetch sees the portion of the peatland where the permafrost has thawed. Within each sector, we have an array of soil temperature and water content sensors to determine the physical characteristics of each fetch. Extensive vegetation surveys (based on plant functional types or PFTs) have also been conducted to run a footprint analysis on the flux data to complete a comparative analysis of the magnitude and variability of the carbon and energy exchanges from PFT. The footprint analysis allows us to explain the difference in energy and carbon fluxes by examining the ecological, biogeochemical and physical characteristics within each footprint. We see distinctly different energy partitioning between the fetches

  4. In situ nuclear magnetic resonance response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Kass

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience of permafrost requires an interdisciplinary approach, relying on (for example geophysical investigations, ecological characterization, direct observations, remote sensing, and more. As part of a multiyear investigation into the impacts of wildfires on permafrost, we have collected in situ measurements of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR response of the active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes and show the efficacy of borehole NMR (bNMR to permafrost studies. Through statistical analyses and synthetic freezing simulations, we also demonstrate that borehole NMR is sensitive to the nucleation of ice within soil pore spaces.

  5. Slope instability related to permafrost changes on Mexican volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado Granados, Hugo; Molina, Victor Soto

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost is present above 4,500 meters at the three highest Mexican mountains, Citlaltépetl, Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl (5,675, 5,452 and 5,286m asl, respectively), all active volcanoes. During the rainy season in the central region of Mexico, the occurrence of small debris-flows in the ice-free parts of the mountains, as well as small lanslides is frequent. At Popocatépetl volcano, flows are mostly related to a combination of the eruptive activity and climatic factors. However, the volcanic activity is different at Citlaltépetl and Iztaccihuatl where there is no eruptive activity, but landslides have occurred in recent years on their steep slopes because its stability has been altered as a result of an increase in the air temperature which in turn has caused variations in the thickness of the active layer of permafrost, causing as a consequence, the increase of an even more unstable soil. Additionally, cracks in the rock walls are subject to an increasing hydrostatic pressure due to continuous daily freezing and thawing of seasonal water produced by a warmer and less solid precipitation accumulating in the cracks over time and in the unconsolidated potentially unstable material.

  6. Archaeal communities of Arctic methane-containing permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, Victoria; Yoshimura, Yoshitaka; Ryzhmanova, Yana; Taguchi, Yukihiro; Segawa, Takahiro; Oshurkova, Victoria; Rivkina, Elizaveta

    2016-10-01

    In the present study, we used culture-independent methods to investigate the diversity of methanogenic archaea and their distribution in five permafrost samples collected from a borehole in the Kolyma River Lowland (north-east of Russia). Total DNA was extracted from methane-containing permafrost samples of different age and amplified by PCR. The resulting DNA fragments were cloned. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences showed the presence of archaea in all studied samples; 60%-95% of sequences belonged to the Euryarchaeota. Methanogenic archaea were novel representatives of Methanosarcinales, Methanomicrobiales, Methanobacteriales and Methanocellales orders. Bathyarchaeota (Miscellaneous Crenarchaeota Group) representatives were found among nonmethanogenic archaea in all the samples studied. The Thaumarchaeota representatives were not found in the upper sample, whereas Woesearchaeota (formerly DHVEG-6) were found in the three deepest samples. Unexpectedly, the greatest diversity of archaea was observed at a depth of 22.3 m, probably due to the availability of the labile organic carbon and/or due to the migration of the microbial cells during the freezing front towards the bottom. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Strategy of valid 14C dates choice in syngenetic permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'chuk, Y. K.; Vasil'chuk, A. C.

    2014-11-01

    The main problem of radiocarbon dating within permafrost is the uncertain reliability of the 14C dates. Syngenetic sediments contain allochthonous organic deposit that originated at a distance from its present position. Due to the very good preservation of organic materials in permafrost conditions and numerous re-burials of the fossils from ancient deposits into younger ones the dates could be both younger and older than the true age of dated material. The strategy for the most authentic radiocarbon date selection for dating of syncryogenic sediments is considered taking into account the fluvial origin of the syngenetic sediments. The re-deposition of organic material is discussed in terms of cyclic syncryogenic sedimentation and also the possible re-deposition of organic material in subaerial-subaqueous conditions. The advantages and the complications of dating organic micro-inclusions from ice wedges by the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method are discussed applying to true age of dated material search. Radiocarbon dates of different organic materials from the same samples are compared. The younger age of the yedoma from cross-sections of Duvanny Yar in Kolyma River and Mamontova Khayata in the mouth of Lena River is substantiated due to the principle of the choice of the youngest 14C date from the set.

  8. Gas geochemistry studies at the gas hydrate occurrence in the permafrost environment of Mallik (NWT, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiersberg, T.; Erzinger, J.; Zimmer, M.; Schicks, J.; Dahms, E.; Mallik Working Group

    2003-04-01

    We present real-time mud gas monitoring data as well as results of noble gas and isotope investigations from the Mallik 2002 Production Research Well Program, an international research project on Gas Hydrates in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The program participants include 8 partners; The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), The Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC), GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ), United States Geological Survey (USGS), United States Department of the Energy (USDOE), India Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOPNG)/Gas Authority of India (GAIL) and the Chevron-BP-Burlington joint venture group. Mud gas monitoring (extraction of gas dissolved in the drill mud followed by real-time analysis) revealed more or less complete gas depth profiles of Mallik 4L-38 and Mallik 5L-38 wells for N_2, O_2, Ar, He, CO_2, H_2, CH_4, C_2H_6, C_3H_8, C_4H10, and 222Rn; both wells are approx. 1150 m deep. Based on the molecular and and isotopic composition, hydrocarbons occurring at shallow depth (down to ˜400 m) are mostly of microbial origin. Below 400 m, the gas wetness parameter (CH_4/(C_2H_6 + C_3H_8)) and isotopes indicate mixing with thermogenic gas. Gas accumulation at the base of permafrost (˜650 m) as well as δ13C and helium isotopic data implies that the permafrost inhibits gas flux from below. Gas hydrate occurrence at Mallik is known in a depth between ˜890 m and 1100 m. The upper section of the hydrate bearing zone (890 m--920 m) consists predominantly of methane bearing gas hydrates. Between 920 m and 1050 m, concentration of C_2H_6, C_3H_8, and C_4H10 increases due to the occurrence of organic rich sediment layers. Below that interval, the gas composition is similar to the upper section of the hydrate zone. At the base of the hydrate bearing zone (˜1100 m), elevated helium and methane concentrations and their isotopic composition leads to the assumption that gas hydrates act as a barrier for gas migration from below. In mud gas

  9. The Role of Arctic Soils in the Permafrost – Climate Feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richter, A.

    2016-01-01

    The total organic carbon pool in arctic and boreal permafrost soils has been estimated to be about 1,760 Petagram (10"1"5 g) C, more than twice today’s atmospheric C pool and about half of the global soil carbon. A significant proportion of this C pool may be vulnerable to climate warming through permafrost thawing and subsequent decomposition by microorganisms. Thus, it has been suggested that permafrost soils may become a future source of CO_2 and CH_4 to the atmosphere and lead to a strong positive feedback to global warming (up to + 0.5 °C until 2200). I will present results from several projects that aimed at understanding the mechanisms behind the permafrost-climate feedback, by identifying the major soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization mechanisms of permafrost SOM. I will address a range of different mechanisms by which SOM can be protected from decomposition, such as unfavourable temperature and moisture regimes, physical protection by formation of organo-mineral associations and chemical recalcitrance of SOM. I will focus, however, on energy and nutrient constraints of heterotrophic microbial communities and their role in SOM decomposition. I will then show that the physiology of the tiniest organisms on Earth will ultimately determine the vulnerability of the global permafrost carbon pool and thus the global permafrost-climate feedback. (author)

  10. Permafrost-associated gas hydrate: is it really approximately 1% of the global system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppel, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost-associated gas hydrates are often assumed to contain ∼1 % of the global gas-in-place in gas hydrates based on a study26 published over three decades ago. As knowledge of permafrost-associated gas hydrates has grown, it has become clear that many permafrost-associated gas hydrates are inextricably linked to an associated conventional petroleum system, and that their formation history (trapping of migrated gas in situ during Pleistocene cooling) is consistent with having been sourced at least partially in nearby thermogenic gas deposits. Using modern data sets that constrain the distribution of continuous permafrost onshore5 and subsea permafrost on circum-Arctic Ocean continental shelves offshore and that estimate undiscovered conventional gas within arctic assessment units,16 the done here reveals where permafrost-associated gas hydrates are most likely to occur, concluding that Arctic Alaska and the West Siberian Basin are the best prospects. A conservative estimate is that 20 Gt C (2.7·1013 kg CH4) may be sequestered in permafrost-associated gas hydrates if methane were the only hydrate-former. This value is slightly more than 1 % of modern estimates (corresponding to 1600 Gt C to 1800 Gt C2,22) for global gas-in-place in methane hydrates and about double the absolute estimate (11.2 Gt C) made in 1981.26

  11. Impacts of the active layer on runoff in an upland permafrost basin, northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Tanguang; Zhang, Tingjun; Guo, Hong; Hu, Yuantao; Shang, Jianguo; Zhang, Yulan

    2018-01-01

    The paucity of studies on permafrost runoff generation processes, especially in mountain permafrost, constrains the understanding of permafrost hydrology and prediction of hydrological responses to permafrost degradation. This study investigated runoff generation processes, in addition to the contribution of summer thaw depth, soil temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation to streamflow in a small upland permafrost basin in the northern Tibetan Plateau. Results indicated that the thawing period and the duration of the zero-curtain were longer in permafrost of the northern Tibetan Plateau than in the Arctic. Limited snowmelt delayed the initiation of surface runoff in the peat permafrost in the study area. The runoff displayed intermittent generation, with the duration of most runoff events lasting less than 24 h. Precipitation without runoff generation was generally correlated with lower soil moisture conditions. Combined analysis suggested runoff generation in this region was controlled by soil temperature, thaw depth, precipitation frequency and amount, and antecedent soil moisture. This study serves as an important baseline to evaluate future environmental changes on the Tibetan Plateau.

  12. Amount and timing of permafrost carbon release in response to climate warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, Kevin; Zhang, Tingjun; Barrett, Andrew P. (National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder (United States)), e-mail: kevin.schaefer@nsidc.org; Bruhwiler, Lori (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder (United States))

    2011-04-15

    The thaw and release of carbon currently frozen in permafrost will increase atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations and amplify surface warming to initiate a positive permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) on climate.We use surface weather from three global climate models based on the moderate warming, A1B Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions scenario and the SiBCASA land surface model to estimate the strength and timing of the PCF and associated uncertainty. By 2200, we predict a 29-59% decrease in permafrost area and a 53-97 cm increase in active layer thickness. By 2200, the PCF strength in terms of cumulative permafrost carbon flux to the atmosphere is 190 +- 64 Gt C. This estimate may be low because it does not account for amplified surface warming due to the PCF itself and excludes some discontinuous permafrost regions where SiBCASA did not simulate permafrost. We predict that the PCF will change the arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42-88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible and accounting for the PCF will require larger reductions in fossil fuel emissions to reach a target atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration

  13. Permafrost distribution in the European Alps: calculation and evaluation of an index map and summary statistics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Boeckli

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is the production of an Alpine Permafrost Index Map (APIM covering the entire European Alps. A unified statistical model that is based on Alpine-wide permafrost observations is used for debris and bedrock surfaces across the entire Alps. The explanatory variables of the model are mean annual air temperatures, potential incoming solar radiation and precipitation. Offset terms were applied to make model predictions for topographic and geomorphic conditions that differ from the terrain features used for model fitting. These offsets are based on literature review and involve some degree of subjective choice during model building. The assessment of the APIM is challenging because limited independent test data are available for comparison and these observations represent point information in a spatially highly variable topography. The APIM provides an index that describes the spatial distribution of permafrost and comes together with an interpretation key that helps to assess map uncertainties and to relate map contents to their actual expression in the terrain. The map can be used as a first resource to estimate permafrost conditions at any given location in the European Alps in a variety of contexts such as research and spatial planning.

    Results show that Switzerland likely is the country with the largest permafrost area in the Alps, followed by Italy, Austria, France and Germany. Slovenia and Liechtenstein may have marginal permafrost areas. In all countries the permafrost area is expected to be larger than the glacier-covered area.

  14. P-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Y.; Kim, K.; Jin, Y.

    2010-12-01

    We have imaged tomographically the tree-dimensional velocity structure of the upper mantle beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula using teleseismic P waves. The data came from the seven land stations of the Seismic Experiment in Patagonia and Antarctica (SEPA) campaigned during 1997-1999, a permanent IRIS/GSN station (PMSA), and 3 seismic stations installed at scientific bases, Esperanza (ESPZ), Jubany (JUBA), and King Sejong (KSJ), in South Shetland Islands. All of the seismic stations are located in coast area, and the signal to noise ratios (SNR) are very low. The P-wave model was inverted from 95 earthquakes resulting in 347 ray paths with P- and PKP-wave arrivals. The inverted model shows a strong low velocity anmaly beneath the Bransfield Strait, and a fast anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands. The low velocity anomaly beneath the Bransfield might be due to a back arc extension, and the fast velocity anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands could indicates the cold subducted slab.

  15. Mechanism for migration of light nonaqueous phase liquids beneath the water table

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krueger, J.P.; Portman, M.E.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports on an interesting transport mechanism may account for the presence of light nonaqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) found beneath the water table in fine-grained aquifers. During the course of two separate site investigations related to suspected releases from underground petroleum storage tanks, LNAPL was found 7 to 10 feet below the regional water table. In both cases, the petroleum was present within a sand seam which was encompassed within a deposit of finer-grained sediments. The presence of LNAPL below the water table is uncommon; typically, LNAPL is found floating on the water table or on the capillary fringe. The occurrence of LNAPL below the water table could have resulted from fluctuating regional water levels which allowed the petroleum to enter the sand when the water table was a lower stage or, alternately, could have occurred as a result of the petroleum depressing the water table beneath the level of the sand. In fine-grained soils where the lateral migration rate is low, the infiltrating LNAPL may depress the water table to significant depth. The LNAPL may float on the phreatic surface with the bulk of its volume beneath the phreatic surface. Once present in the sand and surrounded by water-saturated fine-grained sediments, capillary forces prevent the free movement of the petroleum back across the boundary from the coarse-grained sediments to the fine-grained sediments. Tapping these deposits with a coarser grained filter packed monitoring well releases the LNAPL, which may accumulate to considerable thickness in the monitoring well

  16. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M J L Coolen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after eleven days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw.

  17. Distribution of near-surface permafrost in Alaska: estimates of present and future conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastick, Neal J.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Wylie, Bruce K.; Nield, Shawn J.; Johnson, Kristofer D.; Finley, Andrew O.

    2015-01-01

    High-latitude regions are experiencing rapid and extensive changes in ecosystem composition and function as the result of increases in average air temperature. Increasing air temperatures have led to widespread thawing and degradation of permafrost, which in turn has affected ecosystems, socioeconomics, and the carbon cycle of high latitudes. Here we overcome complex interactions among surface and subsurface conditions to map nearsurface permafrost through decision and regression tree approaches that statistically and spatially extend field observations using remotely sensed imagery, climatic data, and thematic maps of a wide range of surface and subsurface biophysical characteristics. The data fusion approach generated medium-resolution (30-m pixels) maps of near-surface (within 1 m) permafrost, active-layer thickness, and associated uncertainty estimates throughout mainland Alaska. Our calibrated models (overall test accuracy of ~85%) were used to quantify changes in permafrost distribution under varying future climate scenarios assuming no other changes in biophysical factors. Models indicate that near-surface permafrost underlies 38% of mainland Alaska and that near-surface permafrost will disappear on 16 to 24% of the landscape by the end of the 21st Century. Simulations suggest that near-surface permafrost degradation is more probable in central regions of Alaska than more northerly regions. Taken together, these results have obvious implications for potential remobilization of frozen soil carbon pools under warmer temperatures. Additionally, warmer and drier conditions may increase fire activity and severity, which may exacerbate rates of permafrost thaw and carbon remobilization relative to climate alone. The mapping of permafrost distribution across Alaska is important for land-use planning, environmental assessments, and a wide-array of geophysical studies.

  18. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coolen, Marco J. L.; Orsi, William D.

    2015-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after 11 days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM) was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw. PMID:25852660

  19. The permafrost carbon inventory on the Tibetan Plateau: a new evaluation using deep sediment cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jinzhi; Li, Fei; Yang, Guibiao; Chen, Leiyi; Zhang, Beibei; Liu, Li; Fang, Kai; Qin, Shuqi; Chen, Yongliang; Peng, Yunfeng; Ji, Chengjun; He, Honglin; Smith, Pete; Yang, Yuanhe

    2016-08-01

    The permafrost organic carbon (OC) stock is of global significance because of its large pool size and the potential positive feedback to climate warming. However, due to the lack of systematic field observations and appropriate upscaling methodologies, substantial uncertainties exist in the permafrost OC budget, which limits our understanding of the fate of frozen carbon in a warming world. In particular, the lack of comprehensive estimates of OC stocks across alpine permafrost means that current knowledge on this issue remains incomplete. Here, we evaluated the pool size and spatial variations of permafrost OC stock to 3 m depth on the Tibetan Plateau by combining systematic measurements from a substantial number of pedons (i.e. 342 three-metre-deep cores and 177 50-cm-deep pits) with a machine learning technique (i.e. support vector machine, SVM). We also quantified uncertainties in permafrost carbon budget by conducting Monte Carlo simulations. Our results revealed that the combination of systematic measurements with the SVM model allowed spatially explicit estimates to be made. The OC density (OC amount per unit area, OCD) exhibited a decreasing trend from the south-eastern to the north-western plateau, with the exception that OCD in the swamp meadow was substantially higher than that in surrounding regions. Our results also demonstrated that Tibetan permafrost stored a large amount of OC in the top 3 m, with the median OC pool size being 15.31 Pg C (interquartile range: 13.03-17.77 Pg C). 44% of OC occurred in deep layers (i.e. 100-300 cm), close to the proportion observed across the northern circumpolar permafrost region. The large carbon pool size together with significant permafrost thawing suggests a risk of carbon emissions and positive climate feedback across the Tibetan alpine permafrost region. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Impact of Black Dust Pollution on Permafrost Temperature Regime in Pechora Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khilimonyuk, V.; Pustovoit, G.; Filatova, M.

    2011-12-01

    Pechora Coal basin locates in North- Easter part of Europe within permafrost zone. The coal mining and post processing lead to emission of black dust (BD) and pollution of Earth surface. The scale of snow pollution surrounding Vorkuta city reaches to 260 g/sq.m of dust that is about 1000 ppmm BD concentration in snow before melting period. Such a large concentration of dust reduces snow reflectivity (Warren and Wiscombe, 1980; Chýlek et al., 1983,Gorbacheva, 1984, Zender et al, 2010) and can thereby trigger albedo feedbacks. The goal of this study is to evaluate the role of dirty surface albedo in the observed changing of permafrost regime in this basin. Two key sites: Workuta (North permafrost zone) and Inta (South permafrost zone) areas were selected for this study. For each site the zoning of territory by typical conditions of permafrost formation was performed. For the selected typical landscapes 1-D vertical heat transfer model coupled with the surface radiation-thermal balance equation at topsoil was simulated. The simulation was performed for the soil profile of 20 m depth during 20 years period with periodical input data at dirty surface averaged on monthly base. The initial measured not disturbed soil temperature profile was used for assessment the soil thermal property for the given landscape and natural surface radiation-thermal balance. The annual cycle of albedo change for dirty surface was taken from experimental measurement (Gorbacheva, 1984) for both sites as the function of the distance from the dust source. The simulation results next were used for mapping the vulnerability of permafrost thermal regime due to black dust pollution. Generally the simulation results show that South permafrost zone with mean temperature of permafrost (-0.5 -0.1C) is more vulnerable to albedo change than North permafrost zone with mean temperature (-2.5 -2C) for the same order of dust impact on albedo.

  1. Derivation and analysis of a high-resolution estimate of global permafrost zonation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Gruber

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost underlies much of Earth's surface and interacts with climate, eco-systems and human systems. It is a complex phenomenon controlled by climate and (sub- surface properties and reacts to change with variable delay. Heterogeneity and sparse data challenge the modeling of its spatial distribution. Currently, there is no data set to adequately inform global studies of permafrost. The available data set for the Northern Hemisphere is frequently used for model evaluation, but its quality and consistency are difficult to assess. Here, a global model of permafrost extent and dataset of permafrost zonation are presented and discussed, extending earlier studies by including the Southern Hemisphere, by consistent data and methods, by attention to uncertainty and scaling. Established relationships between air temperature and the occurrence of permafrost are re-formulated into a model that is parametrized using published estimates. It is run with a high-resolution (<1 km global elevation data and air temperatures based on the NCAR-NCEP reanalysis and CRU TS 2.0. The resulting data provide more spatial detail and a consistent extrapolation to remote regions, while aggregated values resemble previous studies. The estimated uncertainties affect regional patterns and aggregate number, and provide interesting insight. The permafrost area, i.e. the actual surface area underlain by permafrost, north of 60° S is estimated to be 13–18 × 106 km2 or 9–14 % of the exposed land surface. The global permafrost area including Antarctic and sub-sea permafrost is estimated to be 16–21 × 106 km2. The global permafrost region, i.e. the exposed land surface below which some permafrost can be expected, is estimated to be 22 ± 3 × 106 km2. A large proportion of this exhibits considerable topography and spatially-discontinuous permafrost, underscoring the importance of attention to scaling issues

  2. Electron acceptor-based regulation of microbial greenhouse gas production from thawing permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Ebbe Norskov; Jones, Eleanor; Yde, Jacob Clement

    layer as well in the permafrost. These investigations are accompanied by characterization of the carbon, iron and sulfate content in the soil and will be followed by characterization of the microbial community structure. The aim of this study is to get a better understanding of how the availability...... of sulfate and iron and the microbial community structure regulate the production of CO2 and CH4 in thawing permafrost, and to elucidate how the rate of the organic carbon degradation changes with depth in permafrost-affected soils. This study improves our understanding of climate feedback mechanisms...

  3. Hydrology of the North Klondike River: carbon export, water balance and inter-annual climate influences within a sub-alpine permafrost catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapp, Anthony; Clark, Ian; Macumber, Andrew; Patterson, Tim

    2017-10-01

    Arctic and sub-arctic watersheds are undergoing significant changes due to recent climate warming and degrading permafrost, engendering enhanced monitoring of arctic rivers. Smaller catchments provide understanding of discharge, solute flux and groundwater recharge at the process level that contributes to an understanding of how larger arctic watersheds are responding to climate change. The North Klondike River, located in west central Yukon, is a sub-alpine permafrost catchment, which maintains an active hydrological monitoring station with a record of >40 years. In addition to being able to monitor intra-annual variability, this data set allows for more complex analysis of streamflow records. Streamflow data, geochemistry and stable isotope data for 2014 show a groundwater-dominated system, predominantly recharged during periods of snowmelt. Radiocarbon is shown to be a valuable tracer of soil zone recharge processes and carbon sources. Winter groundwater baseflow contributes 20 % of total annual discharge, and accounts for up to 50 % of total river discharge during the spring and summer months. Although total stream discharge remains unchanged, mean annual groundwater baseflow has increased over the 40-year monitoring period. Wavelet analysis reveals a catchment that responds to El Niño and longer solar cycles, as well as climatic shifts such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Dedicated to Professor Peter Fritz on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

  4. Morphological Indicators of a Mascon Beneath Ceres's Largest Crater, Kerwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, M. T.; Ermakov, A. I.; Raymond, C. A.; Williams, D. A.; Bowling, T. J.; Preusker, F.; Park, R. S.; Marchi, S.; Castillo-Rogez, J. C.; Fu, R. R.; Russell, C. T.

    2018-02-01

    Gravity data of Ceres returned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dawn spacecraft is consistent with a lower density crust of variable thickness overlying a higher density mantle. Crustal thickness variations can affect the long-term, postimpact modification of impact craters on Ceres. Here we show that the unusual morphology of the 280 km diameter crater Kerwan may result from viscous relaxation in an outer layer that thins substantially beneath the crater floor. We propose that such a structure is consistent with either impact-induced uplift of the high-density mantle beneath the crater or from volatile loss during the impact event. In either case, the subsurface structure inferred from the crater morphology is superisostatic, and the mass excess would result in a positive Bouguer anomaly beneath the crater, consistent with the highest-degree gravity data from Dawn. Ceres joins the Moon, Mars, and Mercury in having basin-associated gravity anomalies, although their origin may differ substantially.

  5. Thermal erosion of a permafrost coastline: Improving process-based models using time-lapse photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wobus, C.; Anderson, R.; Overeem, I.; Matell, N.; Clow, G.; Urban, F.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal erosion rates locally exceeding 30 m y-1 have been documented along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coastline, and a number of studies suggest that these erosion rates have accelerated as a result of climate change. However, a lack of direct observational evidence has limited our progress in quantifying the specific processes that connect climate change to coastal erosion rates in the Arctic. In particular, while longer ice-free periods are likely to lead to both warmer surface waters and longer fetch, the relative roles of thermal and mechanical (wave) erosion in driving coastal retreat have not been comprehensively quantified. We focus on a permafrost coastline in the northern National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), where coastal erosion rates have averaged 10-15 m y-1 over two years of direct monitoring. We take advantage of these extraordinary rates of coastal erosion to observe and quantify coastal erosion directly via time-lapse photography in combination with meteorological observations. Our observations indicate that the erosion of these bluffs is largely thermally driven, but that surface winds play a crucial role in exposing the frozen bluffs to the radiatively warmed seawater that drives melting of interstitial ice. To first order, erosion in this setting can be modeled using formulations developed to describe iceberg deterioration in the open ocean. These simple models provide a conceptual framework for evaluating how climate-induced changes in thermal and wave energy might influence future erosion rates in this setting.

  6. CFD analysis of onshore oil pipelines in permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardecchia, Fabio; Gugliermetti, Luca; Gugliermetti, Franco

    2017-07-01

    Underground pipelines are built all over the world and the knowledge of their thermal interaction with the soil is crucial for their design. This paper studies the "thermal influenced zone" produced by a buried pipeline and the parameters that can influence its extension by 2D-steady state CFD simulations with the aim to improve the design of new pipelines in permafrost. In order to represent a real case, the study is referred to the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline at the three stations of Mo'he, Jiagedaqi and Qiqi'har. Different burial depth sand diameters of the pipe are analyzed; the simulation results show that the effect of the oil pipeline diameter on the thermal field increases with the increase of the distance from the starting station.

  7. A new web-based course: dealing with glaciers and permafrost hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald, S.; Kaeaeb, A.; Haeberli, W.

    2003-04-01

    The intensive human use of high mountains intersects more and more with the hazard zones of such environments. Because of the complexity of such processes and impacts, dealing with such risks requires a broad education in many sub-domains of the earth sciences and the socio-economic field. Inter- and trans-disciplinary training and education of professionals is therefore essential. Thus the goal of the Swiss Virtual Campus project "Dealing with Natural Hazards" is to provide such a course program covering the basics of dealing with natural hazards, including technical, environmental and social aspects. In the field of natural hazards and risk management, education at the Swiss universities is mostly structured in narrow sectors. Using the advantages of the internet, the Virtual Campus provides teachers and students an interdisciplinary discussion platform on the integral approach and the handling with natural hazards. The course content is organised in 5 modules: 1 basic knowledge and tools, 2 hydrological / meteorological hazards, 3 geological hazards, 4 vulnerability of property and of socio-economic systems and 5 integral natural risk management. To ensure a national and international access the courses are designed in English and published on the internet. Within the scope of this project we are developing lessons in the subject area of natural hazards related to glaciers and permafrost. These are ice avalanches, glacier floods, glacier length variations and permafrost. The content is divided into chapters, which are consistent over the entire module: (1) processes: characterisation of the different processes, (2) triggering: initiating events, (3) data acquisition, mapping and monitoring: appropriate methods, (4) estimation models: application of the adequate model, (5) combinations and interactions: interrelation and impacts of different hazards, (6) long-term effects: global change effects, (7) integral hazard recognition and assessment: integral proceedings

  8. Isolation of dissolved organic matter from permafrost soil and freshwater environments of the Kolyma River basin, east Siberia, for high resolution structural analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubinenkov, I. V.; Perminova, I. V.; Bulygina, E. B.; Holmes, R. M.; Davydov, S.; Mann, P. J.; Vonk, J.; Zimov, S. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems are known to be the most vulnerable with respect to climate change. Hence, research on carbon cycling in the Arctic region is very important for understanding the current climatic trends and their consequences. The Kolyma River watershed is one of the Arctic Ocean’s largest. It is dominated by continuous permafrost which is underlain with rich organic soils susceptible to increased fluvial transport. The thaw of permafrost enhanced due to global warming might provide additional large source of organic carbon to the Kolyma River and to the Arctic Ocean as a whole. For estimating the contribution of this source to the total pool of organic carbon, specific structural features of permafrost dissolved organic matter (DOM) as opposed to the waterborne DOM of the Kolyma River should be identified and monitored. The objective of this work was to isolate a representive set of the DOM samples from permafrost soil and freshwater environments of the Kolyma River basin suitable for further structural analysis using high resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectroscopy (FTICR-MS) and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The isolation protocol of DOM used in this study has been developed by Dittmar et al, 2008 for sampling marine DOM for NMR studies. It is based on the solid phase extraction of DOM from seawater using PPL Varian Bond Elute cartridges Those cartridges were shown to possess the highest efficiency in DOM isolation from marine water. Prior to discharge through the cartridge, a water sample was filtered through 0.45 μm filter for separation of particulate matter and acidified to pH 2 using HCl. About 50mg of DOM could be sequestered from aqueous phase using one cartridge. Sorption extent was monitored by measurements of DOC concentration and UV-vis spectra at the inlet and outlet of the cartridge. It was determined that from 60 to 65% of the total DOC could be extracted from the tested samples of freshwater. As a result

  9. Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.

    2012-01-01

    Starting in Late Pleistocene time (~19 ka), sea level rise inundated coastal zones worldwide. On some parts of the present-day circum-Arctic continental shelf, this led to flooding and thawing of formerly subaerial permafrost and probable dissociation of associated gas hydrates. Relict permafrost has never been systematically mapped along the 700-km-long U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf and is often assumed to extend to ~120 m water depth, the approximate amount of sea level rise since the Late Pleistocene. Here, 5,000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired between 1977 and 1992 were examined for high-velocity (>2.3 km s−1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along sea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

  10. Introduction to the special issue: permafrost and periglacial research from coasts to mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrott, Lothar; Humlum, Ole

    2017-09-01

    This special issue of Geomorphology includes eleven papers dealing with permafrost and periglacial research from coasts to mountains. The compilation represents a selection from 47 presentations (oral and posters) given at the 4th European Conference on Permafrost - IPA Regional Conference (EUCOP4, June 2014) in the session ;Periglacial Geomorphology;. Geomorphology as a leading journal for our discipline is particularly suitable to publish advances in permafrost and periglacial research with a focus on geomorphic processes. Since 1989 Geomorphology has published 121 special issues and two special issues are explicitly dedicated to permafrost and periglacial research, however, only with a focus on research in Antarctica. In this special issue we present papers from the Canadian Beaufort Sea, Alaska, Spitzbergen, central western Poland, the European Alps, the eastern Sudetes, the southern Carpathians, Nepal, and Antarctica.

  11. Use Of Amino Acid Racemization To Investigate The Metabolic Activity Of ?Dormant? Microorganisms In Siberian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsapin, A.; McDonald, G.

    2002-12-01

    Permafrost occupies a significant part of North America and Eurasia, and accounts for around 20% of Earth?s land surface. Permafrost represents a temperature-stable environment that allows the prolonged survival of microbial lineages at subzero temperatures. Microorganisms from ancient permafrost have been revived and isolated in pure cultures. Permafrost is a unique environment serving as a "natural gene bank", with many species frozen in time (i.e. preserved in an unchanging evolutionary state). Permafrost presents a golden niche for future biotechnology, and is also a unique environment for studying longevity and survivability microorganisms (pro- and eukaryotes). Permafrost, alone among cold environments, offers a sedimentary column in which, in one borehole made in the thick permafrost, we can observe in the preserved genetic material the history of biological evolution during the last several hundred thousand or maybe even a few million years. A thorough study of the phylogenetic relationships of organisms at each depth, as well as comparisons between different depths of permafrost, using molecular evolution techniques, will give us a unique window into the process of evolution of microbial communities over geologic time. The longevity of (micro)organisms in cold environments is of great interest to astrobiology since cryospheres are common phenomena in the solar system, particularly on satellites, comets and asteroids, and on some of the planets. Recent data from the Mars Global Surveyor mission suggest the possibility of permafrost or perhaps even liquid water under the Martian surface. The probability of finding life on Mars, if it exists, is probably higher in such environments. In addition, the evaluation of the possibility of transfer of living organisms between planets via impact ejecta needs the information on the maximum time over which microorganisms in cold environments can remain dormant and subsequently revive and reproduce. Our strategy for the

  12. Permafrost and indigenous land use in the northern Urals: Komi and Nenets reindeer husbandry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomin, Kirill V.; Habeck, Joachim Otto

    2016-09-01

    Permafrost is an integral part of the environmental conditions that frame indigenous peoples' livelihoods in many parts of the circumpolar region. On the basis of their long-term ethnographic field researches, the authors describe the various ways in which permafrost dynamics influence the lives and economic activities of two groups of reindeer-herding nomads in North-Eastern Europe and Western Siberia: Komi and Nenets. Permafrost affects the herders directly, for the herders have to take into account the probability of thermokarst while choosing the campsite and performing certain herding procedures. It also affects the herders indirectly, through its influence on landscape and vegetation and thus on reindeer behavior. More rapid permafrost degradation will have a range of adverse effects on reindeer herding.

  13. Capturing temporal and spatial variability in the chemistry of shallow permafrost ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morison, Matthew Q.; Macrae, Merrin L.; Petrone, Richard M.; Fishback, LeeAnn

    2017-12-01

    Across the circumpolar north, the fate of small freshwater ponds and lakes (mediated by processes within ponds. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding hydrologically driven chemodynamics in permafrost ponds on multiple scales (seasonal and event scale).

  14. Cathodic protection beneath thick external coating on flexible pipeline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Festy, Dominique; Choqueuse, Dominique; Leflour, Denise; Lepage, Vincent [Ifremer - Centre de Brest, BP 70 29280 Plouzane (France); Condat, Carol Taravel; Desamais, Nicolas [Technip- FLEXIFRANCE - PED/PEC - Rue Jean Hure, 76580 Le Trait (France); Tribollet, Bernard [UPR 15 du CNRS, Laboratoire LISE, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex (France)

    2004-07-01

    Flexible offshore pipelines possess an external polymer sheath to protect the structure against seawater. In case of an accidental damage of the outer sheath, the annulus of the flexible pipe is flooded with seawater. Far from the damage, corrosion and/or corrosion fatigue of armour steel wires in the annulus occur in a strictly deaerated environment; this has been studied for a few years. At the damage location, the steel wires are in direct contact with renewed seawater. In order to protect them against corrosion, a cathodic protection is applied using sacrificial anodes located at the end fittings. The goal of this work is to evaluate the extent of the cathodic protection as well as the electrolyte oxygen concentration beneath the coating around the damage, to know whether or not there is a non protected area with enough oxygen where corrosion and corrosion fatigue can occur. The experimental work was performed with a model cell (2000 x 200 mm{sup 2}), composed of a mild steel plate and a PMMA coat (transparent poly-methyl-methacrylate). The thickness of the gap between the steel plate and the PMMA coat was 0.5 mm. The potential and current density were monitored all along the cell (70 sensors). The oxygen concentration was also recorded. The experiments were performed with natural sea water, and cathodic protection was applied in a reservoir at one extremity of the cell. Another reservoir at the other cell extremity enabled carbon dioxide bubbling to simulate pipeline annular conditions. PROCOR software was used to simulate potential and current density within the gap and a mathematical model was developed to model oxygen concentration evolution. Both model and experimental results show that the extent of the cathodic protection is much greater than that of oxygen. Oxygen depletion is very quick within the gap when seawater fills it and the oxygen concentration is close to zero a few milli-metres from the gap opening. On the other hand, the cathodic protection

  15. Response of organic matter quality in permafrost soils to warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza, C.; Pegoraro, E.; Schuur, E.

    2016-12-01

    Global warming is predicted to thaw large quantities of the perennially frozen organic matter stored in northern permafrost soils. Upon thaw, this organic matter will be exposed to lateral export to water bodies and to microbial decomposition, which may exacerbate climate change by releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases. To gain an insight into these processes, we investigated how the quality of permafrost soil organic matter responded to five years of warming. In particular, we sampled control and experimentally warmed soils in 2009 and 2013 from an experiment established in 2008 in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in Healy, Alaska. We examined surface organic (0 to 15 cm), deep organic (15 to 35 cm), and mineral soil layers (35 to 55 cm) separately by means of stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance. Compared to the control, the experimental warming did not affect the isotopic and molecular composition of soil organic matter across the depth profile. However, we did find significant changes with time. In particular, in the surface organic layer, δ13C decreased and alkyl/O-alkyl ratio increased from 2009 to 2013, which indicated variations in soil organic sources (e.g., changes in vegetation) and accelerated decomposition. In the deep organic layer, we found a slight increase in δ15N with time. In the mineral layer, δ13C values decreased slightly, whereas alkyl C/O-alkyl ratio increased, suggesting a preferential loss of relatively more degraded organic matter fractions probably by lateral transport by water flowing through the soil. Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 654132. Web site: http://vulcan.comule.com

  16. Microbial Insights into Shifting Methane Production Potential in Thawing Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossen, K.; Wilson, R.; Raab, N.; Neumann, R.; Chanton, J.; Saleska, S. R.; Rich, V. I.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost, which stores 50% of global soil carbon, is thawing rapidly due to climate change, and resident microbes are contributing to changing carbon gas emissions. Predictions of the fate of carbon in these regions is poorly constrained; however, improved, careful mapping of microbial community members influencing CO2 and CH4 emissions will help clarify the system response to continued change. In order to more fully understand connections between the microbial communities, major geochemical transformations, and CO2 and CH4 emissions, peat cores were collected from the active layers of three permafrost habitats spanning a thaw gradient (collapsed palsa, bog, and fen) at Stordalen Mire, Abisko, Sweden. Anaerobic incubations of shallow and deep subsamples from these sites were performed, with time-course characterization of the changes in microbial communities, peat geochemistry, and carbon gas production. The latter were profiled with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, and targeted metagenomes. The communities within each habitat and depth were statistically distinct, and changed significantly over the course of the incubations. Acidobacteria was consistently the dominant bacterial phylum in all three habitat types. With increased thaw, the relative abundance of Actinobacteria tended to decrease, while Chloroflexi and Bacteroidetes increased with thaw. The relative abundance of methanogens increased with thaw and with depth within each habitat. Over time in the incubations, the richness of the communities tended to decrease. Homoacetogenesis (CO2 + H2 -> CH3COOH) has been documented in other peatlands, and homoacetogens can influence CH4 production by interacting with methanogens, competing with hydrogenotrophs while providing substrate for acetoclasts. Modelling of microbial reaction networks suggests potential for highest homoacetogenesis rates in the collapsed palsa, which also contains the highest relative abundances of lineages taxonomically affiliated with known

  17. Response of permafrost to projected climate change: Results from global offline model simulations with JSBACH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blome, Tanja; Ekici, Altug; Beer, Christian; Hagemann, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Permafrost or perennially frozen ground is an important part of the terrestrial cryosphere; roughly one quarter of Earth's land surface is underlain by permafrost. As it is a thermal phenomenon, its characteristics are highly dependent on climatic factors. The impact of the currently observed warming, which is projected to persist during the coming decades due to anthropogenic CO2 input, certainly has effects for the vast permafrost areas of the high northern latitudes. The quantification of these effects, however, is scientifically still an open question. This is partly due to the complexity of the system, where several feedbacks are interacting between land and atmosphere, sometimes counterbalancing each other. Moreover, until recently, many global circulation models (GCMs) lacked the sufficient representation of permafrost physics in their land surface schemes. In order to assess the response of permafrost to projected climate change for the 21st century, the land surface scheme of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, JSBACH, has recently been equipped with the important physical processes for permafrost studies, and was driven globally with bias corrected climate data, thereby spanning a period from 1850 until 2100. The applied land surface scheme JSBACH now considers the effects of freezing and thawing of soil water for both energy and water cycles, thermal properties depending on soil water and ice contents, and soil moisture movement being influenced by the presence of soil ice. To address the uncertainty range arising through different greenhouse gas concentrations as well as through different climate realisations when using various climate models, combinations of two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and two GCMs were used as driving data. In order to focus only on the climatic impact on permafrost, effects due to feedbacks between climate and permafrost (namely via carbon fluxes between land and atmosphere) are excluded in the experiments

  18. Human-Modified Permafrost Complexes in Urbanized Areas of the Russian North

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebenets, V. I.; Streletskiy, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Economic development in permafrost regions is accompanied by modification of natural geocryological conditions. Drastic landscape transformations in urbanized areas on permafrost are characterized by changes of heat and moisture exchange in permafrost - atmosphere system, and by engineering and technogenic influence upon the frozen ground, leading to alteration of its physical, thermal and mechanical properties. In northern cities this leads to overall increase of ground temperature relative to undisturbed areas and intensification of hazardous cryogenic processes in areas under engineering development, which together leads to reduction in stability of geotechnical environment. For example, deformations of structures in Norilsk district, Northern Siberia, in the last 15 years, became much more abundant than those revealed throughout the previous 50 years. About 250 large buildings in the local towns were deformed considerably due to deterioration of geocryological conditions, about 100 structures were functioning in emergency state, and almost 50 nine- and five-storey houses, built in the 1960-80s, have been recently disassembled. Increase in accident risk for various facilities (water and oil pipelines, industrial enterprises, etc.) enhances the technogenic pressure on permafrost, leading to the new milestone of changes in permafrost characteristics, i.e. to creation of 'another reality' of geocryological conditions. Social and natural factors dictate clustered spatial pattern of industrial development in permafrost regions. Cryogenic processes within the urban areas on permafrost are seldom similar with those under the natural conditions as intensity, duration and extent of the processes changes under technogenic impacts. Moreover, new cryogenic processes and phenomena may occur, which have not been typical for a given region. This makes mapping and characterization of these processes difficult task. Peculiar natural-technogenic geocryological complexes (NTGC

  19. P-wave and surface wave survey for permafrost analysis in alpine regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godio, A.; Socco, L. V.; Garofalo, F.; Arato, A.; Théodule, A.

    2012-04-01

    In various high mountain environments the estimate of mechanical properties of slope and sediments are relevant for the link of the geo-mechanical properties with the climate change effects. Two different locations were selected to perform seismic and georadar surveying, the Tsanteleina glacier (Gran Paradiso) and the Blue Lake in Val d'Ayas in the massif of Monterosa. The analysis of the seismic and GPR lines allowed to characterize the silty soil (top layer) and underlying bedrock. We applied seismic survey in time lapse mode to check the presence of "active" layer and estimate the mechanical properties of the moraines material and their sensitivity to the permafrost changes. Mechanical properties of sediments and moraines in glacial areas are related to the grain-size, the compaction of the material subjected to the past glacial activity, the presence of frozen materials and the reactivity of the permafrost to the climate changes. The test site of Tsanteleina has been equipped with sensors to monitor the temperature of soil and air and with time domain reflectometry to estimate the soil moisture and the frozen and thawing cycle of the uppermost material. Seismic reflections from the top of the permafrost layer are difficult to identify as they are embedded in the source-generated noise. Therefore we estimate seismic velocities from the analysis of traveltime refraction tomography and the analysis of surface wave. This approach provides information on compressional and shear waves using a single acquisition layout and a hammer acts as source. This reduces the acquisition time in complex logistical condition especially in winter period. The seismic survey was performed using 48 vertical geophones with 2 m spacing. The survey has been repeated in two different periods: summer 2011 and winter 2011. Common offset reflection lines with a 200 MHz GPR system (in summer) permitted to investigate the sediments and obtain information on the subsoil layering. The processing

  20. Unraveling of permafrost hydrological variabilities on Central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau using stable isotopic technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuzhong; Wu, Qingbai; Hou, Yandong; Zhang, Zhongqiong; Zhan, Jing; Gao, Siru; Jin, Huijun

    2017-12-15

    Permafrost degradation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) will substantially alter the surface runoff discharge and generation, which changes the recharge processes and influences the hydrological cycle on the QTP. Hydrological connections between different water bodies and the influence of thawing permafrost (ground ice) are not well understood on the QTP. This study applied water stable isotopic method to investigate the permafrost hydrological variabilities in Beiluhe Basin (BLB) on Central QTP. Isotopic variations of precipitation, river flow, thermokarst lake, and near-surface ground ice were identified to figure out the moisture source of them, and to elaborate the hydrological connections in permafrost region. Results suggested that isotopic seasonalities in precipitation is evident, it is showing more positive values in summer seasons, and negative values in winter seasons. Stable isotopes of river flow are mainly distributed in the range of precipitation which is indicative of important replenishment from precipitation. δ 18 O, δD of thermokarst lakes are more positive than precipitation, indicating of basin-scale evaporation of lake water. Comparison of δ I values in different water bodies shows that hydrology of thermokarst lakes was related to thawing of permafrost (ground ice) and precipitation. Near-surface ground ice in BLB exhibits different isotopic characteristics, and generates a special δD-δ 18 O relationship (freezing line): δD=5.81δ 18 O-23.02, which reflects typical freezing of liquid water. From isotopic analysis, it is inferred that near-surface ground ice was mainly recharged by precipitation and active layer water. Stable isotopic and conceptual model is suggestive of striking hydrological connections between precipitation, river flow, thermokarst lake, and ground ice under degrading permafrost. This research provides fundamental comprehensions into the hydrological processes in permafrost regions on QTP, which should be considered

  1. Dynamics of the larch taiga-permafrost coupled system in Siberia under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Ningning; Yasunari, Tetsuzo; Ohta, Takeshi

    2011-01-01

    Larch taiga, also known as Siberian boreal forest, plays an important role in global and regional water-energy-carbon (WEC) cycles and in the climate system. Recent in situ observations have suggested that larch-dominated taiga and permafrost behave as a coupled eco-climate system across a broad boreal zone of Siberia. However, neither field-based observations nor modeling experiments have clarified the synthesized dynamics of this system. Here, using a new dynamic vegetation model coupled with a permafrost model, we reveal the processes of interaction between the taiga and permafrost. The model demonstrates that under the present climate conditions in eastern Siberia, larch trees maintain permafrost by controlling the seasonal thawing of permafrost, which in turn maintains the taiga by providing sufficient water to the larch trees. The experiment without permafrost processes showed that larch would decrease in biomass and be replaced by a dominance of pine and other species that suffer drier hydroclimatic conditions. In the coupled system, fire not only plays a destructive role in the forest, but also, in some cases, preserves larch domination in forests. Climate warming sensitivity experiments show that this coupled system cannot be maintained under warming of about 2 deg. C or more. Under such conditions, a forest with typical boreal tree species (dark conifer and deciduous species) would become dominant, decoupled from the permafrost processes. This study thus suggests that future global warming could drastically alter the larch-dominated taiga-permafrost coupled system in Siberia, with associated changes of WEC processes and feedback to climate.

  2. New member of the hormone-sensitive lipase family from the permafrost microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovskaya, Lada E; Novototskaya-Vlasova, Ksenia A; Gapizov, Sultan Sh; Spirina, Elena V; Durdenko, Ekaterina V; Rivkina, Elizaveta M

    2017-07-04

    Siberian permafrost is a unique environment inhabited with diverse groups of microorganisms. Among them, there are numerous producers of biotechnologically relevant enzymes including lipases and esterases. Recently, we have constructed a metagenomic library from a permafrost sample and identified in it several genes coding for potential lipolytic enzymes. In the current work, properties of the recombinant esterases obtained from this library are compared with the previously characterized lipase from Psychrobacter cryohalolentis and other representatives of the hormone-sensitive lipase family.

  3. Dynamics of the larch taiga-permafrost coupled system in Siberia under climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Ningning [Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan); Yasunari, Tetsuzo [Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601 (Japan); Ohta, Takeshi, E-mail: zhangningning@lasg.iap.ac.cn [Study Consortium for Earth-Life Interactive Systems (SELIS) of Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan)

    2011-04-15

    Larch taiga, also known as Siberian boreal forest, plays an important role in global and regional water-energy-carbon (WEC) cycles and in the climate system. Recent in situ observations have suggested that larch-dominated taiga and permafrost behave as a coupled eco-climate system across a broad boreal zone of Siberia. However, neither field-based observations nor modeling experiments have clarified the synthesized dynamics of this system. Here, using a new dynamic vegetation model coupled with a permafrost model, we reveal the processes of interaction between the taiga and permafrost. The model demonstrates that under the present climate conditions in eastern Siberia, larch trees maintain permafrost by controlling the seasonal thawing of permafrost, which in turn maintains the taiga by providing sufficient water to the larch trees. The experiment without permafrost processes showed that larch would decrease in biomass and be replaced by a dominance of pine and other species that suffer drier hydroclimatic conditions. In the coupled system, fire not only plays a destructive role in the forest, but also, in some cases, preserves larch domination in forests. Climate warming sensitivity experiments show that this coupled system cannot be maintained under warming of about 2 deg. C or more. Under such conditions, a forest with typical boreal tree species (dark conifer and deciduous species) would become dominant, decoupled from the permafrost processes. This study thus suggests that future global warming could drastically alter the larch-dominated taiga-permafrost coupled system in Siberia, with associated changes of WEC processes and feedback to climate.

  4. Frozen-Ground Cartoons: An international collaboration between artists and permafrost scientists

    OpenAIRE

    Fritz, Michael; Bouchard, Fréderic; Deshpande, Bethany; Malenfant-Lepage, Julie; Nieuwendam, Alexandre; Paquette, Michel; Rudy, Ashley; Siewert, Matthias; Veillete, Audrey; Weege, Stefanie; Harbor, Jonathan M.; Habeck, J. O.; Sjöberg, Ylva

    2018-01-01

    Communicating science about a phenomenon found under ground and defined by its thermal properties in an easy, funny, and engaging way, can be a challenge. Two years ago, a group of young researchers from Canada and Europe united to tackle this problem by combining arts and science to produce a series of outreach comic strips about permafrost (frozen ground). Because this concerns us all. As the climate warms, permafrost thaws and becomes unstable for houses, roads and airports. The thawi...

  5. Evaluating the use of testate amoebae for palaeohydrological reconstruction in permafrost peatlands

    OpenAIRE

    Swindles, Graeme T.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Turner, T. Edward; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Woulds, Clare; Raby, Cassandra; Mullan, Donal; Roland, Thomas P.; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Parry, Lauren; Kokfelt, Ulla; Garneau, Michelle; Charman, Dan J.; Holden, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    The melting of high-latitude permafrost peatlands is a major concern due to a potential positive feedback on global climate change. We examine the ecology of testate amoebae in permafrost peatlands, based on sites in Sweden (~ 200 km north of the Arctic Circle). Multivariate statistical analysis confirms that water-table depth and moisture content are the dominant controls on the distribution of testate amoebae, corroborating the results from studies in mid-latitude peatlands. We present a ne...

  6. Deep long-period earthquakes beneath Washington and Oregon volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, M.L.; Malone, S.D.; Moran, S.C.; Thelen, W.A.; Vidale, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    Deep long-period (DLP) earthquakes are an enigmatic type of seismicity occurring near or beneath volcanoes. They are commonly associated with the presence of magma, and found in some cases to correlate with eruptive activity. To more thoroughly understand and characterize DLP occurrence near volcanoes in Washington and Oregon, we systematically searched the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) triggered earthquake catalog for DLPs occurring between 1980 (when PNSN began collecting digital data) and October 2009. Through our analysis we identified 60 DLPs beneath six Cascade volcanic centers. No DLPs were associated with volcanic activity, including the 1980-1986 and 2004-2008 eruptions at Mount St. Helens. More than half of the events occurred near Mount Baker, where the background flux of magmatic gases is greatest among Washington and Oregon volcanoes. The six volcanoes with DLPs (counts in parentheses) are Mount Baker (31), Glacier Peak (9), Mount Rainier (9), Mount St. Helens (9), Three Sisters (1), and Crater Lake (1). No DLPs were identified beneath Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, or Newberry Volcano, although (except at Hood) that may be due in part to poorer network coverage. In cases where the DLPs do not occur directly beneath the volcanic edifice, the locations coincide with large structural faults that extend into the deep crust. Our observations suggest the occurrence of DLPs in these areas could represent fluid and/or magma transport along pre-existing tectonic structures in the middle crust. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  7. Buckling instabilities of subducted lithosphere beneath the transition zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribe, N.M.; Stutzmann, E.; Ren, Y.; Hilst, R.D. van der

    2007-01-01

    A sheet of viscous fluid poured onto a surface buckles periodically to generate a pile of regular folds. Recent tomographic images beneath subduction zones, together with quantitative fluid mechanical scaling laws, suggest that a similar instability can occur when slabs of subducted oceanic

  8. Living and Working Beneath the Sea – Next Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowiński Lech

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The idea of living beneath the sea is very new if compared with millennia of shipping activity. In fact, ocean surface was considered mainly as medium suitable for transport of persons and goods as well as aggression and robbery. More practical attempts to live “on” the water surface are limited to well protected internal waters.

  9. Sub-crustal seismic activity beneath Klyuchevskoy Volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M. J.; Droznina, S.; Levin, V. L.; Senyukov, S.

    2013-12-01

    Seismic activity is extremely vigorous beneath the Klyuchevskoy Volcanic Group (KVG). The unique aspect is the distribution in depth. In addition to upper-crustal seismicity, earthquakes take place at depths in excess of 20 km. Similar observations are known in other volcanic regions, however the KVG is unique in both the number of earthquakes and that they occur continuously. Most other instances of deep seismicity beneath volcanoes appear to be episodic or transient. Digital recording of seismic signals started at the KVG in early 2000s.The dense local network reliably locates earthquakes as small as ML~1. We selected records of 20 earthquakes located at depths over 20 km. Selection was based on the quality of the routine locations and the visual clarity of the records. Arrivals of P and S waves were re-picked, and hypocentral parameters re-established. Newl locations fell within the ranges outlined by historical seismicity, confirming the existence of two distinct seismically active regions. A shallower zone is at ~20 km depth, and all hypocenters are to the northeast of KVG, in a region between KVG and Shiveluch volcano. A deeper zone is at ~30 km, and all hypocenters cluster directly beneath the edifice of the Kyuchevskoy volcano. Examination of individual records shows that earthquakes in both zones are tectonic, with well-defined P and S waves - another distinction of the deep seismicity beneath KVG. While the upper seismic zone is unquestionably within the crust, the provenance of the deeper earthquakes is enigmatic. The crustal structure beneath KVG is highly complex, with no agreed-upon definition of the crust-mantle boundary. Rather, a range of values, from under 30 to over 40 km, exists in the literature. Similarly, a range of velocity structures has been reported. Teleseismic receiver functions (RFs) provide a way to position the earthquakes with respect to the crust-mantle boundary. We compare the differential travel times of S and P waves from deep

  10. Temporal Behavior of Lake Size-Distribution in a Thawing Permafrost Landscape in Northwestern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Mård Karlsson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Arctic warming alters regional hydrological systems, as permafrost thaw increases active layer thickness and in turn alters the pathways of water flow through the landscape. Further, permafrost thaw may change the connectivity between deeper and shallower groundwater and surface water altering the terrestrial water balance and distribution. Thermokarst lakes and wetlands in the Arctic offer a window into such changes as these landscape elements depend on permafrost and are some of the most dynamic and widespread features in Arctic lowland regions. In this study we used Landsat remotely sensed imagery to investigate potential shifts in thermokarst lake size-distributions, which may be brought about by permafrost thaw, over three distinct time periods (1973, 1987–1988, and 2007–2009 in three hydrological basins in northwestern Siberia. Results revealed fluctuations in total area and number of lakes over time, with both appearing and disappearing lakes alongside stable lakes. On the whole basin scales, there is no indication of any sustained long-term change in thermokarst lake area or lake size abundance over time. This statistical temporal consistency indicates that spatially variable change effects on local permafrost conditions have driven the individual lake changes that have indeed occurred over time. The results highlight the importance of using multi-temporal remote sensing data that can reveal complex spatiotemporal variations distinguishing fluctuations from sustained change trends, for accurate interpretation of thermokarst lake changes and their possible drivers in periods of climate and permafrost change.

  11. Determinants of carbon release from the active layer and permafrost deposits on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Leiyi; Liang, Junyi; Qin, Shuqi; Liu, Li; Fang, Kai; Xu, Yunping; Ding, Jinzhi; Li, Fei; Luo, Yiqi; Yang, Yuanhe

    2016-01-01

    The sign and magnitude of permafrost carbon (C)-climate feedback are highly uncertain due to the limited understanding of the decomposability of thawing permafrost and relevant mechanistic controls over C release. Here, by combining aerobic incubation with biomarker analysis and a three-pool model, we reveal that C quality (represented by a higher amount of fast cycling C but a lower amount of recalcitrant C compounds) and normalized CO2–C release in permafrost deposits were similar or even higher than those in the active layer, demonstrating a high vulnerability of C in Tibetan upland permafrost. We also illustrate that C quality exerts the most control over CO2–C release from the active layer, whereas soil microbial abundance is more directly associated with CO2–C release after permafrost thaw. Taken together, our findings highlight the importance of incorporating microbial properties into Earth System Models when predicting permafrost C dynamics under a changing environment. PMID:27703168

  12. Potential carbon emissions dominated by carbon dioxide from thawed permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schädel, Christina; Bader, Martin K.-F.; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Biasi, Christina; Bracho, Rosvel; Čapek, Petr; De Baets, Sarah; Diáková, Kateřina; Ernakovich, Jessica; Estop-Aragones, Cristian; Graham, David E.; Hartley, Iain P.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Kane, Evan S.; Knoblauch, Christian; Lupascu, Massimo; Martikainen, Pertti J.; Natali, Susan M.; Norby, Richard J.; O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shaver, Gaius; Sloan, Victoria L.; Treat, Claire C.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wickland, Kimberly P.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing temperatures in northern high latitudes are causing permafrost to thaw, making large amounts of previously frozen organic matter vulnerable to microbial decomposition. Permafrost thaw also creates a fragmented landscape of drier and wetter soil conditions that determine the amount and form (carbon dioxide (CO2), or methane (CH4)) of carbon (C) released to the atmosphere. The rate and form of C release control the magnitude of the permafrost C feedback, so their relative contribution with a warming climate remains unclear. We quantified the effect of increasing temperature and changes from aerobic to anaerobic soil conditions using 25 soil incubation studies from the permafrost zone. Here we show, using two separate meta-analyses, that a 10 °C increase in incubation temperature increased C release by a factor of 2.0 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.8 to 2.2). Under aerobic incubation conditions, soils released 3.4 (95% CI, 2.2 to 5.2) times more C than under anaerobic conditions. Even when accounting for the higher heat trapping capacity of CH4, soils released 2.3 (95% CI, 1.5 to 3.4) times more C under aerobic conditions. These results imply that permafrost ecosystems thawing under aerobic conditions and releasing CO2 will strengthen the permafrost C feedback more than waterlogged systems releasing CO2 and CH4 for a given amount of C.

  13. Microbial network, phylogenetic diversity and community membership in the active layer across a permafrost thaw gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondav, Rhiannon; McCalley, Carmody K; Hodgkins, Suzanne B; Frolking, Steve; Saleska, Scott R; Rich, Virginia I; Chanton, Jeff P; Crill, Patrick M

    2017-08-01

    Biogenic production and release of methane (CH 4 ) from thawing permafrost has the potential to be a strong source of radiative forcing. We investigated changes in the active layer microbial community of three sites representative of distinct permafrost thaw stages at a palsa mire in northern Sweden. The palsa site (intact permafrost and low radiative forcing signature) had a phylogenetically clustered community dominated by Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria. The bog (thawing permafrost and low radiative forcing signature) had lower alpha diversity and midrange phylogenetic clustering, characteristic of ecosystem disturbance affecting habitat filtering. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens and Acidobacteria dominated the bog shifting from palsa-like to fen-like at the waterline. The fen (no underlying permafrost, high radiative forcing signature) had the highest alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity, was dominated by Proteobacteria and Euryarchaeota and was significantly enriched in methanogens. The Mire microbial network was modular with module cores consisting of clusters of Acidobacteria, Euryarchaeota or Xanthomonodales. Loss of underlying permafrost with associated hydrological shifts correlated to changes in microbial composition, alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity associated with a higher radiative forcing signature. These results support the complex role of microbial interactions in mediating carbon budget changes and climate feedback in response to climate forcing. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Complete and Partial Photo-oxidation of Dissolved Organic Matter Draining Permafrost Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Collin P; Cory, Rose M

    2016-04-05

    Photochemical degradation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and partially oxidized compounds is an important component of the carbon cycle in the Arctic. Thawing permafrost soils will change the chemical composition of DOM exported to arctic surface waters, but the molecular controls on DOM photodegradation remain poorly understood, making it difficult to predict how inputs of thawing permafrost DOM may alter its photodegradation. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified the susceptibility of DOM draining the shallow organic mat and the deeper permafrost layer of arctic soils to complete and partial photo-oxidation and investigated changes in the chemical composition of each DOM source following sunlight exposure. Permafrost and organic mat DOM had similar lability to photomineralization despite substantial differences in initial chemical composition. Concurrent losses of carboxyl moieties and shifts in chemical composition during photodegradation indicated that photodecarboxylation could account for 40-90% of DOM photomineralized to CO2. Permafrost DOM had a higher susceptibility to partial photo-oxidation compared to organic mat DOM, potentially due to a lower abundance of phenolic moieties with antioxidant properties. These results suggest that photodegradation will likely continue to be an important control on DOM fate in arctic freshwaters as the climate warms and permafrost soils thaw.

  15. Permafrost Favorability Index: Spatial Modeling in the French Alps Using a Rock Glacier Inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Marcer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we used the first rock glacier inventory for the entire French Alps to model spatial permafrost distribution in the region. Climatic and topographic data evaluated at the rock glacier locations were used as predictor variables in a Generalized Linear Model. Model performances are strong, suggesting that, in agreement with several previous studies, this methodology is able to model accurately rock glacier distribution. A methodology to estimate model uncertainties is proposed, revealing that the subjectivity in the interpretation of rock glacier activity and contours may substantially bias the model. The model highlights a North-South trend in the regional pattern of permafrost distribution which is attributed to the climatic influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates. Further analysis suggest that lower amounts of precipitation in the early winter and a thinner snow cover, as typically found in the Mediterranean area, could contribute to the existence of permafrost at higher temperatures compared to the Northern Alps. A comparison with the Alpine Permafrost Index Map (APIM shows no major differences with our model, highlighting the very good predictive power of the APIM despite its tendency to slightly overestimate permafrost extension with respect to our database. The use of rock glaciers as indicators of permafrost existence despite their time response to climate change is discussed and an interpretation key is proposed in order to ensure the proper use of the model for research as well as for operational purposes.

  16. Ancient low-molecular-weight organic acids in permafrost fuel rapid carbon dioxide production upon thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Travis W; Wickland, Kimberly P; Spencer, Robert G M; McKnight, Diane M; Striegl, Robert G

    2015-11-10

    Northern permafrost soils store a vast reservoir of carbon, nearly twice that of the present atmosphere. Current and projected climate warming threatens widespread thaw of these frozen, organic carbon (OC)-rich soils. Upon thaw, mobilized permafrost OC in dissolved and particulate forms can enter streams and rivers, which are important processors of OC and conduits for carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Here, we demonstrate that ancient dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leached from 35,800 y B.P. permafrost soils is rapidly mineralized to CO2. During 200-h experiments in a novel high-temporal-resolution bioreactor, DOC concentration decreased by an average of 53%, fueling a more than sevenfold increase in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration. Eighty-seven percent of the DOC loss to microbial uptake was derived from the low-molecular-weight (LMW) organic acids acetate and butyrate. To our knowledge, our study is the first to directly quantify high CO2 production rates from permafrost-derived LMW DOC mineralization. The observed DOC loss rates are among the highest reported for permafrost carbon and demonstrate the potential importance of LMW DOC in driving the rapid metabolism of Pleistocene-age permafrost carbon upon thaw and the outgassing of CO2 to the atmosphere by soils and nearby inland waters.

  17. Estimation of permafrost thawing rates in a sub-arctic catchment using recession flow analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. W. Lyon

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost thawing is likely to change the flow pathways taken by water as it moves through arctic and sub-arctic landscapes. The location and distribution of these pathways directly influence the carbon and other biogeochemical cycling in northern latitude catchments. While permafrost thawing due to climate change has been observed in the arctic and sub-arctic, direct observations of permafrost depth are difficult to perform at scales larger than a local scale. Using recession flow analysis, it may be possible to detect and estimate the rate of permafrost thawing based on a long-term streamflow record. We demonstrate the application of this approach to the sub-arctic Abiskojokken catchment in northern Sweden. Based on recession flow analysis, we estimate that permafrost in this catchment may be thawing at an average rate of about 0.9 cm/yr during the past 90 years. This estimated thawing rate is consistent with direct observations of permafrost thawing rates, ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 cm/yr over the past 30 years in the region.

  18. Ancient low–molecular-weight organic acids in permafrost fuel rapid carbon dioxide production upon thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Travis W.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; McKnight, Diane M.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2015-01-01

    Northern permafrost soils store a vast reservoir of carbon, nearly twice that of the present atmosphere. Current and projected climate warming threatens widespread thaw of these frozen, organic carbon (OC)-rich soils. Upon thaw, mobilized permafrost OC in dissolved and particulate forms can enter streams and rivers, which are important processors of OC and conduits for carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Here, we demonstrate that ancient dissolved organic carbon (DOC) leached from 35,800 y B.P. permafrost soils is rapidly mineralized to CO2. During 200-h experiments in a novel high–temporal-resolution bioreactor, DOC concentration decreased by an average of 53%, fueling a more than sevenfold increase in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration. Eighty-seven percent of the DOC loss to microbial uptake was derived from the low–molecular-weight (LMW) organic acids acetate and butyrate. To our knowledge, our study is the first to directly quantify high CO2 production rates from permafrost-derived LMW DOC mineralization. The observed DOC loss rates are among the highest reported for permafrost carbon and demonstrate the potential importance of LMW DOC in driving the rapid metabolism of Pleistocene-age permafrost carbon upon thaw and the outgassing of CO2 to the atmosphere by soils and nearby inland waters.

  19. Multi-omics of permafrost, active layer and thermokarst bog soil microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hultman, Jenni; Waldrop, Mark P; Mackelprang, Rachel; David, Maude M; McFarland, Jack; Blazewicz, Steven J; Harden, Jennifer; Turetsky, Merritt R; McGuire, A David; Shah, Manesh B; VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Lee, Lang Ho; Mavrommatis, Kostas; Jansson, Janet K

    2015-05-14

    Over 20% of Earth's terrestrial surface is underlain by permafrost with vast stores of carbon that, once thawed, may represent the largest future transfer of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere. This process is largely dependent on microbial responses, but we know little about microbial activity in intact, let alone in thawing, permafrost. Molecular approaches have recently revealed the identities and functional gene composition of microorganisms in some permafrost soils and a rapid shift in functional gene composition during short-term thaw experiments. However, the fate of permafrost carbon depends on climatic, hydrological and microbial responses to thaw at decadal scales. Here we use the combination of several molecular 'omics' approaches to determine the phylogenetic composition of the microbial communities, including several draft genomes of novel species, their functional potential and activity in soils representing different states of thaw: intact permafrost, seasonally thawed active layer and thermokarst bog. The multi-omics strategy reveals a good correlation of process rates to omics data for dominant processes, such as methanogenesis in the bog, as well as novel survival strategies for potentially active microbes in permafrost.

  20. PeRL: a circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muster, Sina; Roth, Kurt; Langer, Moritz; Lange, Stephan; Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Bartsch, Annett; Morgenstern, Anne; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin; Sannel, A. Britta K.; Sjöberg, Ylva; Günther, Frank; Andresen, Christian; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Lindgren, Prajna R.; Bouchard, Frédéric; Lara, Mark J.; Fortier, Daniel; Charbonneau, Simon; Virtanen, Tarmo A.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Palmtag, Juri; Siewert, Matthias B.; Riley, William J.; Koven, Charles D.; Boike, Julia

    2017-06-01

    Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL) database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002-2013) high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349" target="_blank">https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.868349.

  1. The potential significance of permafrost to the behaviour of a deep radioactive waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEwen, T.; Marsily, G.de

    1991-02-01

    Permafrost is one of the scenarios that is being considered as part of the groundwater flow and transport modelling for the Project-90 assessment. It is included as one of the primary Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) which are being kept outside the Process System in the SKB/SKI scenario development project. There is a large amount of evidence that Sweden has suffered several cycles of permafrost development over the Quaternary, approximately the last 2My, and climatic predictions for the next hundred thousand years suggest that similar climatic cycling is likely to occur. The presence of permafrost could have important effects on the hydrogeological regime and could therefore be important in modifying the release and dispersion of radionuclides from a repository. The climatic conditions of permafrost would also influence radionuclide migration and accumulation in the biosphere and the associated radiation exposure of man. These biosphere aspects are not considered here but the implications for discharge into the biosphere are examined, including the abstraction of groundwater by man in permafrost regions. This report reviews the evidence relating to permafrost development and discusses the possible implications for the long-term safety of a deep repository. (78 refs.) (au)

  2. Petrological Constraints on Melt Generation Beneath the Asal Rift (Djibouti)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzuti, P.; Humler, E.; Manighetti, I.; Gaudemer, Y.; Bézos, A.

    2010-12-01

    The temporal evolution of the mantle melting processes in the Asal Rift is evaluated from the chemical composition of 95 lava flows sampled along 10 km of the rift axis and 8 km off-axis (that is for the last 650 ky). The major element composition and the trace element ratios of aphyric basalts across the Asal Rift show a symmetric pattern relative to the rift axis and preserved a clear signal of mantle melting depth variations. FeO, Fe8.0, Sm/YbN and Zr/Y increase, whereas SiO2 and Lu/HfN decrease from the rift axis to the rift shoulders. These variations are qualitatively consistent with a shallower melting beneath the rift axis than off-axis and the data show that the melting regime is inconsistent with a passive upwelling model. In order to quantify the depth range and extent of melting, we invert Na8.0 and Fe8.0 contents of basalts based on a pure active upwelling model. Beneath the rift axis, melting paths are shallow, from 60 to 30 km. These melting paths are consistent with adiabatic melting in normal-temperature asthenosphere, beneath an extensively thinned mantle lithosphere. In contrast, melting on the rift shoulders occurred beneath a thick mantle lithosphere and required mantle solidus temperature 180°C hotter than normal (melting paths from 110 to 75 km). The calculated rate of lithospheric thinning is high (6.0 cm yr-1) and could explain the survival of a metastable garnet within the mantle at depth shallower than 90 km beneath the modern Asal Rift.

  3. Thermal processes of thermokarst lakes in the continuous permafrost zone of northern Siberia - observations and modeling (Lena River Delta, Siberia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boike, J.; Georgi, C.; Kirilin, G.; Muster, S.; Abramova, K.; Fedorova, I.; Chetverova, A.; Grigoriev, M.; Bornemann, N.; Langer, M.

    2015-10-01

    Thermokarst lakes are typical features of the northern permafrost ecosystems, and play an important role in the thermal exchange between atmosphere and subsurface. The objective of this study is to describe the main thermal processes of the lakes and to quantify the heat exchange with the underlying sediments. The thermal regimes of five lakes located within the continuous permafrost zone of northern Siberia (Lena River Delta) were investigated using hourly water temperature and water level records covering a 3-year period (2009-2012), together with bathymetric survey data. The lakes included thermokarst lakes located on Holocene river terraces that may be connected to Lena River water during spring flooding, and a thermokarst lake located on deposits of the Pleistocene Ice Complex. Lakes were covered by ice up to 2 m thick that persisted for more than 7 months of the year, from October until about mid-June. Lake-bottom temperatures increased at the start of the ice-covered period due to upward-directed heat flux from the underlying thawed sediment. Prior to ice break-up, solar radiation effectively warmed the water beneath the ice cover and induced convective mixing. Ice break-up started at the beginning of June and lasted until the middle or end of June. Mixing occurred within the entire water column from the start of ice break-up and continued during the ice-free periods, as confirmed by the Wedderburn numbers, a quantitative measure of the balance between wind mixing and stratification that is important for describing the biogeochemical cycles of lakes. The lake thermal regime was modeled numerically using the FLake model. The model demonstrated good agreement with observations with regard to the mean lake temperature, with a good reproduction of the summer stratification during the ice-free period, but poor agreement during the ice-covered period. Modeled sensitivity to lake depth demonstrated that lakes in this climatic zone with mean depths > 5 m develop

  4. Circumpolar assessment of permafrost C quality and its vulnerability over time using long-term incubation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schädel, Christina; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Bracho, Rosvel

    2014-01-01

    High-latitude ecosystems store approximately 1700 Pg of soil carbon (C), which is twice as much C as is currently contained in the atmosphere. Permafrost thaw and subsequent microbial decomposition of permafrost organic matter could add large amounts of C to the atmosphere, thereby influencing...... the global C cycle. The rates at which C is being released from the permafrost zone at different soil depths and across different physiographic regions are poorly understood but crucial in understanding future changes in permafrost C storage with climate change. We assessed the inherent decomposability of C...... from the permafrost zone by assembling a database of long-term (>1 year) aerobic soil incubations from 121 individual samples from 23 high-latitude ecosystems located across the northern circumpolar permafrost zone. Using a three-pool (i.e., fast, slow and passive) decomposition model, we estimated...

  5. The Thermal State of Permafrost in the Nordic Area during the International Polar Year 2007-2009

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, H. H.; Etzelmuller, B.; Isaksen, K.

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides a snapshot of the permafrost thermal state in the Nordic area obtained during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009. Several intensive research campaigns were undertaken within a variety of projects in the Nordic countries to obtain this snapshot. We demonstrate...... for Scandinavia that both lowland permafrost in palsas and peat plateaus, and large areas of permafrost in the mountains are at temperatures close to 0 degrees C, which makes them sensitive to climatic changes. In Svalbard and northeast Greenland, and also in the highest parts of the mountains in the rest...... affect the permafrost thermal state in the Nordic area. Time series of active-layer thickness and permafrost temperature conditions in the Nordic area, which are generally only 10 years in length, show generally increasing active-layer depths and risings permafrost temperatures....

  6. Hydrogeologic Controls on Water Dynamics in a Discontinuous Permafrost, Lake-Rich Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walvoord, M. A.; Briggs, M. A.; Day-Lewis, F. D.; Jepsen, S. M.; Lane, J. W., Jr.; McKenzie, J. M.; Minsley, B. J.; Striegl, R. G.; Voss, C. I.; Wellman, T. P.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier sliding plays a central role in ice dynamics. A number of remote sensing and deep drilling initiatives have therefore focused on the ice-bed interface. Although these techniques have provided valuable insights into bed properties, they do not supply theorists with data of sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to rigorously test mathematical sliding laws. As an alternative, passive seismic techniques have gained popularity in glacier monitoring. Analysis of glacier-related seismic sources ('icequakes') has become a useful technique to study inaccessible regions of the cryosphere, including the ice-bed interface. Seismic monitoring networks on the polar ice sheets have shown that ice sliding is not only a smooth process involving viscous deformation and regelation of basal ice layers. Instead, ice streams exhibit sudden slip episodes over their beds and intermittent phases of partial or complete stagnation. Here we discuss new and recently published discoveries of basal seismic sources beneath various glacial bodies. We revisit basal seismicity of hard-bedded Alpine glaciers, which is not the result of pure stick-slip motion. Sudden changes in seismicity suggest that the local configuration of the subglacial drainage system undergoes changes on sub daily time scales. Accordingly, such observations place constraints on basal resistance and sliding of hard-bedded glaciers. In contrast, certain clusters of stick-slip dislocations associated with micro seismicity beneath the Greenland ice sheet undergo diurnal variations in magnitudes and inter event times. This is best explained with a soft till bed, which hosts the shear dislocations and whose strength varies in response to changes in subglacial water pressure. These results suggest that analysis of basal icequakes is well suited for characterizing glacier and ice sheet beds. Future studies should address the relative importance between "smooth" and seismogenic sliding in different glacial environments.

  7. Relict Mountain Permafrost Area (Loess Plateau, China) Exhibits High Ecosystem Respiration Rates and Accelerating Rates in Response to Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Cuicui; Wu, Xiaodong; Zhao, Qian; Smoak, Joseph M.; Yang, Yulong; Hu, Lian; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Guimin; Xu, Haiyan; Zhang, Tingjun

    2017-10-01

    Relict permafrost regions are characterized by thin permafrost and relatively high temperatures. Understanding the ecosystem respiration rate (ERR) and its relationship with soil hydrothermal conditions in these areas can provide knowledge regarding the permafrost carbon cycle in a warming world. In this study, we examined a permafrost area, a boundary area, and a seasonally frozen ground area within a relict permafrost region on the east edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Measurements from July 2015 to September 2016 showed that the mean annual ecosystem CO2 emissions for the boundary area were greater than the permafrost area. The Q10 value of the ERRs in the seasonally frozen ground area was greater than the permafrost area, indicating that the carbon emissions in the nonpermafrost areas were more sensitive to warming. The 1 year open-top chamber (OTC) warming increased soil temperatures in both the permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas throughout the year, and the warming increased the ERRs by 1.18 (0.99-1.38, with interquartile range) and 1.13 (0.75-1.54, with interquartile range) μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 in permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas, respectively. The OTC warming increased annual ERRs by approximately 50% for both permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas with half the increase occurring during the nongrowing seasons. These results suggest that the ERRs in relict permafrost are high in comparison with arctic regions, and the carbon balance in relict permafrost areas could be greatly changed by climate warming.

  8. Permafrost and lakes control river isotope composition across a boreal Arctic transect in the Western Siberian lowlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-aho, P.; Soulsby, C.; Pokrovsky, O. S.; Kirpotin, S. N.; Karlsson, J.; Serikova, S.; Manasypov, R.; Lim, A.; Krickov, I.; Kolesnichenko, L. G.; Laudon, H.; Tetzlaff, D.

    2018-03-01

    The Western Siberian Lowlands (WSL) store large quantities of organic carbon that will be exposed and mobilized by the thawing of permafrost. The fate of mobilized carbon, however, is not well understood, partly because of inadequate knowledge of hydrological controls in the region which has a vast low-relief surface area, extensive lake and wetland coverage and gradually increasing permafrost influence. We used stable water isotopes to improve our understanding of dominant landscape controls on the hydrology of the WSL. We sampled rivers along a 1700 km South-North transect from permafrost-free to continuous permafrost repeatedly over three years, and derived isotope proxies for catchment hydrological responsiveness and connectivity. We found correlations between the isotope proxies and catchment characteristics, suggesting that lakes and wetlands are intimately connected to rivers, and that permafrost increases the responsiveness of the catchment to rainfall and snowmelt events, reducing catchment mean transit times. Our work provides rare isotope-based field evidence that permafrost and lakes/wetlands influence hydrological pathways across a wide range of spatial scales (10-105 km2) and permafrost coverage (0%-70%). This has important implications, because both permafrost extent and lake/wetland coverage are affected by permafrost thaw in the changing climate. Changes in these hydrological landscape controls are likely to alter carbon export and emission via inland waters, which may be of global significance.

  9. Shifts of methanogenic communities in response to permafrost thaw results in rising methane emissions and soil property changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Shiping; Cui, Hongpeng; Zhu, Youhai; Lu, Zhenquan; Pang, Shouji; Zhang, Shuai; Dong, Hailiang; Su, Xin

    2018-05-01

    Permafrost thaw can bring negative consequences in terms of ecosystems, resulting in permafrost collapse, waterlogging, thermokarst lake development, and species composition changes. Little is known about how permafrost thaw influences microbial community shifts and their activities. Here, we show that the dominant archaeal community shifts from Methanomicrobiales to Methanosarcinales in response to the permafrost thaw, and the increase in methane emission is found to be associated with the methanogenic archaea, which rapidly bloom with nearly tenfold increase in total number. The mcrA gene clone libraries analyses indicate that Methanocellales/Rice Cluster I was predominant both in the original permafrost and in the thawed permafrost. However, only species belonging to Methanosarcinales showed higher transcriptional activities in the thawed permafrost, indicating a shift of methanogens from hydrogenotrophic to partly acetoclastic methane-generating metabolic processes. In addition, data also show the soil texture and features change as a result of microbial reproduction and activity induced by this permafrost thaw. Those data indicate that microbial ecology under warming permafrost has potential impacts on ecosystem and methane emissions.

  10. Confocal Raman microspectroscopy reveals a convergence of the chemical composition in methanogenic archaea from a Siberian permafrost-affected soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Paloma; Hermelink, Antje; Lasch, Peter; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; König, Nicole; Burckhardt, Oliver; Wagner, Dirk

    2015-12-01

    Methanogenic archaea are widespread anaerobic microorganisms responsible for the production of biogenic methane. Several new species of psychrotolerant methanogenic archaea were recently isolated from a permafrost-affected soil in the Lena Delta (Siberia, Russia), showing an exceptional resistance against desiccation, osmotic stress, low temperatures, starvation, UV and ionizing radiation when compared to methanogens from non-permafrost environments. To gain a deeper insight into the differences observed in their resistance, we described the chemical composition of methanogenic strains from permafrost and non-permafrost environments using confocal Raman microspectroscopy (CRM). CRM is a powerful tool for microbial identification and provides fingerprint-like information about the chemical composition of the cells. Our results show that the chemical composition of methanogens from permafrost-affected soils presents a high homology and is remarkably different from strains inhabiting non-permafrost environments. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic reconstruction of the studied strains based on the functional gene mcrA to prove the different evolutionary relationship of the permafrost strains. We conclude that the permafrost methanogenic strains show a convergent chemical composition regardless of their genotype. This fact is likely to be the consequence of a complex adaptive process to the Siberian permafrost environment and might be the reason underlying their resistant nature. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Wetland development, permafrost history and nutrient cycling inferred from late Holocene peat and lake sediment records in subarctic Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kokfelt, U.; Reuss, N.; Struyf, E.

    2010-01-01

    to re-deposition of peat into one of the lakes after ca. 2,100 cal BP, and stimulated primary productivity in the other lake at ca. 1,900-1,800 cal BP. Carbonate precipitation appears to have been suppressed when acidic poor fen and bog (palsa) communities dominated the catchment mire, and permafrost...... insight into nutrient and permafrost dynamics in a subarctic wetland and imply that continued permafrost decay and related vegetation changes towards minerotrophy may increase carbon and nutrient storage of mire deposits and reduce nutrient fluxes in runoff. Rapid permafrost degradation may on the other...

  12. Permafrost distribution in peatlands of west-central Canada during the Holocene warm period 6000 years BP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zoltai, S.C. [Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    The extent and timing of permafrost development in peatlands of west-central Canada are examined. The floristic composition of the permafrost peatlands was determined from macrofossil samples of cores drilled at 161 locations. Radiocarbon dating of substantial changes in the peat sequences and of basal peat deposition was used to provide chronological control. The reconstructed paleoenvironments show the presence or absence of permafrost at the time of peat formation. Permafrost distribution in peatlands is estimated during the warm period 6000 years BP. It is estimated that the mean annual temperature was approximately 5{degree}C warmer than at present. 42 refs., 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. A review of published literature on the effects of permafrost on the hydrogeochemistry of bedrock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cascoyne, M.

    2000-06-01

    Salt-rejection into the aqueous phase from permafrost growth ('aggradation') during the onset of cold-climate conditions in the Pleistocene period is a mechanism that could account for the presence of saline groundwaters in the Fennoscandian Shield. This report describes the results of a review of scientific literature on the subject of permafrost, to search for and evaluate information which may indicate whether this mechanism is feasible for sites such as Olkiluoto and Aespoe on the Baltic Sea coast. The geomorphological characteristics of permafrost (such as development of patterned ground, ice wedging, pingo growth) have been studied in detail in the literature and provide an understanding of the effects of pore water expulsion and saline water formation. Evidence of salt-rejection during permafrost aggradation is found in results of analyses of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water in pingos and open taliks published in North American, Chinese and Russian literature over the last fifty years. While most studies have concentrated on shallow permafrost in soils and sediments, deep-drilling by the oil and gas industry has shown that permafrost may extend both laterally and to considerable depth. For instance, permafrost on the north slope of Alaska is laterally continuous over an area of at least 1000 km 2 and is associated with fluids of salinities up to 130 g/L. Also, in northern Siberia, permafrost has been observed to depths of over 900 m. Saline waters are ubiquitous in coastal areas that are currently underlain by permafrost. However, it is not clear how much of the salinity has been produced by the freezing process and how much is simply due to leaching of saline soils and sediments by groundwaters and the presence of residual seawater in the sediments. Possible indicators of concentration by freezing include the presence of brines (i.e. waters of greater salinity than seawater), mineral precipitates (e.g. mirabilite) that are formed on freezing

  14. Numerical simulation of permafrost depth during a future glaciation, Campine area, Northern Belgium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Govaerts, Joan; Weetjens, Eef; Beerten, Koen

    2012-01-01

    Document available in extended abstract form only. Given the long time frames involved and their potential detrimental effects, climate changes are considered in the safety assessment of long-term geological disposal of radioactive waste. One such effect that climate changes may govern is the re-appearance of permafrost in north-western Europe. This condition already existed during previous glaciations (e.g., Weichselian glacial, 115-11 ka BP), and may have several consequences for the hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere and repository. Here, we present calculations of permafrost depth based on the climatic scenario with the Weichselian (last glacial) as an analog to estimate the permafrost depth during a future glaciation. Whereas the lateral extent of permafrost can be deduced from surface features, not much is known about the maximum depth of permafrost during a cold stage in the Campine region. Realistic values of the latent heat of melting of pure water, and thermal conductivity of dry or frozen and unfrozen saturated sand and clay are used as input parameters. In addition, detailed and refined climatic scenarios for the last glacial are used to improve the quality of boundary conditions, together with a more advanced description of freezing/thawing processes. To describe heat transport in the subsoil of the Mol site, the one-dimensional enthalpy conservation equation is used with heat transport only occurring by conduction. In the first calculation case, the temperature at the top of the soil layer is set equal to the air temperatures of a realistic glacial cycle (Weichselian glaciation). In a second calculation case, the insulating effects of the surface cover are considered, and the air temperatures are converted into surface temperatures by making use of the 'n-factor concept', which yields an empirical relationship between the mean annual surface temperature, T s , and the mean annual air temperature, T a . In Figure 1 the permafrost pro-gradation front

  15. A review of published literature on the effects of permafrost on the hydrogeochemistry of bedrock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gascoyne, M.

    2000-04-01

    Salt-rejection into the aqueous phase from permafrost growth during the onset of cold-climate conditions in the Pleistocene period is a mechanism that could account for the presence of saline groundwaters in the Fennoscandian Shield. This report describes the results of a review of scientific literature on the subject of permafrost, to search for and evaluate information which may indicate whether this mechanism is feasible for sites such as Olkiluoto and Aespoe on the Baltic Sea coast. The geomorphological characteristics of permafrost (such as development of patterned ground, ice wedging, pingo growth) have been studied in detail in the literature and provide an understanding of the effects of pore water expulsion and saline water formation. Evidence of salt-rejection during permafrost aggradation is found in results of analyses of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water in pingos and open taliks published in North American, Chinese and Russian literature over the last fifty years. While most studies have concentrated on shallow permafrost in soils and sediments, deep-drilling by the oil and gas industry has shown that permafrost may extend both laterally and to considerable depth. For instance, permafrost on the north slope of Alaska is laterally continuous over an area of at least 1000 km 2 and is associated with fluids of salinities up to 130 g/L. Also, in northern Siberia, permafrost has been observed to depths of over 900 m. Saline waters are ubiquitous in coastal areas that are currently underlain by permafrost. However, it is not clear how much of the salinity has been produced by the freezing process and how much is simply due to leaching of saline soils and sediments by ground- waters and the presence of residual seawater in the sediments. Possible indicators of concentration by freezing include the presence of brines (i.e.waters of greater salinity than seawater), mineral precipitates (e.g. mirabilite) that are formed on freezing of seawater

  16. Degradation and Local Survival of Permafrost Through the Last Interglaciation in Interior Alaska and Yukon Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, A. V.; Froese, D. G.; Jensen, B. J.

    2006-12-01

    Permafrost in northern North America is warming, and recent modeling efforts have predicted the widespread disappearance of permafrost through much of the northern hemisphere over the next century. However, little is known of the impacts of past sustained warm intervals on permafrost dynamics, antiquity, and distribution due to difficulties in establishing reliable chronologies. Permafrost thus remains the last element of the Arctic cryosphere for which there is poor understanding of its adaptability to past warmer-than-present climate. Here we present observations from three sites in the region of interior Alaska and Yukon Territory that remained ice-free during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, which collectively demonstrate the variable nature of the response of permafrost to warming during the last interglaciation. Chronology for all sites is based on identification of Old Crow tephra (OCt; 140±10 ka) by glass major element composition. Throughout the study region, OCt is consistently associated with organic-rich sediments that represent the last interglaciation on the basis of pollen, insect, and macrofossil assemblages. At the Palisades site on the Yukon River, 250 km west of Fairbanks, OCt is 1.5-3.5 m below thick (>1m) organic-rich silts and peats that are locally rich in beaver-chewed wood and large wood stumps, some of which are in growth position. In contrast, placer mining at Thistle Creek in central Yukon Territory exposes a dramatic thaw unconformity that is presumably related to local, but incomplete, permafrost degradation during the last interglaciation. In upslope positions at Thistle Creek, OCt is incorporated into a steeply dipping, 30 cm thick, organic-rich silt horizon that truncates at least one intact, relict ice wedge. The steeply dipping organic- rich horizon grades downslope into organic-rich silt with dense accumulations of wood fragments, including tree stems up to 2 m long. Evidence for similar permafrost degradation during the last

  17. A review of published literature on the effects of permafrost on the hydrogeochemistry of bedrock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gascoyne, M. [Gascoyne GeoProjects Inc., Pinawa (Canada)

    2000-04-01

    Salt-rejection into the aqueous phase from permafrost growth during the onset of cold-climate conditions in the Pleistocene period is a mechanism that could account for the presence of saline groundwaters in the Fennoscandian Shield. This report describes the results of a review of scientific literature on the subject of permafrost, to search for and evaluate information which may indicate whether this mechanism is feasible for sites such as Olkiluoto and Aespoe on the Baltic Sea coast. The geomorphological characteristics of permafrost (such as development of patterned ground, ice wedging, pingo growth) have been studied in detail in the literature and provide an understanding of the effects of pore water expulsion and saline water formation. Evidence of salt-rejection during permafrost aggradation is found in results of analyses of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water in pingos and open taliks published in North American, Chinese and Russian literature over the last fifty years. While most studies have concentrated on shallow permafrost in soils and sediments, deep-drilling by the oil and gas industry has shown that permafrost may extend both laterally and to considerable depth. For instance, permafrost on the north slope of Alaska is laterally continuous over an area of at least 1000 km{sup 2} and is associated with fluids of salinities up to 130 g/L. Also, in northern Siberia, permafrost has been observed to depths of over 900 m. Saline waters are ubiquitous in coastal areas that are currently underlain by permafrost. However, it is not clear how much of the salinity has been produced by the freezing process and how much is simply due to leaching of saline soils and sediments by ground- waters and the presence of residual seawater in the sediments. Possible indicators of concentration by freezing include the presence of brines (i.e.waters of greater salinity than seawater), mineral precipitates (e.g. mirabilite) that are formed on freezing of

  18. A review of published literature on the effects of permafrost on the hydrogeochemistry of bedrock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cascoyne, M. [Gascoyne GeoProjects Inc. (Canada)

    2000-06-01

    Salt-rejection into the aqueous phase from permafrost growth ('aggradation') during the onset of cold-climate conditions in the Pleistocene period is a mechanism that could account for the presence of saline groundwaters in the Fennoscandian Shield. This report describes the results of a review of scientific literature on the subject of permafrost, to search for and evaluate information which may indicate whether this mechanism is feasible for sites such as Olkiluoto and Aespoe on the Baltic Sea coast. The geomorphological characteristics of permafrost (such as development of patterned ground, ice wedging, pingo growth) have been studied in detail in the literature and provide an understanding of the effects of pore water expulsion and saline water formation. Evidence of salt-rejection during permafrost aggradation is found in results of analyses of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water in pingos and open taliks published in North American, Chinese and Russian literature over the last fifty years. While most studies have concentrated on shallow permafrost in soils and sediments, deep-drilling by the oil and gas industry has shown that permafrost may extend both laterally and to considerable depth. For instance, permafrost on the north slope of Alaska is laterally continuous over an area of at least 1000 km{sup 2} and is associated with fluids of salinities up to 130 g/L. Also, in northern Siberia, permafrost has been observed to depths of over 900 m. Saline waters are ubiquitous in coastal areas that are currently underlain by permafrost. However, it is not clear how much of the salinity has been produced by the freezing process and how much is simply due to leaching of saline soils and sediments by groundwaters and the presence of residual seawater in the sediments. Possible indicators of concentration by freezing include the presence of brines (i.e. waters of greater salinity than seawater), mineral precipitates (e.g. mirabilite) that are

  19. Snowball Earth termination by destabilization of equatorial permafrost methane clathrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Martin; Mrofka, David; von der Borch, Chris

    2008-05-29

    The start of the Ediacaran period is defined by one of the most severe climate change events recorded in Earth history--the recovery from the Marinoan 'snowball' ice age, approximately 635 Myr ago (ref. 1). Marinoan glacial-marine deposits occur at equatorial palaeolatitudes, and are sharply overlain by a thin interval of carbonate that preserves marine carbon and sulphur isotopic excursions of about -5 and +15 parts per thousand, respectively; these deposits are thought to record widespread oceanic carbonate precipitation during postglacial sea level rise. This abrupt transition records a climate system in profound disequilibrium and contrasts sharply with the cyclical stratigraphic signal imparted by the balanced feedbacks modulating Phanerozoic deglaciation. Hypotheses accounting for the abruptness of deglaciation include ice albedo feedback, deep-ocean out-gassing during post-glacial oceanic overturn or methane hydrate destabilization. Here we report the broadest range of oxygen isotope values yet measured in marine sediments (-25 per thousand to +12 per thousand) in methane seeps in Marinoan deglacial sediments underlying the cap carbonate. This range of values is likely to be the result of mixing between ice-sheet-derived meteoric waters and clathrate-derived fluids during the flushing and destabilization of a clathrate field by glacial meltwater. The equatorial palaeolatitude implies a highly volatile shelf permafrost pool that is an order of magnitude larger than that of the present day. A pool of this size could have provided a massive biogeochemical feedback capable of triggering deglaciation and accounting for the global postglacial marine carbon and sulphur isotopic excursions, abrupt unidirectional warming, cap carbonate deposition, and a marine oxygen crisis. Our findings suggest that methane released from low-latitude permafrost clathrates therefore acted as a trigger and/or strong positive feedback for deglaciation and warming. Methane hydrate

  20. Assessing and Projecting Greenhouse Gas Release due to Abrupt Permafrost Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, K.; Ohno, H.; Yokohata, T.; Iwahana, G.; Machiya, H.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost is a large reservoir of frozen soil organic carbon (SOC; about half of all the terrestrial storage). Therefore, its degradation (i.e., thawing) under global warming may lead to a substantial amount of additional greenhouse gas (GHG) release. However, understanding of the processes, geographical distribution of such hazards, and implementation of the relevant processes in the advanced climate models are insufficient yet so that variations in permafrost remains one of the large source of uncertainty in climatic and biogeochemical assessment and projections. Thermokarst, induced by melting of ground ice in ice-rich permafrost, leads to dynamic surface subsidence up to 60 m, which further affects local and regional societies and eco-systems in the Arctic. It can also accelerate a large-scale warming process through a positive feedback between released GHGs (especially methane), atmospheric warming and permafrost degradation. This three-year research project (2-1605, Environment Research and Technology Development Fund of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan) aims to assess and project the impacts of GHG release through dynamic permafrost degradation through in-situ and remote (e.g., satellite and airborn) observations, lab analysis of sampled ice and soil cores, and numerical modeling, by demonstrating the vulnerability distribution and relative impacts between large-scale degradation and such dynamic degradation. Our preliminary laboratory analysis of ice and soil cores sampled in 2016 at the Alaskan and Siberian sites largely underlain by ice-rich permafrost, shows that, although gas volumes trapped in unit mass are more or less homogenous among sites both for ice and soil cores, large variations are found in the methane concentration in the trapped gases, ranging from a few ppm (similar to that of the atmosphere) to hundreds of thousands ppm We will also present our numerical approach to evaluate relative impacts of GHGs released through dynamic

  1. Soil organic carbon pools and stocks in permafrost-affected soils on the tibetan plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina Dörfer

    Full Text Available The Tibetan Plateau reacts particularly sensitively to possible effects of climate change. Approximately two thirds of the total area is affected by permafrost. To get a better understanding of the role of permafrost on soil organic carbon pools and stocks, investigations were carried out including both discontinuous (site Huashixia, HUA and continuous permafrost (site Wudaoliang, WUD. Three organic carbon fractions were isolated using density separation combined with ultrasonic dispersion: the light fractions (1.6 g cm(-3 of mineral associated organic matter (MOM. The fractions were analyzed for C, N, and their portion of organic C. FPOM contained an average SOC content of 252 g kg(-1. Higher SOC contents (320 g kg(-1 were found in OPOM while MOM had the lowest SOC contents (29 g kg(-1. Due to their lower density the easily decomposable fractions FPOM and OPOM contribute 27% (HUA and 22% (WUD to the total SOC stocks. In HUA mean SOC stocks (0-30 cm depth account for 10.4 kg m(-2, compared to 3.4 kg m(-2 in WUD. 53% of the SOC is stored in the upper 10 cm in WUD, in HUA only 39%. Highest POM values of 36% occurred in profiles with high soil moisture content. SOC stocks, soil moisture and active layer thickness correlated strongly in discontinuous permafrost while no correlation between SOC stocks and active layer thickness and only a weak relation between soil moisture and SOC stocks could be found in continuous permafrost. Consequently, permafrost-affected soils in discontinuous permafrost environments are susceptible to soil moisture changes due to alterations in quantity and seasonal distribution of precipitation, increasing temperature and therefore evaporation.

  2. The impacts of recent permafrost thaw on land–atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Daniel J; Yuan, Fengming; Wullschleger, Stan D; Kicklighter, David W; Melillo, Jerry M; McGuire, A David; Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost thaw and the subsequent mobilization of carbon (C) stored in previously frozen soil organic matter (SOM) have the potential to be a strong positive feedback to climate. As the northern permafrost region experiences as much as a doubling of the rate of warming as the rest of the Earth, the vast amount of C in permafrost soils is vulnerable to thaw, decomposition and release as atmospheric greenhouse gases. Diagnostic and predictive estimates of high-latitude terrestrial C fluxes vary widely among different models depending on how dynamics in permafrost, and the seasonally thawed ‘active layer’ above it, are represented. Here, we employ a process-based model simulation experiment to assess the net effect of active layer dynamics on this ‘permafrost carbon feedback’ in recent decades, from 1970 to 2006, over the circumpolar domain of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Over this time period, the model estimates a mean increase of 6.8 cm in active layer thickness across the domain, which exposes a total of 11.6 Pg C of thawed SOM to decomposition. According to our simulation experiment, mobilization of this previously frozen C results in an estimated cumulative net source of 3.7 Pg C to the atmosphere since 1970 directly tied to active layer dynamics. Enhanced decomposition from the newly exposed SOM accounts for the release of both CO 2 (4.0 Pg C) and CH 4 (0.03 Pg C), but is partially compensated by CO 2 uptake (0.3 Pg C) associated with enhanced net primary production of vegetation. This estimated net C transfer to the atmosphere from permafrost thaw represents a significant factor in the overall ecosystem carbon budget of the Pan-Arctic, and a non-trivial additional contribution on top of the combined fossil fuel emissions from the eight Arctic nations over this time period. (paper)

  3. Ice-Rich Yedoma Permafrost: A Synthesis of Circum-Arctic Distribution and Thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, J.; Fedorov, A. N.; Fortier, D.; Froese, D. G.; Fuchs, M.; Grosse, G.; Günther, F.; Harden, J. W.; Hugelius, G.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Kholodov, A. L.; Kunitsky, V.; Laboor, S.; Lapointe Elmrabti, L.; Rivkina, E.; Robinson, J. E.; Schirrmeister, L.; Shmelev, D.; Shur, Y.; Spektor, V.; Ulrich, M.; Veremeeva, A.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Zimov, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Vast portions of Arctic and sub-Arctic Siberia, Alaska and the Yukon Territory are covered by ice-rich silts that are penetrated by large ice wedges, resulting from syngenetic sedimentation and freezing. Accompanied by wedge-ice growth, the sedimentation process was driven by cold continental climatic and environmental conditions in unglaciated regions during the late Pleistocene, inducing the accumulation of the unique Yedoma permafrost deposits up to 50 meter thick. Because of fast incorporation of organic material into permafrost during formation, Yedoma deposits include low-decomposed organic matter. Moreover, ice-rich permafrost deposits like Yedoma are especially prone to degradation triggered by climate changes or human activity. When Yedoma deposits degrade, large amounts of sequestered organic carbon as well as other nutrients are released and become part of active biogeochemical cycling. This could be of global significance for the climate warming, as increased permafrost thaw is likely to cause a positive feedback loop. Therefore, a detailed assessment of the Yedoma deposit volume is of importance to estimate its potential future climate response. Moreover, as a step beyond the objectives of this synthesis study, our coverage (see figure for the Yedoma domain) and thickness estimation will provide critical data to refine the Yedoma permafrost organic carbon inventory, which is assumed to have freeze-locked between 83±12 and 129±30 gigatonnes (Gt) of organic carbon. Hence, we here synthesize data on the circum-Arctic and sub-Arctic distribution and thickness of Yedoma permafrost (see figure for the Yedoma domain) in the framework of an Action Group funded by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). The quantification of the Yedoma coverage is conducted by the digitization of geomorphological and Quaternary geological maps. Further data on Yedoma thickness is contributed from boreholes and exposures reported in the scientific literature.

  4. The impacts of recent permafrost thaw on land-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Daniel J.; Kicklighter, David W.; McGuire, A. David; Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai; Yuan, Fengming; Melillo, Jerry M.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost thaw and the subsequent mobilization of carbon (C) stored in previously frozen soil organic matter (SOM) have the potential to be a strong positive feedback to climate. As the northern permafrost region experiences as much as a doubling of the rate of warming as the rest of the Earth, the vast amount of C in permafrost soils is vulnerable to thaw, decomposition and release as atmospheric greenhouse gases. Diagnostic and predictive estimates of high-latitude terrestrial C fluxes vary widely among different models depending on how dynamics in permafrost, and the seasonally thawed 'active layer' above it, are represented. Here, we employ a process-based model simulation experiment to assess the net effect of active layer dynamics on this 'permafrost carbon feedback' in recent decades, from 1970 to 2006, over the circumpolar domain of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Over this time period, the model estimates a mean increase of 6.8 cm in active layer thickness across the domain, which exposes a total of 11.6 Pg C of thawed SOM to decomposition. According to our simulation experiment, mobilization of this previously frozen C results in an estimated cumulative net source of 3.7 Pg C to the atmosphere since 1970 directly tied to active layer dynamics. Enhanced decomposition from the newly exposed SOM accounts for the release of both CO2 (4.0 Pg C) and CH4 (0.03 Pg C), but is partially compensated by CO2 uptake (0.3 Pg C) associated with enhanced net primary production of vegetation. This estimated net C transfer to the atmosphere from permafrost thaw represents a significant factor in the overall ecosystem carbon budget of the Pan-Arctic, and a non-trivial additional contribution on top of the combined fossil fuel emissions from the eight Arctic nations over this time period.

  5. The Effects of Perchlorates on the Permafrost Methanogens: Implication for Autotrophic Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakova, Viktoria; Oshurkova, Viktoria; Yoshimura, Yoshitaka

    2015-09-09

    The terrestrial permafrost represents a range of possible cryogenic extraterrestrial ecosystems on Earth-like planets without obvious surface ice, such as Mars. The autotrophic and chemolithotrophic psychrotolerant methanogens are more likely than aerobes to function as a model for life forms that may exist in frozen subsurface environments on Mars, which has no free oxygen, inaccessible organic matter, and extremely low amounts of unfrozen water. Our research on the genesis of methane, its content and distribution in permafrost horizons of different ages and origin demonstrated the presence of methane in permanently frozen fine-grained sediments. Earlier, we isolated and described four strains of methanogenic archaea of Methanobacterium and Methanosarcina genera from samples of Pliocene and Holocene permafrost from Eastern Siberia. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on the growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. Furthermore, as shown in the studies strain M2(T) M. arcticum, probably can use perchlorate anion as an electron acceptor in anaerobic methane oxidation. Earth's subzero subsurface environments are the best approximation of environments on Mars, which is most likely to harbor methanogens; thus, a biochemical understanding of these pathways is expected to provide a basis for designing experiments to detect autotrophic methane-producing life forms on Mars.

  6. Nutrient Controls on Methane Emissions in a Permafrost Thaw Subarctic Peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashi, N. N.; Perryman, C. R.; Malhotra, A.; Marek, E. A.; Giesler, R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost peatlands in northern latitudes are large reservoirs of sequestered carbon that are vulnerable to climate change. While peatlands account for a small fraction of total global land surfaces, their potential to release sequestered carbon in response to higher temperatures is of concern. Of particular relevance is the conversion of these carbon stores into methane (CH4), a strong greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 20 times greater than that of CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Here, we explore how key nutrients impact the consumption of CH4 at the Stordalen Mire in Abisko, Sweden, a discontinuous permafrost peatland with expanding thaw over the last century. Peatland CH4 emissions are highly spatially variable due to multiple emission pathways and strong dependence on several environmental factors. Among controls on CH4 emissions, such as temperature and water table depth, primary production of wetland vegetation is also a strong factor in the variability of CH4 emissions. Plant community shifts among permafrost thaw stages subsequently change nutrient cycling and availability, which in turn impacts primary production. Early stages of permafrost thaw are mosaicked with a variety of vascular plants and mosses. We analyzed potential enzymatic activities of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase as proxies for organic nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus cycling, respectively, in tandem with potential CH4 oxidation rates. In addition, stoichiometric ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus concentrations are used to illustrate nutrient limitation controls on CH4 oxidation rates. While CH4 emissions are low throughout initial thaw stages, highest rates of potential CH4 oxidation. These permafrost thaw-induced CH4 oxidation rates are 5 and 11 times higher, in the surface and depth of the peat profile respectively, than subsequent aerobic permafrost thaw stages. As CH4 emissions are low in intact permafrost peatlands, these high rates of potential CH4

  7. The Effects of Perchlorates on the Permafrost Methanogens: Implication for Autotrophic Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktoria Shcherbakova

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The terrestrial permafrost represents a range of possible cryogenic extraterrestrial ecosystems on Earth-like planets without obvious surface ice, such as Mars. The autotrophic and chemolithotrophic psychrotolerant methanogens are more likely than aerobes to function as a model for life forms that may exist in frozen subsurface environments on Mars, which has no free oxygen, inaccessible organic matter, and extremely low amounts of unfrozen water. Our research on the genesis of methane, its content and distribution in permafrost horizons of different ages and origin demonstrated the presence of methane in permanently frozen fine-grained sediments. Earlier, we isolated and described four strains of methanogenic archaea of Methanobacterium and Methanosarcina genera from samples of Pliocene and Holocene permafrost from Eastern Siberia. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. In this paper we study the effect of sodium and magnesium perchlorates on the growth of permafrost and nonpermafrost methanogens, and present evidence that permafrost hydogenotrophic methanogens are more resistant to the chaotropic agent found in Martian soil. Furthermore, as shown in the studies strain M2T M. arcticum, probably can use perchlorate anion as an electron acceptor in anaerobic methane oxidation. Earth’s subzero subsurface environments are the best approximation of environments on Mars, which is most likely to harbor methanogens; thus, a biochemical understanding of these pathways is expected to provide a basis for designing experiments to detect autotrophic methane-producing life forms on Mars.

  8. Evolving hydrologic connectivity in discontinuous permafrost lowlands: what it means for lake systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walvoord, M. A.; Jepsen, S. M.; Rover, J.; Voss, C. I.; Briggs, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Permafrost influence on the hydrologic connectivity of surface water bodies in high-latitude lowlands is complicated by subsurface heterogeneity and the propensity of the system to change over time. In general, permafrost limits the subsurface exchange of water, solute, and nutrients between lakes and rivers. It follows that permafrost thaw could enhance subsurface hydrologic connectivity among surface water bodies, but the impact of this process on lake distribution is not well known. Changes in the extent of lakes in interior Alaska have important ecological and societal impacts since lakes provide (1) critical habitat for migratory arctic shorebirds and waterfowl, fish, and wildlife, and (2) provisional, recreational, and cultural resources for local communities. We utilize electromagnetic imaging of the shallow subsurface and remote sensing of lake level dynamics in the Yukon Flats of interior Alaska, USA, together with water balance modeling, to gain insight into the influence of discontinuous permafrost on lowland lake systems. In the study region with relatively low precipitation, observations suggest that lakes that are hydrologically isolated during normal conditions are sustained by periodic river flooding events, including ice-jam floods that occur during river ice break-up. Climatically-influenced alterations in flooding frequency and intensity, as well as depth to permafrost, are quantitatively assessed in the context of lake maintenance. Scenario modeling is used to evaluate lake level evolution under plausible changing conditions. Model results demonstrate how permafrost degradation can reduce the dependence of typical lowland lakes on flooding events. Study results also suggest that river flooding may recharge a more spatially widespread zone of lakes and wetlands under future scenarios of permafrost table deepening and enhanced subsurface hydrologic connectivity.

  9. Permafrost degradation and associated ground settlement estimation under 2 °C global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Donglin; Wang, Huijun

    2017-10-01

    Global warming of 2 °C above preindustrial levels has been considered to be the threshold that should not be exceeded by the global mean temperature to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system. However, this global mean target has different implications for different regions owing to the globally nonuniform climate change characteristics. Permafrost is sensitive to climate change; moreover, it is widely distributed in high-latitude and high-altitude regions where the greatest warming is predicted. Permafrost is expected to be severely affected by even the 2 °C global warming, which, in turn, affects other systems such as water resources, ecosystems, and infrastructures. Using air and soil temperature data from ten coupled model intercomparison project phase five models combined with observations of frozen ground, we investigated the permafrost thaw and associated ground settlement under 2 °C global warming. Results show that the climate models produced an ensemble mean permafrost area of 14.01 × 106 km2, which compares reasonably with the area of 13.89 × 106 km2 (north of 45°N) in the observations. The models predict that the soil temperature at 6 m depth will increase by 2.34-2.67 °C on area average relative to 1990-2000, and the increase intensifies with increasing latitude. The active layer thickness will also increase by 0.42-0.45 m, but dissimilar to soil temperature, the increase weakens with increasing latitude due to the distinctly cooler permafrost at higher latitudes. The permafrost extent will obviously retreat north and decrease by 24-26% and the ground settlement owing to permafrost thaw is estimated at 3.8-15 cm on area average. Possible uncertainties in this study may be mostly attributed to the less accurate ground ice content data and coarse horizontal resolution of the models.

  10. Deformation in D″ Beneath North America From Anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowacki, A. J.; Wookey, J.; Kendall, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    The lowermost few hundred kilometres of the Earth's mantle—known as D″—form the boundary between it and the core below, control the Earth's convective system, and are the site of probable large thermochemical heterogeneity. Seismic observations of D″ show a strong heterogeneity in seismic wave velocity and significant seismic anisotropy (the variation of wave speed with direction) are present in many parts of the region. On the basis of continuous regions of fast shear velocity (VS) anomalies in global models, it is also proposed as the resting place of subducted slabs, notably the Farallon beneath North America. A phase change of MgSiO3-perovskite (pv) to a post-perovskite (ppv) structure at near-core-mantle boundary (CMB) conditions is a compelling mechanism to explain the seismic features of D″. An outstanding question is how this and other mineral phases may deform to produce anisotropy, with different mechanisms possible. With knowledge either of mantle flow or which slip system is responsible for causing deformation, we can potentially determine the other with observations of the resulting seismic anisotropy. We investigate the dynamics at the CMB beneath North America using differential shear wave splitting in S and ScS phases from earthquakes of magnitude MW>5.5 in South and Central America, Hawaii the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and East Pacific Rise. They are detected on ~500 stations in North America, giving ~700 measurements of anisotropy in D″. We achieve this by correcting for anisotropy in the upper mantle (UM) beneath both the source and receiver. The measurements cover three regions beneath western USA, the Yucatan peninsula and Florida. In each case, two different, crossing ray paths are used, so that the style of anisotropy can be constrained—a single azimuth cannot distinguish differing cases. Our results showing ~1% anisotropy dependent on azimuth are not consistent with transverse isotropy with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI) anywhere. The

  11. Thermally driven gas flow beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amter, S.; Lu, Ning; Ross, B.

    1991-01-01

    A coupled thermopneumatic model is developed for simulating heat transfer, rock-gas flow and carbon-14 travel time beneath Yucca Mountain, NV. The aim of this work is to understand the coupling of heat transfer and gas flow. Heat transfer in and near the potential repository region depends on several factors, including the geothermal gradient, climate, and local sources of heat such as radioactive wastes. Our numerical study shows that small temperature changes at the surface can change both the temperature field and the gas flow pattern beneath Yucca Mountain. A lateral temperature difference of 1 K is sufficient to create convection cells hundreds of meters in size. Differences in relative humidities between gas inside the mountain and air outside the mountain also significantly affect the gas flow field. 6 refs., 7 figs

  12. Evidence for early hunters beneath the Great Lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Shea, John M; Meadows, Guy A

    2009-06-23

    Scholars have hypothesized that the poorly understood and rarely encountered archaeological sites from the terminal Paleoindian and Archaic periods associated with the Lake Stanley low water stage (10,000-7,500 BP) are lost beneath the modern Great Lakes. Acoustic and video survey on the Alpena-Amberley ridge, a feature that would have been a dry land corridor crossing the Lake Huron basin during this time period, reveals the presence of a series of stone features that match, in form and location, structures used for caribou hunting in both prehistoric and ethnographic times. These results present evidence for early hunters on the Alpena-Amberley corridor, and raise the possibility that intact settlements and ancient landscapes are preserved beneath Lake Huron.

  13. The Last Permafrost Maximum (LPM) map of the northern hemisphere: permafrost extent and mean annual air temperatures, 25-17 ka BP

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenberghe, J.; French, H.M.; Gorbunov, A.; Velichko, A.A.; Jin, H.; Cui, Z.; Zhang, T.; Wan, X.

    2014-01-01

    This paper accompanies a map that shows the extent of permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere between 25 and 17 thousand years ago. The map is based upon existing archival data, common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, that include ice-wedge pseudomorphs, sand wedges and large cryoturbations. Where

  14. The extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J.-M.; Collier, J. S.; Rümpker, G.

    2013-11-01

    The granitic islands of the Seychelles Plateau have long been recognised to overlie continental crust, isolated from Madagascar and India during the formation of the Indian Ocean. However, to date the extent of continental crust beneath the Seychelles region remains unknown. This is particularly true beneath the Mascarene Basin between the Seychelles Plateau and Madagascar and beneath the Amirante Arc. Constraining the size and shape of the Seychelles continental fragment is needed for accurate plate reconstructions of the breakup of Gondwana and has implications for the processes of continental breakup in general. Here we present new estimates of crustal thickness and VP/VS from H-κ stacking of receiver functions from a year long deployment of seismic stations across the Seychelles covering the topographic plateau, the Amirante Ridge and the northern Mascarene Basin. These results, combined with gravity modelling of historical ship track data, confirm that continental crust is present beneath the Seychelles Plateau. This is ˜30-33 km thick, but with a relatively high velocity lower crustal layer. This layer thins southwards from ˜10 km to ˜1 km over a distance of ˜50 km, which is consistent with the Seychelles being at the edge of the Deccan plume prior to its separation from India. In contrast, the majority of the Seychelles Islands away from the topographic plateau show no direct evidence for continental crust. The exception to this is the island of Desroche on the northern Amirante Ridge, where thicker low density crust, consistent with a block of continental material is present. We suggest that the northern Amirantes are likely continental in nature and that small fragments of continental material are a common feature of plume affected continental breakup.

  15. Geotechnical characterization and finite element pipe/soil interaction modeling of a pipeline installed in an actively moving, permafrost slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bidwell, A. [AMEC Earth and Environmental, Calgary, AB (Canada); Sen, M.; Pederson, I. [Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Yoosef-Ghodsi, N. [C-FER Technologies, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed a pipeline integrity analysis for a buried crude-oil pipeline at a site characterized by unstable permafrost slopes. Data collected from piezometers, inclinometers, and thermistor cables installed as part of a comprehensive geotechnical monitoring program were used to determine the geotechnical character of the site and model pipe/soil interactions. A finite element pipe/soil interaction model was developed to estimate the potential strain to the pipeline capacity in a worst-case scenario involving mass soil movement. The purpose was to determine the necessity of costly mitigation measures. The model showed that the pipeline strain capacity is unlikely to be exceeded in the event of a sudden ground movement at the slope. The soil, permafrost, and slope movement conditions at the site were described along with the methodology and results of the pipe/soil interaction model. The model, in which the pipeline is considered as a continuous structural beam, was used to analyze both the estimated current slope movement and the worst case large magnitude slope movement. To assess the pipeline integrity in the event of mass slope movement, the expected strain demand was compared to the strain capacity, taking into account whether the pipe is heavy wall, line pipe, or containing girth welds. The analysis indicated that the risk of pipeline failure is low in the event of a large magnitude slope movement. The pipe strain measurements were found to be within the design limits for the pipeline. The analysis is relevant to other northern pipeline and linear infrastructure developments. 8 refs., 6 figs.

  16. Crustal structure beneath the southern Korean Peninsula from local earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kwang-Hee; Park, Jung-Ho; Park, Yongcheol; Hao, Tian-Yao; Kim, Han-Joon

    2017-05-01

    The 3-D subsurface structure beneath the southern Korean Peninsula is poorly known, even though such information could be key in verifying or rejecting several competing models of the tectonic evolution of East Asia. We constructed a 3-D velocity model of the upper crust beneath the southern Korean Peninsula using 19 935 P-wave arrivals from 747 earthquakes recorded by high-density local seismic networks. Results show significant lateral and vertical variations: velocity increases from northwest to southeast at shallow depths, and significant velocity variations are observed across the South Korea Tectonic Line between the Okcheon Fold Belt and the Youngnam Massif. Collision between the North and South China blocks during the Early Cretaceous might have caused extensive deformation and the observed negative velocity anomalies in the region. The results of the tomographic inversion, combined with the findings of previous studies of Bouguer and isostatic gravity anomalies, indicate the presence of high-density material in the upper and middle crust beneath the Gyeongsang Basin in the southeastern Korean Peninsula. Although our results partially support the indentation tectonic model, it is still premature to discard other tectonic evolution models because our study only covers the southern half of the peninsula.

  17. Morphological indicators of a mascon beneath Ceres' largest crater, Kerwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, Michael T.; Ermakov, Anton; Raymond, Carol A.; Williams, David A.; Bowling, Tim J.; Preusker, F.; Park, Ryan S.; Marchi, Simone; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Fu, R.R.; Russell, Christopher T.

    2018-01-01

    Gravity data of Ceres returned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dawn spacecraft is consistent with a lower density crust of variable thickness overlying a higher density mantle. Crustal thickness variations can affect the long‐term, postimpact modification of impact craters on Ceres. Here we show that the unusual morphology of the 280 km diameter crater Kerwan may result from viscous relaxation in an outer layer that thins substantially beneath the crater floor. We propose that such a structure is consistent with either impact‐induced uplift of the high‐density mantle beneath the crater or from volatile loss during the impact event. In either case, the subsurface structure inferred from the crater morphology is superisostatic, and the mass excess would result in a positive Bouguer anomaly beneath the crater, consistent with the highest‐degree gravity data from Dawn. Ceres joins the Moon, Mars, and Mercury in having basin‐associated gravity anomalies, although their origin may differ substantially.

  18. Managing and mitigating extensive subsurface fuel product beneath two inner-city heritage buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, K. [City of Edmonton, AB (Canada); Morton, P.R. [EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    The management and mitigation of extensive subsurface fuel product beneath two inner-city heritage buildings in Edmonton, Alberta was examined. The presentation was organized under four components: description and planning; scope and risk; design; and implementation. The description and planning section identified the location, buildings, stakeholders, and integration with other activities. The section on scope and risk addressed issues regarding hydrocarbon impacts, remediation ranking (vertical and inclined wells and horizontal wells), remediation modes, and field trials. The section on design identified the remediation components including extraction wells; liquids separation and collection; water treatment; off-gas catalytic oxidation; sensor data acquisition and PLCS system; satellite link for web monitoring and control, and secure and noise-reducing enclosure. Implementation issues were also discussed with reference to horizontal directional drilling and well construction, difficulties and problems, commissioning, remediation progress to-date, and community benefits. tabs., figs.

  19. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  20. Long Period Earthquakes Beneath California's Young and Restless Volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitt, A. M.; Dawson, P. B.; Shelly, D. R.; Hill, D. P.; Mangan, M.

    2013-12-01

    The newly established USGS California Volcano Observatory has the broad responsibility of monitoring and assessing hazards at California's potentially threatening volcanoes, most notably Mount Shasta, Medicine Lake, Clear Lake Volcanic Field, and Lassen Volcanic Center in northern California; and Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Mountain, and Mono-Inyo Craters in east-central California. Volcanic eruptions occur in California about as frequently as the largest San Andreas Fault Zone earthquakes-more than ten eruptions have occurred in the last 1,000 years, most recently at Lassen Peak (1666 C.E. and 1914-1917 C.E.) and Mono-Inyo Craters (c. 1700 C.E.). The Long Valley region (Long Valley caldera and Mammoth Mountain) underwent several episodes of heightened unrest over the last three decades, including intense swarms of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes, rapid caldera uplift, and hazardous CO2 emissions. Both Medicine Lake and Lassen are subsiding at appreciable rates, and along with Clear Lake, Long Valley Caldera, and Mammoth Mountain, sporadically experience long period (LP) earthquakes related to migration of magmatic or hydrothermal fluids. Worldwide, the last two decades have shown the importance of tracking LP earthquakes beneath young volcanic systems, as they often provide indication of impending unrest or eruption. Herein we document the occurrence of LP earthquakes at several of California's young volcanoes, updating a previous study published in Pitt et al., 2002, SRL. All events were detected and located using data from stations within the Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN). Event detection was spatially and temporally uneven across the NCSN in the 1980s and 1990s, but additional stations, adoption of the Earthworm processing system, and heightened vigilance by seismologists have improved the catalog over the last decade. LP earthquakes are now relatively well-recorded under Lassen (~150 events since 2000), Clear Lake (~60 events), Mammoth Mountain

  1. Landscape effects of wildfire on permafrost distribution in interior Alaska derived from remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Dana R. N.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Kielland, Knut; Verbyla, David L.; Prakash, Anupma; Koch, Joshua C.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change coupled with an intensifying wildfire regime is becoming an important driver of permafrost loss and ecosystem change in the northern boreal forest. There is a growing need to understand the effects of fire on the spatial distribution of permafrost and its associated ecological consequences. We focus on the effects of fire a decade after disturbance in a rocky upland landscape in the interior Alaskan boreal forest. Our main objectives were to (1) map near-surface permafrost distribution and drainage classes and (2) analyze the controls over landscape-scale patterns of post-fire permafrost degradation. Relationships among remote sensing variables and field-based data on soil properties (temperature, moisture, organic layer thickness) and vegetation (plant community composition) were analyzed using correlation, regression, and ordination analyses. The remote sensing data we considered included spectral indices from optical datasets (Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI)), the principal components of a time series of radar backscatter (Advanced Land Observing Satellite—Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS-PALSAR)), and topographic variables from a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)-derived digital elevation model (DEM). We found strong empirical relationships between the normalized difference infrared index (NDII) and post-fire vegetation, soil moisture, and soil temperature, enabling us to indirectly map permafrost status and drainage class using regression-based models. The thickness of the insulating surface organic layer after fire, a measure of burn severity, was an important control over the extent of permafrost degradation. According to our classifications, 90% of the area considered to have experienced high severity burn (using the difference normalized burn ratio (dNBR)) lacked permafrost after fire. Permafrost thaw, in turn, likely increased drainage and resulted in

  2. Effects of permafrost thaw on nitrogen availability and plant nitrogen acquisition in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Turetsky, M.

    2013-12-01

    The degradation of ice-rich permafrost, which covers a large portion of Interior Alaska, typically leads to thermokarst and increases in soil saturation. As a result, conifer peat plateaus degrade and are often replaced by wet collapse scar bogs. This state change results in profound changes in regional hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, and plant community composition. Preliminary data suggest that permafrost thaw can increase surface soil inorganic nitrogen (IN) concentrations but it is still unknown whether these changes in nutrient availability are short-lived (pulse releases) and whether or not they impact collapse scar vegetation composition or productivity, particularly as collapse scars undergo succession with time-after-thaw. Therefore we are currently examining changes in plant community composition, N availability and plant N acquisition along three thermokarst gradients in Interior Alaska. Each gradient is comprised of a forested permafrost peat plateau, adjacent ecotones experiencing active permafrost degradation (including a collapsing forest canopy and a saturated moat), and a collapse scar bog where permafrost has completely degraded. We predicted that IN concentrations would be highest along the active thaw margin, and lowest in the peat plateau. We also predicted that IN concentrations would be positively related to shifts in vegetation community composition, nutrient use efficiency (NUE) and tissue 15N concentrations. Preliminary results have shown that IN concentrations increase in newer collapse scar features as well as with thaw depth. Our data also show a shift from feather moss and ericaceous shrub-dominate understories in the permafrost plateau to Sphagnum and sedge dominated thaw ecotone and bog communities. Further successional development of the collapse scar bog results in the reintroduction of small evergreen and deciduous shrubs as the peat mat develops. Over time, collapse scar succession and peat accumulation appears to lead to

  3. Reorganization of vegetation, hydrology and soil carbon after permafrost degradation across heterogeneous boreal landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torre Jorgenson, M; Harden, Jennifer; Manies, Kristen; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Shur, Yuri; O’Donnell, Jonathan; Wickland, Kim; Striegl, Robert; Ewing, Stephanie; Zhuang Qianlai; Koch, Josh

    2013-01-01

    The diversity of ecosystems across boreal landscapes, successional changes after disturbance and complicated permafrost histories, present enormous challenges for assessing how vegetation, water and soil carbon may respond to climate change in boreal regions. To address this complexity, we used a chronosequence approach to assess changes in vegetation composition, water storage and soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks along successional gradients within four landscapes: (1) rocky uplands on ice-poor hillside colluvium, (2) silty uplands on extremely ice-rich loess, (3) gravelly–sandy lowlands on ice-poor eolian sand and (4) peaty–silty lowlands on thick ice-rich peat deposits over reworked lowland loess. In rocky uplands, after fire permafrost thawed rapidly due to low ice contents, soils became well drained and SOC stocks decreased slightly. In silty uplands, after fire permafrost persisted, soils remained saturated and SOC decreased slightly. In gravelly–sandy lowlands where permafrost persisted in drier forest soils, loss of deeper permafrost around lakes has allowed recent widespread drainage of lakes that has exposed limnic material with high SOC to aerobic decomposition. In peaty–silty lowlands, 2–4 m of thaw settlement led to fragmented drainage patterns in isolated thermokarst bogs and flooding of soils, and surface soils accumulated new bog peat. We were not able to detect SOC changes in deeper soils, however, due to high variability. Complicated soil stratigraphy revealed that permafrost has repeatedly aggraded and degraded in all landscapes during the Holocene, although in silty uplands only the upper permafrost was affected. Overall, permafrost thaw has led to the reorganization of vegetation, water storage and flow paths, and patterns of SOC accumulation. However, changes have occurred over different timescales among landscapes: over decades in rocky uplands and gravelly–sandy lowlands in response to fire and lake drainage, over decades to

  4. Landscape Effects of Wildfire on Permafrost Distribution in Interior Alaska Derived from Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana R.N. Brown

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Climate change coupled with an intensifying wildfire regime is becoming an important driver of permafrost loss and ecosystem change in the northern boreal forest. There is a growing need to understand the effects of fire on the spatial distribution of permafrost and its associated ecological consequences. We focus on the effects of fire a decade after disturbance in a rocky upland landscape in the interior Alaskan boreal forest. Our main objectives were to (1 map near-surface permafrost distribution and drainage classes and (2 analyze the controls over landscape-scale patterns of post-fire permafrost degradation. Relationships among remote sensing variables and field-based data on soil properties (temperature, moisture, organic layer thickness and vegetation (plant community composition were analyzed using correlation, regression, and ordination analyses. The remote sensing data we considered included spectral indices from optical datasets (Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI, the principal components of a time series of radar backscatter (Advanced Land Observing Satellite—Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS-PALSAR, and topographic variables from a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR-derived digital elevation model (DEM. We found strong empirical relationships between the normalized difference infrared index (NDII and post-fire vegetation, soil moisture, and soil temperature, enabling us to indirectly map permafrost status and drainage class using regression-based models. The thickness of the insulating surface organic layer after fire, a measure of burn severity, was an important control over the extent of permafrost degradation. According to our classifications, 90% of the area considered to have experienced high severity burn (using the difference normalized burn ratio (dNBR lacked permafrost after fire. Permafrost thaw, in turn, likely increased drainage and resulted

  5. New constraints on the crustal structure beneath northern Tyrrhenian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, V. L.; Park, J. J.

    2009-12-01

    We present new seismological data on the seismic structure beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea between Corsica and the coast of Italy. Teleseismic receiver functions from two Tyrrhenian islands (Elba and Gorgona) identify clear P-to-S mode-converted waves from two distinct interfaces, at ~20 and ~45 km depth. Both interfaces are characterized by an increase of seismic wavespeed with depth. Using a summation of direct and multiply-reflected body waves within the P wave coda we estimate the mean ratio of compressional and shear wave speeds above the 45 km interface to be 1.75-1.80. Using reflectivity computations in 1D layered models we develop a model of seismic wavespeed distribution that yields synthetic seismograms very similar to those observed. We apply a Ps-multiple summation procedure to the synthetic waveforms to further verify the match between observed and predicted wavefields. The lower layer of our model, between 20 and 45 km, has Vp ~ 7.5 km/sec, a value that can be ascribed to either very fast crustal rocks or very slow upper mantle rocks. The Vp/Vs ratio is ~1.8 in this intermediate layer. On the basis of a well-constrained downward increase in seismic wave speed beneath this second layer, we interpret it as the magmatically reworked lower crust, a lithology that has been proposed to explain high-Vp layers in the crustal roots of island-arc terranes and volcanically altered continental margins, as well as lower-crustal high-Vp features sometimes seen beneath continental rifts. The presence of a thick layer of high-Vp, but crustal, lithology beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea differs considerably from previous estimates that interpreted the interface at ~20 km as the Moho. Our new interpretation obviates a need for a crustal thickness change of over 20 km at the crest of the Apennines orogen. We propose an alteration in the properties of the lower crust instead. We argue that ongoing convergent subduction of the Adriatic lithospehre is not required beneath northern

  6. Groundwater storage changes in arctic permafrost watersheds from GRACE and in situ measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muskett, Reginald R; Romanovsky, Vladimir E

    2009-01-01

    The Arctic permafrost regions make up the largest area component of the cryosphere. Observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission offer to provide a greater understanding of changes in water mass within permafrost regions. We investigate a GRACE monthly time series, snow water equivalent from the special scanning microwave imager (SSM/I), vegetation water content and soil moisture from the advanced microwave scanning radiometer for the Earth observation system (AMSR-E) and in situ discharge of the Lena, Yenisei, Ob', and Mackenzie watersheds. The GRACE water equivalent mass change responded to mass loading by snow accumulation in winter and mass unloading by runoff in spring-summer. Comparison of secular trends from GRACE to runoff suggests groundwater storage increased in the Lena and Yenisei watersheds, decreased in the Mackenzie watershed, and was unchanged in the Ob' watershed. We hypothesize that the groundwater storage changes are linked to the development of closed- and open-talik in the continuous permafrost zone and the decrease of permafrost lateral extent in the discontinuous permafrost zone of the watersheds.

  7. Selective Leaching of Dissolved Organic Matter From Alpine Permafrost Soils on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yinghui; Xu, Yunping; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Zito, Phoebe; Kellerman, Anne; Podgorski, David; Xiao, Wenjie; Wei, Dandan; Rashid, Harunur; Yang, Yuanhe

    2018-03-01

    Ongoing global temperature rise has caused significant thaw and degradation of permafrost soils on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Leaching of organic matter from permafrost soils to aquatic systems is highly complex and difficult to reproduce in a laboratory setting. We collected samples from natural seeps of active and permafrost layers in an alpine swamp meadow on the QTP to shed light on the composition of mobilized dissolved organic matter (DOM) by combining optical measurements, ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry, radiocarbon (14C), and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Our results show that even though the active layer soils contain large amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, there is a selective release of aromatic components, whereas in the deep permafrost layer, carbohydrate and protein components are preferentially leached during the thawing process. Given these different chemical characteristics of mobilized DOM, we hypothesize that photomineralization contributes significantly to the loss of DOM that is leached from the seasonally thawed surface layer. However, with continued warming, biodegradation will become more important since biolabile materials such as protein and carbohydrate are preferentially released from deep-layer permafrost soils. This transition in DOM leachate source and associated chemical composition has ramifications for downstream fluvial networks on the QTP particularly in terms of processing of carbon and associated fluxes.

  8. Strong geologic methane emissions from discontinuous terrestrial permafrost in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohnert, Katrin; Serafimovich, Andrei; Metzger, Stefan; Hartmann, Jörg; Sachs, Torsten

    2017-07-19

    Arctic permafrost caps vast amounts of old, geologic methane (CH 4 ) in subsurface reservoirs. Thawing permafrost opens pathways for this CH 4 to migrate to the surface. However, the occurrence of geologic emissions and their contribution to the CH 4 budget in addition to recent, biogenic CH 4 is uncertain. Here we present a high-resolution (100 m × 100 m) regional (10,000 km²) CH 4 flux map of the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, based on airborne CH 4 flux data from July 2012 and 2013. We identify strong, likely geologic emissions solely where the permafrost is discontinuous. These peaks are 13 times larger than typical biogenic emissions. Whereas microbial CH 4 production largely depends on recent air and soil temperature, geologic CH 4 was produced over millions of years and can be released year-round provided open pathways exist. Therefore, even though they only occur on about 1% of the area, geologic hotspots contribute 17% to the annual CH 4 emission estimate of our study area. We suggest that this share may increase if ongoing permafrost thaw opens new pathways. We conclude that, due to permafrost thaw, hydrocarbon-rich areas, prevalent in the Arctic, may see increased emission of geologic CH 4 in the future, in addition to enhanced microbial CH 4 production.

  9. Surface geophysical methods for characterising frozen ground in transitional permafrost landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Martin A.; Campbell, Seth; Nolan, Jay; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Day-Lewis, Frederick D.; Lane, John W.

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of shallow frozen ground is paramount to research in cold regions, and is subject to temporal and spatial changes influenced by climate, landscape disturbance and ecosystem succession. Remote sensing from airborne and satellite platforms is increasing our understanding of landscape-scale permafrost distribution, but typically lacks the resolution to characterise finer-scale processes and phenomena, which are better captured by integrated surface geophysical methods. Here, we demonstrate the use of electrical resistivity imaging (ERI), electromagnetic induction (EMI), ground penetrating radar (GPR) and infrared imaging over multiple summer field seasons around the highly dynamic Twelvemile Lake, Yukon Flats, central Alaska, USA. Twelvemile Lake has generally receded in the past 30 yr, allowing permafrost aggradation in the receded margins, resulting in a mosaic of transient frozen ground adjacent to thick, older permafrost outside the original lakebed. ERI and EMI best evaluated the thickness of shallow, thin permafrost aggradation, which was not clear from frost probing or GPR surveys. GPR most precisely estimated the depth of the active layer, which forward electrical resistivity modelling indicated to be a difficult target for electrical methods, but could be more tractable in time-lapse mode. Infrared imaging of freshly dug soil pit walls captured active-layer thermal gradients at unprecedented resolution, which may be useful in calibrating emerging numerical models. GPR and EMI were able to cover landscape scales (several kilometres) efficiently, and new analysis software showcased here yields calibrated EMI data that reveal the complicated distribution of shallow permafrost in a transitional landscape.

  10. Classification of permafrost active layer depth from remotely sensed and topographic evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peddle, D.R.; Franklin, S.E.

    1993-01-01

    The remote detection of permafrost (perennially frozen ground) has important implications to environmental resource development, engineering studies, natural hazard prediction, and climate change research. In this study, the authors present results from two experiments into the classification of permafrost active layer depth within the zone of discontinuous permafrost in northern Canada. A new software system based on evidential reasoning was implemented to permit the integrated classification of multisource data consisting of landcover, terrain aspect, and equivalent latitude, each of which possessed different formats, data types, or statistical properties that could not be handled by conventional classification algorithms available to this study. In the first experiment, four active layer depth classes were classified using ground based measurements of the three variables with an accuracy of 83% compared to in situ soil probe determination of permafrost active layer depth at over 500 field sites. This confirmed the environmental significance of the variables selected, and provided a baseline result to which a remote sensing classification could be compared. In the second experiment, evidence for each input variable was obtained from image processing of digital SPOT imagery and a photogrammetric digital elevation model, and used to classify active layer depth with an accuracy of 79%. These results suggest the classification of evidence from remotely sensed measures of spectral response and topography may provide suitable indicators of permafrost active layer depth

  11. Estimating Rates of Permafrost Degradation and their Impact on Ecosystems across Alaska and Northwest Canada using the Process-based Permafrost Dynamics Model GIPL as a Component of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchenko, S. S.; Genet, H.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Breen, A. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, S. T.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Bolton, W. R.; Walsh, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    The impact of climate warming on permafrost and the potential of climate feedbacks resulting from permafrost thawing have recently received a great deal of attention. Permafrost temperature has increased in most locations in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic during the past 30-40 years. The typical increase in permafrost temperature is 1-3°C. The process-based permafrost dynamics model GIPL developed in the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab, and which is the permafrost module of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) has been using to quantify the nature and rate of permafrost degradation and its impact on ecosystems, infrastructure, CO2 and CH4fluxes and net C storage following permafrost thaw across Alaska and Northwest Canada. The IEM project is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary effort aimed at understanding potential landscape, habitat and ecosystem change across the IEM domain. The IEM project also aims to tie three scientific models together Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), the ALFRESCO (ALaska FRame-based EcoSystem Code) and GIPL so that they exchange data at run-time. The models produce forecasts of future fire, vegetation, organic matter, permafrost and hydrology regimes. The climate forcing data are based on the historical CRU3.1 data set for the retrospective analysis period (1901-2009) and the CMIP3 CCCMA-CGCM3.1 and MPI-ECHAM5/MPI-OM climate models for the future period (2009-2100). All data sets were downscaled to a 1 km resolution, using a differencing methodology (i.e., a delta method) and the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climatology. We estimated the dynamics of permafrost temperature, active layer thickness, area occupied by permafrost, and volume of thawed soils across the IEM domain. The modeling results indicate how different types of ecosystems affect the thermal state of permafrost and its stability. Although the rate of soil warming and permafrost degradation in peatland areas are slower than

  12. Climate Change and Thawing Permafrost in Two Iñupiaq Communities of Alaska's Arctic: Observations, Implications, and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, A.; Kofinas, G.

    2013-12-01

    For thousands of years the Iñupiat of northern Alaska have relied on ecosystems underlain by permafrost for material and cultural resources. As permafrost thaws across the Arctic, these social-ecological systems are changing rapidly. Community-based research and extensive local knowledge of Iñupiaq villagers offer unique and valuable contributions to understanding permafrost change and its implications for humans. We partnered with two Iñupiaq communities in Alaska's Arctic to investigate current and potential effects of thawing permafrost on social-ecological systems. Anaktuvuk Pass is situated on thaw-stable consolidated gravel in the Brooks Range, while Selawik rests on ice-rich permafrost in Beringia lowland tundra. Using the transdisciplinary approach of resilience theory and mixed geophysical and ethnographic methods, we measured active layer thaw depths and documented local knowledge about climate and permafrost change. Thaw depths were greater overall in Selawik. Residents of both communities reported a variety of changes in surface features, hydrology, weather, flora, and fauna that they attribute to thawing permafrost and / or climate change. Overall, Selawik residents described more numerous and extreme examples of such changes, expressed higher degrees of certainty that change is occurring, and anticipated more significant and negative implications for their way of life than did residents of Anaktuvuk Pass. Of the two villages, Selawik faces greater and more immediate challenges to the resilience of its social-ecological system as permafrost thaws.

  13. Exploring the ground ice recharge near permafrost table on the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau using chemical and isotopic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Weihua; Wu, Tonghua; Zhao, Lin; Li, Ren; Zhu, Xiaofan; Wang, Wanrui; Yang, Shuhua; Qin, Yanhui; Hao, Junmin

    2018-05-01

    Thawing permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) has great impacts on the local hydrological process by way of causing ground ice to thaw. Until now there is little knowledge on ground ice hydrology near permafrost table under a warming climate. This study applied stable tracers (isotopes and chloride) and hydrograph separation model to quantify the sources of ground ice near permafrost table in continuous permafrost regions of the central QTP. The results indicated that the ground ice near permafrost table was mainly supplied by active layer water and permafrost water, accounting for 58.9 to 87.0% and 13.0 to 41.1%, respectively, which implying that the active layer was the dominant source. The contribution rates from the active layer to the ground ice in alpine meadow (59 to 69%) was less than that in alpine steppe (70 to 87%). It showed well-developed hydrogeochemical depth gradients, presenting depleted isotopes and positive chemical gradients with depth within the soil layer. The effects of evaporation and freeze-out fractionation on the soil water and ground ice were evident. The results provide additional insights into ground ice sources and cycling near permafrost table in permafrost terrain, and would be helpful for improving process-based detailed hydrologic models under the occurring global warming.

  14. LGM permafrost thickness and extent in the Northern Hemisphere derived from the earth system model iLOVECLIM

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kitover, D.C.; van Balen, R.T.; Vandenberghe, J.F.; Roche, D.M.V.A.P.; Renssen, H.

    2016-01-01

    An estimate of permafrost extent and thickness in the northern hemisphere during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~ 21 ka) has been produced using the VU University Amsterdam Permafrost Snow (VAMPERS) model, forced by iLOVECLIM, an Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity. We present model

  15. Effects of permafrost thaw on carbon emissions under aerobic and anaerobic environments in the Great Hing'an Mountains, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Changchun; Wang, Xianwei; Miao, Yuqing; Wang, Jiaoyue; Mao, Rong; Song, Yanyu

    2014-07-15

    The carbon (C) pool of permafrost peatland is very important for the global C cycle. Little is known about how permafrost thaw could influence C emissions in the Great Hing'an Mountains of China. Through aerobic and anaerobic incubation experiments, we studied the effects of permafrost thaw on CH4 and CO2 emissions. The rates of CH4 and CO2 emissions were measured at -10, 0 and 10°C. Although there were still C emissions below 0°C, rates of CH4 and CO2 emissions significantly increased with permafrost thaw under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The C release under aerobic conditions was greater than under anaerobic conditions, suggesting that permafrost thaw and resulting soil environment change should be important influences on C emissions. However, CH4 stored in permafrost soils could affect accurate estimation of CH4 emissions from microbial degradation. Calculated Q10 values in the permafrost soils were significantly higher than values in active-layer soils under aerobic conditions. Our results highlight that permafrost soils have greater potential decomposability than soils of the active layer, and such carbon decomposition would be more responsive to the aerobic environment. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Decadal warming causes a consistent and persistent shift from heterotrophic to autotrophic respiration in contrasting permafrost ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hicks Pries, C.E.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Schuur, E.A.G.; Natali, S.M.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Aerts, R.; Dorrepaal, E.

    2015-01-01

    Soil carbon in permafrost ecosystems has the potential to become a major positive feedback to climate change if permafrost thaw increases heterotrophic decomposition. However, warming can also stimulate autotrophic production leading to increased ecosystem carbon storage-a negative climate change

  17. Comparative Activity and Functional Ecology of Permafrost Soils and Lithic Niches in a Hyper-Arid Polar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goordial, J.; Davila, A.; Greer, C. W.; Cannam, R.; DiRuggiero, J.; McKay, C. P.; Whyte, L. G.

    2016-01-01

    This study represents the first metagenomic interrogation of Antarctic permafrost and polar cryptoendolithic microbial communities. The results underlie two different habitability conditions in the same location under extreme cold and dryness: the permafrost habitat where viable microbial life and activity is questionable, and the cryptoendolithic habitat which contains organisms capable of growth under the extreme conditions of the Antarctic Dry Valleys.

  18. Circumpolar assessment of permafrost C quality and its vulnerability over time using long-term incubation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Schädel; E.A.G. Schuur; R. Bracho; B. Elberling; C. Knoblauch; H. Lee; Y. Luo; G. Shaver; M. Turetsky.

    2014-01-01

    High-latitude ecosystems store approximately 1700 Pg of soil carbon (C), which is twice as much C as is currently contained in the atmosphere. Permafrost thaw and subsequent microbial decomposition of permafrost organic matter could add large amounts of C to the atmosphere, thereby influencing the global C cycle. The rates at which C is being released from the...

  19. Climate warming over the past half century has led to thermal degradation of permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ran, Youhua; Li, Xin; Cheng, Guodong

    2018-02-01

    Air temperature increases thermally degrade permafrost, which has widespread impacts on engineering design, resource development, and environmental protection in cold regions. This study evaluates the potential thermal degradation of permafrost over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) from the 1960s to the 2000s using estimated decadal mean annual air temperatures (MAATs) by integrating remote-sensing-based estimates of mean annual land surface temperatures (MASTs), leaf area index (LAI) and fractional snow cover values, and decadal mean MAAT date from 152 weather stations with a geographically weighted regression (GWR). The results reflect a continuous rise of approximately 0.04 °C a-1 in the decadal mean MAAT values over the past half century. A thermal-condition classification matrix is used to convert modelled MAATs to permafrost thermal type. Results show that the climate warming has led to a thermal degradation of permafrost in the past half century. The total area of thermally degraded permafrost is approximately 153.76 × 104 km2, which corresponds to 88 % of the permafrost area in the 1960s. The thermal condition of 75.2 % of the very cold permafrost, 89.6 % of the cold permafrost, 90.3 % of the cool permafrost, 92.3 % of the warm permafrost, and 32.8 % of the very warm permafrost has been degraded to lower levels of thermal condition. Approximately 49.4 % of the very warm permafrost and 96 % of the likely thawing permafrost has degraded to seasonally frozen ground. The mean elevations of the very cold, cold, cool, warm, very warm, and likely thawing permafrost areas increased by 88, 97, 155, 185, 161, and 250 m, respectively. The degradation mainly occurred from the 1960s to the 1970s and from the 1990s to the 2000s. This degradation may lead to increased risks to infrastructure, reductions in ecosystem resilience, increased flood risks, and positive climate feedback effects. It therefore affects the well-being of millions of people

  20. Simulation of permafrost changes due to technogenic influences of different ingeneering constructions used in nothern oil and gas fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filimonov, M. Yu; Vaganova, N. A.

    2016-10-01

    Significant amount of oil and gas is producted in Russian Federation on the territories with permafrost soils. Ice-saturated rocks thawing due to global warming or effects of various human activity will be accompanied by termocarst and others dangerous geological processes in permafrost. Design and construction of well pads in permafrost zones have some special features. The main objective is to minimize the influence of different heat sources (engineering objects) inserted into permafrost and accounting long-term forecast of development of permafrost degradation due to different factors in particular generated by human activity. In this work on the basis a mathematical model and numerical algorithms approved on 11 northern oil and gas fields some effects obtained by carrying out numerical simulations for various engineering systems are discussed.

  1. COLD HARDINESS AND RANGE OF THE MYRIAPOD Angarozonium amurense (POLYZONIIDAE, DIPLOPODA, ARTHROPODA) IN PERMAFROST ENVIRONMENTS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Mikhaljova, E V

    2015-01-01

    Angarozonium amurense (Gerstfeldt, 1859) is the only one out of more than a hundred diplopod species described in Siberia and the Far East that inhabits regions with solid permafrost. To evaluate the cold hardiness of A. amurense that allows this species to inhabit permafrost regions. The survival temperature thresholds and supercooling points (SCP) were measured. The temperature thresholds for adult animal survival are -8.5 C in summer and -27 C in winter. Average SCP decreases from -7.7 in summer to -16.9 in winter. Water content decreases from 55.7% in summer to 49.4% in winter. The cold hardiness of A. amurense sets the record in this class of animals. It allows it to overwinter in the upper 15 centimeters layer of soil in most biotopes of the coldest permafrost regions in North Asia.

  2. Poorly known microbial taxa dominate the microbiome of permafrost thaw ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurzbacher, Christian; Nilsson, R Henrik; Rautio, Milla; Peura, Sari

    2017-08-01

    In the transition zone of the shifting permafrost border, thaw ponds emerge as hotspots of microbial activity, processing the ancient carbon freed from the permafrost. We analyzed the microbial succession across a gradient of recently emerged to older ponds using three molecular markers: one universal, one bacterial and one fungal. Age was a major modulator of the microbial community of the thaw ponds. Surprisingly, typical freshwater taxa comprised only a small fraction of the community. Instead, thaw ponds of all age classes were dominated by enigmatic bacterial and fungal phyla. Our results on permafrost thaw ponds lead to a revised perception of the thaw pond ecosystem and their microbes, with potential implications for carbon and nutrient cycling in this increasingly important class of freshwaters.

  3. Mapping of permafrost surface using ground-penetrating radar at Kangerlussuaq Airport, western Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Andreasen, Frank

    2007-01-01

    Kangerlussuaq Airport is located at 67°N and 51°W in the zone of continuous permafrost in western Greenland. Its proximity to the Greenlandic ice sheet results in a dry sub-arctic climate with a mean annual temperature of −5.7 °C. The airport is built on a river terrace mostly consisting of fluvial......, in autumn 2000, three test areas were painted white in order to reduce further development of depressions in the asphalt pavement. GPR profiles crossing the white areas show a distinct difference in depth to the permafrost surface under the painted areas compared to the natural black asphalt surface. GPR...... of the permafrost surface and the formation of several depressions in the pavement of the southern parking area. The depressions can be clearly seen after rainfall. To calibrate the GPR survey, sediment samples from a borehole were analyzed with respect to water content, grain size and content of organic material...

  4. Elevation-based upscaling of organic carbon stocks in High-Arctic permafrost terrain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weiss, Niels; Faucherre, Samuel; Lampiris, Nikos

    2017-01-01

    Accurate quantity and distribution estimates of permafrost soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are needed to project potential feedbacks to climate, following warming. Still, upscaling from local field observations to regional estimates to circumarctic assessments remains a challenge. Here we explore...... elevation-based upscaling techniques for High-Arctic permafrost SOC stocks. We combine two detailed, high-resolution SOC inventories on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) with regional validation data. We find a clear relationship between elevation and SOC content, and use this observed exponential correlation, as well...... as discrete elevation classes, as upscaling models for Spitsbergen. We estimate the total amount of permafrost SOC currently present in soils on Spitsbergen to be 105.36 Tg (0.11 Pg), with a mean SOC content of 2.84 ± 0.74 kg C m−2 (mean ± 95% confidence interval). Excluding glaciers and permanent snowfields...

  5. Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Matthiesen, Henning; Møller, Anders Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been...... recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting...... organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated...

  6. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.

    2016-01-01

    estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost......-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments...... indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty...

  7. Modelling the Effects of Temperature and Cloud Cover Change on Mountain Permafrost Distribution, Northwest Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnaventure, P. P.; Lewkowicz, A. G.

    2008-12-01

    Spatial models of permafrost probability for three study areas in northwest Canada between 59°N and 61°N were perturbed to investigate climate change impacts. The models are empirical-statistical in nature, based on basal temperature of snow (BTS) measurements in winter, and summer ground-truthing of the presence or absence of frozen ground. Predictions of BTS values are made using independent variables of elevation and potential incoming solar radiation (PISR), both derived from a 30 m DEM. These are then transformed into the probability of the presence or absence of permafrost through logistic regression. Under present climate conditions, permafrost percentages in the study areas are 44% for Haines Summit, British Columbia, 38% for Wolf Creek, Yukon, and 69% for part of the Ruby Range, Yukon (Bonnaventure and Lewkowicz, 2008; Lewkowicz and Bonaventure, 2008). Scenarios of air temperature change from -2K (approximating Neoglacial conditions) to +5K (possible within the next century according to the IPCC) were examined for the three sites. Manipulations were carried out by lowering or raising the terrain within the DEM assuming a mean environmental lapse rate of 6.5K/km. Under a -2K scenario, permafrost extent increased by 22-43% in the three study areas. Under a +5K warming, permafrost essentially disappeared in Haines Summit and Wolf Creek, while in the Ruby Range less than 12% of the area remained perennially frozen. It should be emphasized that these model predictions are for equilibrium conditions which might not be attained for several decades or longer in areas of cold permafrost. Cloud cover changes of -10% to +10% were examined through adjusting the partitioning of direct beam and diffuse radiation in the PISR input field. Changes to permafrost extent were small, ranging from -2% to -4% for greater cloudiness with changes of the opposite magnitude for less cloud. The results show that air temperature change has a much greater potential to affect mountain

  8. Proceedings of GeoCalgary 2010 : the 63. Canadian geotechnical conference and 6. Canadian permafrost conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwok, C. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Moorman, B. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada); Armstrong, R. [AECOM, Calgary, AB (Canada); Henderson, J. [Associated Geosciences Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)] (comps.) (and others)

    2010-07-01

    More than 500 delegates from industry, government, universities and research centres attended this conference to exchange professional knowledge on research and development that affects all sectors of geotechnical engineering, applied geology and hydrogeology. The conference also highlighted recent geoenvironmental achievements. The geotechnical sessions were entitled: transportation geotechniques; soil mechanics; foundations; infrastructure design and operations in permafrost; mining in permafrost; oil sands geotechnology; rock mechanics; landslides; permafrost foundation design and slope stability; groundwater and slope stability; seepage and hydrogeology; harbour and shoreline geotechniques; mine drainage; mine site remediation; climate change; ground ice; geophysics and remote sensing; geoenvironmental sustainability; Mackenzie Delta Rock Glaciers; engineering geology; geohazards; waste soils and soil stabilization. The conference featured more than 230 presentations, of which 33 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs.

  9. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique P.D.; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    , including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field......-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation....

  10. The subcatchment- and catchment-scale hydrology of a boreal headwater peatland complex with sporadic permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnentag, O.; Helbig, M.; Connon, R.; Hould Gosselin, G.; Ryu, Y.; Karoline, W.; Hanisch, J.; Moore, T. R.; Quinton, W. L.

    2017-12-01

    The permafrost region of the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing twice the rate of climate warming compared to the rest of the Earth, resulting in the degradation of the cryosphere. A large portion of the high-latitude boreal forests of northwestern Canada grows on low-lying organic-rich lands with relative warm and thin isolated, sporadic and discontinuous permafrost. Along this southern limit of permafrost, increasingly warmer temperatures have caused widespread permafrost thaw leading to land cover changes at unprecedented rates. A prominent change includes wetland expansion at the expense of Picea mariana (black spruce)-dominated forest due to ground surface subsidence caused by the thawing of ice-rich permafrost leading to collapsing peat plateaus. Recent conceptual advances have provided important new insights into high-latitude boreal forest hydrology. However, refined quantitative understanding of the mechanisms behind water storage and movement at subcatchment and catchment scales is needed from a water resources management perspective. Here we combine multi-year daily runoff measurements with spatially explicit estimates of evapotranspiration, modelled with the Breathing Earth System Simulator, to characterize the monthly growing season catchment scale ( 150 km2) hydrological response of a boreal headwater peatland complex with sporadic permafrost in the southern Northwest Territories. The corresponding water budget components at subcatchment scale ( 0.1 km2) were obtained from concurrent cutthroat flume runoff and eddy covariance evapotranspiration measurements. The highly significant linear relationships for runoff (r2=0.64) and evapotranspiration (r2=0.75) between subcatchment and catchment scales suggest that the mineral upland-dominated downstream portion of the catchment acts hydrologically similar to the headwater portion dominated by boreal peatland complexes. Breakpoint analysis in combination with moving window statistics on multi

  11. The effects of permafrost thaw on soil hydrologic, thermal, and carbon dynamics in an Alaskan peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Harden, Jennifer W.; McGuire, A. David; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Wickland, Kimberly P.

    2012-01-01

    Recent warming at high-latitudes has accelerated permafrost thaw in northern peatlands, and thaw can have profound effects on local hydrology and ecosystem carbon balance. To assess the impact of permafrost thaw on soil organic carbon (OC) dynamics, we measured soil hydrologic and thermal dynamics and soil OC stocks across a collapse-scar bog chronosequence in interior Alaska. We observed dramatic changes in the distribution of soil water associated with thawing of ice-rich frozen peat. The impoundment of warm water in collapse-scar bogs initiated talik formation and the lateral expansion of bogs over time. On average, Permafrost Plateaus stored 137 ± 37 kg C m-2, whereas OC storage in Young Bogs and Old Bogs averaged 84 ± 13 kg C m-2. Based on our reconstructions, the accumulation of OC in near-surface bog peat continued for nearly 1,000 years following permafrost thaw, at which point accumulation rates slowed. Rapid decomposition of thawed forest peat reduced deep OC stocks by nearly half during the first 100 years following thaw. Using a simple mass-balance model, we show that accumulation rates at the bog surface were not sufficient to balance deep OC losses, resulting in a net loss of OC from the entire peat column. An uncertainty analysis also revealed that the magnitude and timing of soil OC loss from thawed forest peat depends substantially on variation in OC input rates to bog peat and variation in decay constants for shallow and deep OC stocks. These findings suggest that permafrost thaw and the subsequent release of OC from thawed peat will likely reduce the strength of northern permafrost-affected peatlands as a carbon dioxide sink, and consequently, will likely accelerate rates of atmospheric warming.

  12. Nitrogen availability drives priming effect by altering microbial carbon-use efficiency after permafrost thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, L.; Liu, L.; Zhang, Q.; Mao, C.; Liu, F.; Yang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Enhanced vegetation growth can potentially aggravate soil C loss by accelerating the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) ("priming effect"), thereby reinforcing the positive C-climate feedback in permafrost ecosystems. However, the degree to which priming effect alters permafrost C dynamics is expected to be modified by nitrogen (N) availability after permafrost thaw. Despite this recognition, experimental evidence for the linkage between priming effect and post-thaw N availability is still lacking. Particularly, the microbial mechanisms involved remain unknown. Here, using a thermokarst-induced natural N gradient combined with an isotope-labeled glucose and N addition experiment, we presented a strong linkage between soil N availability and priming effect in Tibetan permafrost. We observed that the magnitude of priming effect along the thaw gradient was negatively associated with soil total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) concentration. This negative effect of post-thaw N availability was further proved by a sharply reduced priming effect following mineral N supply. These two lines of evidence jointly illustrated that the priming effect along the thaw chronosequence was controlled by N availability, supporting the `N mining theory'. In contrast to the prevailing assumption, this N-regulated priming effect was independent from changes in C- or N-acquiring enzyme activities, but positively associated with the change in metabolic quotients (△SOM-qCO2), highlighting that decreased microbial metabolism efficiency rather than increased enzyme activities account for greater priming effect under reduced N availability. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that C dynamics in melting permafrost largely depends on post-thaw N availability due to its effect of retarding SOM mineralization. This C-N interaction and the relevant microbial metabolic efficiency should be considered in Earth System Models for a better understanding of soil C dynamics after permafrost thaw.

  13. A 20-year record (1998-2017) of permafrost, active layer and meteorological conditions at a high Arctic permafrost research site (Bayelva, Spitsbergen)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boike, Julia; Juszak, Inge; Lange, Stephan; Chadburn, Sarah; Burke, Eleanor; Overduin, Pier Paul; Roth, Kurt; Ippisch, Olaf; Bornemann, Niko; Stern, Lielle; Gouttevin, Isabelle; Hauber, Ernst; Westermann, Sebastian

    2018-03-01

    Most permafrost is located in the Arctic, where frozen organic carbon makes it an important component of the global climate system. Despite the fact that the Arctic climate changes more rapidly than the rest of the globe, observational data density in the region is low. Permafrost thaw and carbon release to the atmosphere are a positive feedback mechanism that can exacerbate global warming. This positive feedback functions via changing land-atmosphere energy and mass exchanges. There is thus a great need to understand links between the energy balance, which can vary rapidly over hourly to annual timescales, and permafrost, which changes slowly over long time periods. This understanding thus mandates long-term observational data sets. Such a data set is available from the Bayelva site at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, where meteorology, energy balance components and subsurface observations have been made for the last 20 years. Additional data include a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) that can be used together with the snow physical information for snowpack modeling and a panchromatic image. This paper presents the data set produced so far, explains instrumentation, calibration, processing and data quality control, as well as the sources for various resulting data sets. The resulting data set is unique in the Arctic and serves as a baseline for future studies. The mean permafrost temperature is -2.8 °C, with a zero-amplitude depth at 5.5 m (2009-2017). Since the data provide observations of temporally variable parameters that mitigate energy fluxes between permafrost and atmosphere, such as snow depth and soil moisture content, they are suitable for use in integrating, calibrating and testing permafrost as a component in earth system models.The presented data are available in the Supplement for this paper (time series) and through the PANGAEA and Zenodo data portals: time series (https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.880120, https://zenodo.org/record/1139714) and

  14. A 20-year record (1998–2017 of permafrost, active layer and meteorological conditions at a high Arctic permafrost research site (Bayelva, Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Boike

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Most permafrost is located in the Arctic, where frozen organic carbon makes it an important component of the global climate system. Despite the fact that the Arctic climate changes more rapidly than the rest of the globe, observational data density in the region is low. Permafrost thaw and carbon release to the atmosphere are a positive feedback mechanism that can exacerbate global warming. This positive feedback functions via changing land–atmosphere energy and mass exchanges. There is thus a great need to understand links between the energy balance, which can vary rapidly over hourly to annual timescales, and permafrost, which changes slowly over long time periods. This understanding thus mandates long-term observational data sets. Such a data set is available from the Bayelva site at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, where meteorology, energy balance components and subsurface observations have been made for the last 20 years. Additional data include a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM that can be used together with the snow physical information for snowpack modeling and a panchromatic image. This paper presents the data set produced so far, explains instrumentation, calibration, processing and data quality control, as well as the sources for various resulting data sets. The resulting data set is unique in the Arctic and serves as a baseline for future studies. The mean permafrost temperature is −2.8 °C, with a zero-amplitude depth at 5.5 m (2009–2017. Since the data provide observations of temporally variable parameters that mitigate energy fluxes between permafrost and atmosphere, such as snow depth and soil moisture content, they are suitable for use in integrating, calibrating and testing permafrost as a component in earth system models.The presented data are available in the Supplement for this paper (time series and through the PANGAEA and Zenodo data portals: time series (https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.880120, https

  15. A Bed-Deformation Experiment Beneath Engabreen, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, N. R.; Hooyer, T. S.; Fischer, U. H.; Cohen, D.; Jackson, M.; Moore, P. L.; Lappegard, G.; Kohler, J.

    2001-12-01

    Although deformation of sediment beneath ice masses may contribute to their motion and may sometimes enable fast glacier flow, both the kinematics and mechanics of deformation are controversial. This controversy stems, in part, from subglacial measurements that are difficult to interpret. Measurements have been made either beneath ice margins or remotely through boreholes with interpretive limitations caused by uncertain instrument position and performance, uncertain sediment thickness and bed geometry, and unknown disturbance of the bed and stress state by drilling. We have used a different approach made possible by the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory, which enables human access to the bed of Engabreen, Norway, beneath 230 m of temperate ice. A trough (2 m x 1.5 m x 0.4 m deep) was blasted in the rock bed and filled with sediment (75 percent sand and gravel, 20 percent silt, 5 percent clay). Instruments were placed in the sediment to record shear deformation (tiltmeters), dilation and contraction, total normal stress, and pore-water pressure. Pore pressure was manipulated by feeding water to the base of the sediment with a high-pressure pump, operated in a rock tunnel 4 m below the bed surface. After irregular deformation during closure of ice on the sediment, shear deformation and volume change stopped, and total normal stress became constant at 2.2 MPa. Subsequent pump tests, which lasted several hours, induced pore-water pressures greater than 70 percent of the total normal stress and resulted in shear deformation over most of the sediment thickness with attendant dilation. Ice separated from the sediment when effective normal stress was lowest, arresting shear deformation. Displacement profiles during pump tests were similar to those observed by Boulton and co-workers at Breidamerkurjökull, Iceland, with rates of shear strain increasing upward toward the glacier sole. Such deformation does not require viscous deformation resistance and is expected in a

  16. Permafrost conditions at the Upper Kuskokwim river area and its influence on local communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kholodov, A. L.; Panda, S. K.; Hanson, T.

    2017-12-01

    Research area located within the zone of discontinuous permafrost distribution. Recent mean annual air temperature here is close to the 0C. It means, that taking in consideration warming influence of the snow cower during winter, mean annual temperature at the ground surface is well above freezing point. It means that presence or absence of permafrost here completely controlled by the ecological conditions. Based on remote sensing data and the surveys conducted in 2016-17 we selected 6 main ecotypes typical for this area: black spruce boreal forest, wetlands, low and tall shrubs, deciduous and mixed forest. Most of them (low shrubs, deciduous and mixed forest) represent different stages of area recovering after forest fires that was confirmed by the presence of ashy layer close to ground surface in soil pits had been dug within these landscapes. Permafrost was observed only within 2 of them: low shrubs and black spruce boreal forest. Within these types of terrain temperature at the bottom of active layer varies from -0.2/-0.5C at the areas of low shrubs, recovered after relatively recent (approximately 30-50 years old) fires to -1/-1.5 within black spruce forest. Active (seasonally thawed) layer as thick as 0.6 to 0.8 m. Warmest ecotypes for the area are tall shrubs and deciduous forest, temperature at the depth close to 1 m is about +3C. At the mixed forest temperature at the same depth consists of +1/+2C. Active (seasonally frozen) layer thickness within permafrost free areas is 1-1.5 m at the drained sites and about 0.5 within wetlands. Ice-rich permafrost underlying the active layer was noticed only within the black spruce forest. Areas which are free of permafrost are much better drained, typical moisture of mineral soil is less than 30% versus 45-50% in seasonally thawed layer. The current state of permafrost and the fact that it presence completely depends on ecosystems limits land use abilities of local inhabitants. Any changes of forest coverage or organic

  17. PeRL: A circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muster, Sina; Roth, Kurt; Langer, Moritz; Lange, Stephan; Cresto Aleina, Fabio; Bartsch, Annett; Morgenstern, Anne; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin; Sannel, A.B.K.; Sjoberg, Ylva; Gunther, Frank; Andresen, Christian; Veremeeva, Alexandra; Lindgren, Prajna R.; Bouchard, Frédéric; Lara, Mark J.; Fortier, Daniel; Charbonneau, Simon; Virtanen, Tarmo A.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Palmtag, J.; Siewert, Matthias B.; Riley, William J.; Koven, Charles; Boike, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Ponds and lakes are abundant in Arctic permafrost lowlands. They play an important role in Arctic wetland ecosystems by regulating carbon, water, and energy fluxes and providing freshwater habitats. However, ponds, i.e., waterbodies with surface areas smaller than 1. 0 × 104 m2, have not been inventoried on global and regional scales. The Permafrost Region Pond and Lake (PeRL) database presents the results of a circum-Arctic effort to map ponds and lakes from modern (2002–2013) high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery with a resolution of 5 m or better. The database also includes historical imagery from 1948 to 1965 with a resolution of 6 m or better. PeRL includes 69 maps covering a wide range of environmental conditions from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones. Waterbody maps are linked to regional permafrost landscape maps which provide information on permafrost extent, ground ice volume, geology, and lithology. This paper describes waterbody classification and accuracy, and presents statistics of waterbody distribution for each site. Maps of permafrost landscapes in Alaska, Canada, and Russia are used to extrapolate waterbody statistics from the site level to regional landscape units. PeRL presents pond and lake estimates for a total area of 1. 4 × 106 km2 across the Arctic, about 17 % of the Arctic lowland ( s.l.) land surface area. PeRL waterbodies with sizes of 1. 0 × 106 m2 down to 1. 0 × 102 m2 contributed up to 21 % to the total water fraction. Waterbody density ranged from 1. 0 × 10 to 9. 4 × 101 km−2. Ponds are the dominant waterbody type by number in all landscapes representing 45–99 % of the total waterbody number. The implementation of PeRL size distributions in land surface models will greatly improve the investigation and projection of surface inundation and carbon fluxes in permafrost lowlands. Waterbody maps, study area

  18. Mapping of permafrost surface and active layer properties using GPR: a comparison of frequency dependencies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gacitua, Guisella; Uribe, José Andrés; Tamstorf, Mikkel Peter

    2011-01-01

    of the permafrost and from the internal features in the unfrozen soil. These results will be further used to determine the distribution of dielectric heterogeneities to support water content estimated from the same profiles. Comparing results from 400 and 800 MHz, we found that although both frequencies...... are suitable to measure thickness and to detect features in the active layer, the 400 MHz gives a better impression of the influence of the dielectric contrast effect from top of the permafrost zone which can be used to quantify the soil water content....

  19. Assessment of the effectiveness of two heat removal techniques for permafrost protection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Doré, Guy; Voyer, Érika

    2008-01-01

    Two mitigation techniques, an air convection embankment and an embankment of a granular material with an integrated heat drain, have been tested for the implementation in the shoulders of road and airfield embankments in permafrost regions. Both techniques will allow cold air to penetrate...... and calibrated on the SSE to verify the effects on the thermal regime of full-scale embankments. The results have shown that both techniques will cause a decrease in temperature, which will minimize or even possibly avoid permafrost degradation underneath the embankments. The laboratory results have also shown...

  20. Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen release from Holocene permafrost and seasonally frozen soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, K.; Waldrop, M. P.; Koch, J. C.; Jorgenson, T.; Striegl, R. G.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost (perennially frozen) soils store vast amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) that are vulnerable to mobilization to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases and to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) upon thaw. Such releases will affect the biogeochemistry of arctic and boreal regions, yet little is known about active layer (seasonally frozen) and permafrost source variability that determines DOC and TDN mobilization. We quantified DOC and TDN leachate yields from a range of active layer and permafrost soils in Alaska varying in age and C and N content to determine potential release upon thaw. Soil cores from the upper 1 meter were collected in late winter, when soils were frozen, from three locations representing a range in geographic position, landscape setting, permafrost depth, and soil types across interior Alaska. Two 15 cm-thick segments were extracted from each core: a deep active-layer horizon and a shallow permafrost horizon. Soils were thawed and leached for DOC and TDN yields, dissolved organic matter optical properties, and DOC biodegradability; soils were analyzed for C and N content, and radiocarbon content. Soils had wide-ranging C and N content (<1-44% C, <0.1-2.3% N), and varied in radiocarbon age from 450-9200 years before present - thus capturing typical ranges of boreal and arctic soils. Soil DOC and TDN yields increased linearly with soil C and N content, and decreased with increasing radiocarbon age. However, across all sites DOC and TDN yields were significantly greater from permafrost soils (0.387 ± 0.324 mg DOC g-1 soil; 0.271 ± 0.0271 mg N g-1 soil) than from active layer soils (0.210 ± 0.192 mg DOC g-1 soil; 0.00716 ± 0.00569 mg N g-1 soil). DOC biodegradability increased with increasing radiocarbon age, and was statistically similar for active layer and permafrost soils. Our findings suggest that the continuously frozen state of permafrost soils has preserved

  1. Using dynamical downscaling to close the gap between global change scenarios and local permafrost dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stendel, Martin; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Christensen, Jens H.

    2007-01-01

    Even though we can estimate the zonation of present-day permafrost from deep-soil temperatures obtained from global coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (GCMs) by accounting for heat conduction in the frozen soil, it is impossible to explicitly resolve soil properties, vegetation......, in particular in mountainous regions. By using global climate change scenarios as driving fields, one can obtain permafrost dynamics in high temporal resolution on the order of years. For the 21st century under the IPCC SRES scenarios A2 and B2, we find an increase of mean annual ground temperature by up to 6 K...

  2. Nutrient transport and transformation beneath an infiltration basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D.M.; Rolston, D.E.; Bradner, L.A.

    1998-01-01

    Field experiments were conducted to examine nutrient transport and transformation beneath an infiltration basin used for the disposal of treated wastewater. Removal of nitrogen from infiltrating water by denitrification was negligible beneath the basin, probably because of subsurface aeration as a result of daily interruptions in basin loading. Retention of organic nitrogen in the upper 4.6 m of the unsaturated zone (water table depth of approximately 11 m) during basin loading resulted in concentrations of nitrate as much as 10 times that of the applied treated wastewater, following basin 'rest' periods of several weeks, which allowed time for mineralization and nitrification. Approximately 90% of the phosphorus in treated wastewater was removed within the upper 4.6 m of the subsurface, primarily by adsorption reactions, with abundant iron and aluminum oxyhydroxides occurring as soil coatings. A reduction in the flow rate of infiltrating water arriving at the water table may explain the accumulation of relatively coarse (>0.45 ??m), organic forms of nitrogen and phosphorus slightly below the water table. Mineralization and nitrification reactions at this second location of organic nitrogen accumulation contributed to concentrations of nitrate as much as three times that of the applied treated wastewater. Phosphorus, which accumulated below the water table, was immobilized by adsorption or precipitation reactions during basin rest periods.Field experiments were conducted to examine nutrient transport and transformation beneath an infiltration basin used for the disposal of treated wastewater. Removal of nitrogen from infiltrating water by denitrification was negligible beneath the basin, probably because of subsurface aeration as a result of daily interruptions in basin loading. Retention of organic nitrogen in the upper 4.6 m of the unsaturated zone (water table depth of approximately 11 m) during basin loading resulted in concentrations of nitrate as much as 10

  3. The structure of the crust and uppermost mantle beneath Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriampenomanana, Fenitra; Nyblade, Andrew A.; Wysession, Michael E.; Durrheim, Raymond J.; Tilmann, Frederik; Julià, Jordi; Pratt, Martin J.; Rambolamanana, Gérard; Aleqabi, Ghassan; Shore, Patrick J.; Rakotondraibe, Tsiriandrimanana

    2017-09-01

    The lithosphere of Madagascar was initially amalgamated during the Pan-African events in the Neoproterozoic. It has subsequently been reshaped by extensional processes associated with the separation from Africa and India in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, respectively, and been subjected to several magmatic events in the late Cretaceous and the Cenozoic. In this study, the crust and uppermost mantle have been investigated to gain insights into the present-day structure and tectonic evolution of Madagascar. We analysed receiver functions, computed from data recorded on 37 broad-band seismic stations, using the H-κ stacking method and a joint inversion with Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity measurements. The thickness of the Malagasy crust ranges between 18 and 46 km. It is generally thick beneath the spine of mountains in the centre part (up to 46 km thick) and decreases in thickness towards the edges of the island. The shallowest Moho is found beneath the western sedimentary basins (18 km thick), which formed during both the Permo-Triassic Karro rifting in Gondwana and the Jurassic rifting of Madagascar from eastern Africa. The crust below the sedimentary basin thickens towards the north and east, reflecting the progressive development of the basins. In contrast, in the east there was no major rifting episode. Instead, the slight thinning of the crust along the east coast (31-36 km thick) may have been caused by crustal uplift and erosion when Madagascar moved over the Marion hotspot and India broke away from it. The parameters describing the crustal structure of Archean and Proterozoic terranes, including average thickness (40 km versus 35 km), Poisson's ratio (0.25 versus 0.26), average shear-wave velocity (both 3.7 km s-1), and thickness of mafic lower crust (7 km versus 4 km), show weak evidence of secular variation. The uppermost mantle beneath Madagascar is generally characterized by shear-wave velocities typical of stable lithosphere (∼4.5 km s-1). However

  4. Evidence for early hunters beneath the Great Lakes

    OpenAIRE

    O'Shea, John M.; Meadows, Guy A.

    2009-01-01

    Scholars have hypothesized that the poorly understood and rarely encountered archaeological sites from the terminal Paleoindian and Archaic periods associated with the Lake Stanley low water stage (10,000–7,500 BP) are lost beneath the modern Great Lakes. Acoustic and video survey on the Alpena-Amberley ridge, a feature that would have been a dry land corridor crossing the Lake Huron basin during this time period, reveals the presence of a series of stone features that match, in form and loca...

  5. Microbial Community Dynamics from Permafrost Across the Pleistocene-Holocene Boundary and Response to Abrupt Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammad, A.; Mahony, M.; Froese, D. G.; Lanoil, B. D.

    2014-12-01

    Earth is currently undergoing rapid warming similar to that observed about 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene. We know a considerable amount about the adaptations and extinctions of mammals and plants at the Pleistocene/Holocene (P/H) boundary, but relatively little about changes at the microbial level. Due to permafrost soils' freezing anoxic conditions, they act as microbial diversity archives allowing us to determine how microbial communities adapted to the abrupt warming at the end of P. Since microbial community composition only helps differentiate viable and extant microorganisms in frozen permafrost, microbial activity in thawing permafrost must be investigated to provide a clear understanding of microbial response to climate change. Current increased temperatures will result in warming and potential thaw of permafrost and release of stored organic carbon, freeing it for microbial utilization; turning permafrost into a carbon source. Studying permafrost viable microbial communities' diversity and activity will provide a better understanding of how these microorganisms respond to soil edaphic variability due to climate change across the P/H boundary, providing insight into the changes that the soil community is currently undergoing in this modern era of rapid climate change. Modern soil, H and P permafrost cores were collected from Lucky Lady II site outside Dawson City, Yukon. 16S rRNA high throughput sequencing of permafrost DNA showed the same trends for total and viable community richness and diversity with both decreasing with permafrost depth and only the richness increasing in mid and early P. The modern, H and P soils had 50.9, 33.9, and 27.3% unique viable species and only 14% of the total number of viable species were shared by all soils. Gas flux measurements of thawed permafrost showed metabolic activity in modern and permafrost soils, aerobic CH­­4 consumption in modern, some H and P soils, and anaerobic CH­­4 production in one H

  6. Isotopic discontinuities in ground water beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stuckless, J.S.; Whelan, J.F.; Steinkampf, W.C.

    1991-01-01

    Analytical data for stable isotopes in ground water from beneath Yucca Mountain, when examined in map view, show areal patterns of heterogeneity that can be interpreted in terms of mixing of at least three end members. One end member must be isotopically heavy in terms of hydrogen and oxygen and have a young apparent 14 C age such as water found at the north end of Yucca Mountain beneath Fortymile Wash. A second end member must contain isotopically heavy carbon and have an old apparent 14 C age such as water from the Paleozoic aquifer. The third end member cannot be tightly defined. It must be isotopically lighter than the first with respect of hydrogen and oxygen and be intermediate to the first and second end members with respect to both apparent 14 C age and δ 13 C. The variable isotopic compositions of hydrogen and oxygen indicate that two of the end members are waters, but the variable carbon isotopic composition could represent either a third water end member or reaction of water with a carbon-bearing solids such as calcite. 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  7. Analysis of pumping-induced unsaturated regions beneath aperennial river

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Su, G.W.; Jasperse, J.; Seymour, D.; Constantz, J.; Zhou, Q.

    2007-05-15

    The presence of an unsaturated region beneath a streambedduring groundwater pumping near streams reduces the pumping capacity whenit reaches the well screens, changes flow paths, and alters the types ofbiological transformations in the streambed sediments. Athree-dimensional, multi-phase flow model of two horizontal collectorwells along the Russian River near Forestville, California was developedto investigate the impact of varying the ratio of the aquifer tostreambed permeability on (1) the formation of an unsaturated regionbeneath the stream, (2) the pumping capacity, (3) stream-water fluxesthrough the streambed, and (4) stream-water travel times to the collectorwells. The aquifer to streambed permeability ratio at which theunsaturated region was initially observed ranged from 10 to 100. The sizeof the unsaturated region beneath the streambed increased as the aquiferto streambed permeability ratio increased. The simulations also indicatedthat for a particular aquifer permeability, decreasing the streambedpermeability by only a factor of 2-3 from the permeability wheredesaturation initially occurred resulted in reducing the pumpingcapacity. In some cases, the stream-water fluxes increased as thestreambed permeability decreased. However, the stream water residencetimes increased and the fraction of stream water that reached that thewells decreased as the streambed permeability decreased, indicating thata higher streambed flux does not necessarily correlate to greaterrecharge of stream water around the wells.

  8. Simulation of Wave-Plus-Current Scour beneath Submarine Pipelines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eltard-Larsen, Bjarke; Fuhrman, David R.; Sumer, B. Mutlu

    2016-01-01

    A fully coupled hydrodynamic and morphologic numerical model was utilized for the simulation of wave-plus-current scour beneath submarine pipelines. The model was based on incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations, coupled with k-ω turbulence closure, with additional bed and suspen......A fully coupled hydrodynamic and morphologic numerical model was utilized for the simulation of wave-plus-current scour beneath submarine pipelines. The model was based on incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations, coupled with k-ω turbulence closure, with additional bed...... and suspended load descriptions forming the basis for seabed morphology. The model was successfully validated against experimental measurements involving scour development and eventual equilibrium in pure-current flows over a range of Shields parameters characteristic of both clear-water and live-bed regimes....... This validation complements previously demonstrated accuracy for the same model in simulating pipeline scour processes in pure-wave environments. The model was subsequently utilized to simulate combined wave-plus-current scour over a wide range of combined Keulegan–Carpenter numbers and relative current strengths...

  9. Baseline characteristics of climate, permafrost and land cover from a new permafrost observatory in the Lena River Delta, Siberia (1998–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Boike

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Samoylov Island is centrally located within the Lena River Delta at 72° N, 126° E and lies within the Siberian zone of continuous permafrost. The landscape on Samoylov Island consists mainly of late Holocene river terraces with polygonal tundra, ponds and lakes, and an active floodplain. The island has been the focus of numerous multidisciplinary studies since 1993, which have focused on climate, land cover, ecology, hydrology, permafrost and limnology. This paper aims to provide a framework for future studies by describing the characteristics of the island's meteorological parameters (temperature, radiation and snow cover, soil temperature, and soil moisture. The land surface characteristics have been described using high resolution aerial images in combination with data from ground-based observations. Of note is that deeper permafrost temperatures have increased between 0.3 to 1.3 °C over the last five years. However, no clear warming of air and active layer temperatures is detected since 1998, though winter air temperatures during recent years have not been as cold as in earlier years. Data related to this article are archived under: http://doi. pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.806233 .

  10. Analysing the environmental harms caused by coal mining and its protection measures in permafrost regions of Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Cao

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The coal mining has brought a series of ecological problems and environmental problems in permafrost regions. Taking Muli coal-mining area as an example, this article attempts to analyse the environmental harms caused by coal mining and its protection measures in permafrost regions of Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. This article analyses the influence of open mining on the surrounding permafrost around the open pit by using the numerical simulation. The results show that (1 based on the interrelation between coal mining and permafrost environment, these main environmental harm include the permafrost change and the natural environment change in cold regions; (2 once the surface temperature rises due to open mining, the permafrost will disappear with the increase of exploitation life. If considering the solar radiation, the climate conditions and the geological condition around the pit edge, the maximum thaw depth will be more than 2 m; (3 the protection measures are proposed to avoid the disadvantage impact on the permafrost environment caused by coal mining. It will provide a scientific basis for the resource development and environment protection in cold regions.

  11. Seasonal and multi-year surface displacements measured by DInSAR in a High Arctic permafrost environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudy, Ashley C. A.; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Treitz, Paul; Short, Naomi; Brisco, Brian

    2018-02-01

    Arctic landscapes undergo seasonal and long-term changes as the active layer thaws and freezes, which can result in localized or irregular subsidence leading to the formation of thermokarst terrain. Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) is a technique capable of measuring ground surface displacements resulting from thawing permafrost at centimetre precision and is quickly gaining acceptance as a means of measuring ground displacement in permafrost regions. Using RADARSAT-2 stacked DInSAR data from 2013 and 2015 we determined the magnitude and patterns of land surface change in a continuous permafrost environment. At our study site situated in the Canadian High Arctic, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns were consistent with field observations of permafrost degradation. As expected, many DInSAR values are close to the detection threshold (i.e., 1 cm) and therefore do not indicate significant change; however, DInSAR seasonal ground displacement patterns aligned well with climatological and soil conditions and offer geomorphological insight into subsurface processes in permafrost environments. While our dataset is limited to two years of data representing a three-year time period, the displacements derived from DInSAR provide insight into permafrost change in a High Arctic environment and demonstrate that DInSAR is an applicable tool for understanding environmental change in remote permafrost regions.

  12. Epilithonimonas psychrotolerans sp. nov., isolated from alpine permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Liang; Zhao, Qi; Sheng, Hongmei; Wu, Jianmin; An, Lizhe

    2015-11-01

    A bacterial strain, designated TSBY 57T, was isolated during a study on the phylogenetic diversity of culturable bacteria from alpine permafrost in Tianshan Mountains, China, and was classified by means of a polyphasic taxonomic approach. The novel strain was found to belong to the genus Epilithonimonas and was distinguished from recognized species of this genus. Strain TSBY 57T grew aerobically, at 0-30 °C, with 0-1.5% (w/v) NaCl and at pH 6-8.Cells were Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming rods. Compared with the reference strains, the novel strain was psychrotolerant. The predominant fatty acids were summed feature 3 (consisting of C16:1ω7c and/or C16:1ω6c), anteiso-C15:0 and iso-C15:0.The sole respiratory quinone was MK-6.Phosphatidylethanolamine was predominant in the polar lipid profile of strain TSBY 57T. These chemotaxonomic traits were in good agreement with the characteristics of the genus Epilithonimonas. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain TSBY 57T was a member of the genus Epilithonimonas and was closely related to Epilithonimonas tenax DSM 16811T (99.0%), Epilithonimonas ginsengisoli DCY78T (98.6%) and Epilithonimonas lactis H1T (98.5%). However, DNA-DNA reassociation values between strain TSBY 57T and E. tenax DSM 16811T, E. ginsengisoli DCY78T and E. lactis H1T were 39.5 ± 2.6, 37.7 ± 1.0 and 37.3 ± 1.1%, respectively. The G+C content of the DNA was 34.4 ± 0.2  mol%. Based on data from this polyphasic taxonomic study, strain TSBY 57T represents a novel species of the genus Epilithonimonas, for which the name Epilithonimonas psychrotolerans sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is TSBY 57T ( = NRRL B-51307T=CCTCC AB 207182T).

  13. Multi-omics of permafrost, active layer and thermokarst bog soil microbiomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hultman, Jenni; Waldrop, Mark P.; Mackelprang, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Over 20% of Earth's terrestrial surface is underlain by permafrost with vast stores of carbon that, once thawed, may represent the largest future transfer of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere(1). This process is largely dependent on microbial responses, but we know little about microbia...

  14. Impact of global warming on permafrost conditions in a coupled GCM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stendel, M.; Christensen, J. H.

    2002-01-01

    emissions (SRES A2 issued by IPCC), we estimate the amounts that the permafrost zones moves poleward and how the thickness of the active layer deepens in response to the global warming by the end of the 21st century. The simulation indicates a 30-40% increase in active-layer thickness for most...

  15. Models of talik, permafrost and gas hydrate histories - Beaufort Mackenzie Basin, Canada

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Majorowicz, J.; Osadetz, K.; Šafanda, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 7 (2015), s. 6738-6764 ISSN 1996-1073 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : gas hydrates * permafrost * Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin * taliks Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.077, year: 2015

  16. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and aquatic systems : A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G M; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic regions warm and frozen soils thaw, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to decomposition or transport. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the

  17. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

  18. The extent of permafrost in China during the local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, L.; Jin, H.; Li, C.; Cui, Z.; Chang, X.; Marchenko, S.S.; Vandenberghe, J.; Zhang, T.; Luo, D.; Liu, G.; Yi, C.

    2014-01-01

    Recent investigations into relict periglacial phenomena in northern and western China and on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau provide information for delineating the extent of permafrost in China during the Late Pleistocene. Polygonal and wedge-shaped structures indicate that, during the local Last Glacial

  19. Dissolved organic carbon loss from Yedoma permafrost amplified by ice wedge thaw

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vonk, J E; Mann, P J; Spencer, R G M; Bulygina, E B; Holmes, R M; Dowdy, K L; Davydova, A; Davydov, S P; Zimov, N; Eglinton, T I

    2013-01-01

    Pleistocene Yedoma permafrost contains nearly a third of all organic matter (OM) stored in circum-arctic permafrost and is characterized by the presence of massive ice wedges. Due to its rapid formation by sediment accumulation and subsequent frozen storage, Yedoma OM is relatively well preserved and highly biologically available (biolabile) upon thaw. A better understanding of the processes regulating Yedoma degradation is important to improve estimates of the response and magnitude of permafrost carbon feedbacks to climate warming. In this study, we examine the composition of ice wedges and the influence of ice wedge thaw on the biolability of Yedoma OM. Incubation assays were used to assess OM biolability, fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize the OM composition, and potential enzyme activity rates to examine the controls and regulation of OM degradation. We show that increasing amounts of ice wedge melt water in Yedoma-leached incubations enhanced the loss of dissolved OM over time. This may be attributed to the presence of low-molecular weight compounds and low initial phenolic content in the OM of ice wedges, providing a readily available substrate that promotes the degradation of Yedoma OC. The physical vulnerability of ice wedges upon thaw (causing irreversible collapse), combined with the composition of ice wedge-engrained OM (co-metabolizing old OM), underlines the particularly strong potential of Yedoma to generate a positive feedback to climate warming relative to other forms of non-ice wedge permafrost. (letter)

  20. Rapid responses of permafrost and vegetation to experimentally increased snow cover in sub-arctic Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansson, Margareta; Bosiö, Julia; Akerman, H Jonas; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin; Christensen, Torben R; Callaghan, Terry V

    2013-01-01

    Increased snow depth already observed, and that predicted for the future are of critical importance to many geophysical and biological processes as well as human activities. The future characteristics of sub-arctic landscapes where permafrost is particularly vulnerable will depend on complex interactions between snow cover, vegetation and permafrost. An experimental manipulation was, therefore, set up on a lowland peat plateau with permafrost, in northernmost Sweden, to simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation and to study their effects on permafrost and vegetation. After seven years of treatment, statistically significant differences between manipulated and control plots were found in mean winter ground temperatures, which were 1.5 ° C higher in manipulated plots. During the winter, a difference in minimum temperatures of up to 9 ° C higher could be found in individual manipulated plots compared with control plots. Active layer thicknesses increased at the manipulated plots by almost 20% compared with the control plots and a mean surface subsidence of 24 cm was recorded in the manipulated plots compared to 5 cm in the control plots. The graminoid Eriophorum vaginatum has expanded in the manipulated plots and the vegetation remained green longer in the season. (letter)

  1. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bellemain, Eva; Davey, Marie L.; Kauserud, Håvard

    2013-01-01

    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16000-32000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS...

  2. Utilization of ancient permafrost carbon in headwaters of Arctic fluvial networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mann, Paul J.; Eglinton, Timothy I.; McIntyre, Cameron P.; Zimov, Nikita; Davydova, Anna; Vonk, Jorien E.; Holmes, Robert M.; Spencer, Robert G M

    2015-01-01

    Northern high-latitude rivers are major conduits of carbon from land to coastal seas and the Arctic Ocean. Arctic warming is promoting terrestrial permafrost thaw and shifting hydrologic flowpaths, leading to fluvial mobilization of ancient carbon stores. Here we describe 14 C and 13 C

  3. Utilization of Screw Piles in High Seismicity Areas of Cold and Warm Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    This work was performed in support of the AUTC project Utilization of Screw Piles in : High Seismicity Areas of Cold and Warm Permafrost under the direction of PI Dr. Kenan : Hazirbaba. Surface wave testing was performed at 30 sites in the City...

  4. Optimization in the use of Air Convection Embankments for Protection of Underlying Permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 1990s a significant increase in the mean annual air temperatures has been recorded all over the arctic regions. This has lead to a degrading of permafrost, which is now threatening the stability of airport and road embankments. To minimize the damages caused by thaw...

  5. Threshold sensitivity of shallow Arctic lakes and sublake permafrost to changing winter climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Bondurant, Allen C.; Romanovksy, Vladimir E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Parsekian, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high-temperature sensitivity to winter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data. Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1 m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last 30 years (2.4°C), with MABT above freezing 5 of the last 7 years. This is in comparison to slower rates of warming in deeper (3 m) lakes (0.9°C), with already well-developed taliks. Our findings indicate that permafrost below shallow lakes has already begun crossing a critical thawing threshold approximately 70 years prior to predicted terrestrial permafrost thaw in northern Alaska.

  6. Comparison of algorithms and parameterisations for infiltration into organic-covered permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infiltration into frozen and unfrozen soils is critical in hydrology, controlling active layer soil water dynamics and influencing runoff. Few Land Surface Models (LSMs) and Hydrological Models (HMs) have been developed, adapted or tested for frozen conditions and permafrost soils. Considering the v...

  7. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  8. A study of unstable slopes in permafrost areas : Alaskan case studies used as a training tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    This report is the companion to the PowerPoint presentation for the project A Study of Unstable Slopes in Permafrost: Alaskan Case Studies Used as a Training Tool. The objectives of this study are 1) to provide a comprehensive review of literat...

  9. Prokaryotic communities and operating metabolisms in the surface and the permafrost of Deception Island (Antarctica)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blanco, Yolanda; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Gómez, Manuel J.; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José Antonio; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Rivas, Luis A.; Parro, Victor

    In this study we examined the microbial community composition and operating metabolisms on the surface and in the permafrost of Deception Island, (Antarctica) with an on site antibody microarray biosensor. Samples (down to a depth of 4.2m) were analysed with LDChip300 (Life Detector Chip), an

  10. Limited contribution of permafrost carbon to methane release from thawing peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Mark D. A.; Estop-Aragonés, Cristian; Fisher, James P.; Thierry, Aaron; Garnett, Mark H.; Charman, Dan J.; Murton, Julian B.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Treharne, Rachael; Kokelj, Steve V.; Wolfe, Stephen A.; Lewkowicz, Antoni G.; Williams, Mathew; Hartley, Iain P.

    2017-07-01

    Models predict that thaw of permafrost soils at northern high latitudes will release tens of billions of tonnes of carbon (C) to the atmosphere by 2100 (refs ,,). The effect on the Earth’s climate depends strongly on the proportion of this C that is released as the more powerful greenhouse gas methane (CH4), rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) (refs ,); even if CH4 emissions represent just 2% of the C release, they would contribute approximately one-quarter of the climate forcing. In northern peatlands, thaw of ice-rich permafrost causes surface subsidence (thermokarst) and water-logging, exposing substantial stores (tens of kilograms of C per square meter, ref. ) of previously frozen organic matter to anaerobic conditions, and generating ideal conditions for permafrost-derived CH4 release. Here we show that, contrary to expectations, although substantial CH4 fluxes (>20 g CH4 m-2 yr-1) were recorded from thawing peatlands in northern Canada, only a small amount was derived from previously frozen C (effect of permafrost thaw on CH4 emissions from northern peatlands.

  11. Air temperature changes and their impact on permafrost ecosystems in eastern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desyatkin Roman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Significant increasing of mean annual air temperatures, freezing index and thawing index - have exerted a considerable impact on the state of permafrost landscapes and ecosystems in Eastern Siberia on the last few decades. Many animals and plants have shifted their ranges and this may be the precursor of northward shifts of the landscape zones. Landscapes that contain ground ice bodies in the underlying permafrost are especially sensitive to climate warming. Increase of mean annual air temperature for 2-3°C over the last three decades has resulted an increase in ground temperature by 0.4-1.3°C in the upper part of permafrost, which in turn has led intensification of negative cryogenic processes. Previous year’s measurements of greenhouses gases emission in the Middle Taiga forest of central Yakutia were found to show high values and spatial variability. The wet meadow soils and shallow lakes have highest methane fluxes, almost comparable with emissions from tropical peatlands. Permafrost ecosystems respond to global warming quite rapidly. This makes the study of their changes somewhat easier, but still requires meticulous attention to observations, research, and analysis of the processes under way.

  12. Demequina lutea sp. nov., isolated from a high Arctic permafrost soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finster, Kai; Herbert, Rodney Andrew; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup

    2009-01-01

    Two Gram-stain-positive, pigmented, non-motile, non-spore-forming, pleomorphic, rod-shaped bacteria (strains SV45T and SV47), isolated from a permafrost soil collected from the Adventdalen valley, Spitsbergen, northern Norway, have been characterized taxonomically using a polyphasic approach...

  13. Hydrogeological considerations in northern pipeline development. [Permafrost affected by hot or chilled pipeline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harlan, R L

    1974-11-01

    Some of the hydrogeological implications of construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines in northern regions of Canada are considered in relation to their potential environmental impacts and those factors affecting the security of the pipeline itself. Although the extent to which water in permafrost participates in the subsurface flow regime has not been fully demonstrated, the role of liquid as well as vapor transport in frozen earth materials can be shown from theory to be highly significant; water movement rates in frozen soil are on the same order as those in unsaturated, unfrozen soil. Below 0/sup 0/C, the unfrozen water content in a fine-grained porous medium is dependent on temperature but independent of the total water content. The thermal gradient controls the rate and direction of water movement in permafrost. The groundwater stabilizes the streamflow and in the absence of large lakes provides the main source of flow during the winter. As groundwater is frequently confined by the permafrost, degradation of the permafrost can have significant consequences. The thaw bulb formed around a hot oil pipeline can induce liquefactioned flow of the thawed material. A chilled pipeline could restrict groundwater movement, resulting in buildup of artesian conditions and icings. The liberation and absorption of latent heat on freezing and thawing affects the thermal regime in the ground surface. Recommendations are given for pipeline construction and areas for further study pointed out. (DLC)

  14. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated

  15. Effects of experimental warming of air, soil and permafrost on carbon balance in Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; C. Trucco; C.E. Hicks Pries; K.G. Crummer; A.F. Baron Lopez

    2011-01-01

    The carbon (C) storage capacity of northern latitude ecosystems may diminish as warming air temperatures increase permafrost thaw and stimulate decomposition of previously frozen soil organic C. However, warming may also enhance plant growth so that photosynthetic carbon dioxide (C02) uptake may, in part, offset respiratory losses. To determine...

  16. Interaction of thermal and mechanical processes in steep permafrost rock walls: A conceptual approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draebing, D.; Krautblatter, M.; Dikau, R.

    2014-12-01

    Degradation of permafrost rock wall decreases stability and can initiate rock slope instability of all magnitudes. Rock instability is controlled by the balance of shear forces and shear resistances. The sensitivity of slope stability to warming results from a complex interplay of shear forces and resistances. Conductive, convective and advective heat transport processes act to warm, degrade and thaw permafrost in rock walls. On a seasonal scale, snow cover changes are a poorly understood key control of the timing and extent of thawing and permafrost degradation. We identified two potential critical time windows where shear forces might exceed shear resistances of the rock. In early summer combined hydrostatic and cryostatic pressure can cause a peak in shear force exceeding high frozen shear resistance and in autumn fast increasing shear forces can exceed slower increasing shear resistance. On a multiannual system scale, shear resistances change from predominantly rock-mechanically to ice-mechanically controlled. Progressive rock bridge failure results in an increase of sensitivity to warming. Climate change alters snow cover and duration and, hereby, thermal and mechanical processes in the rock wall. Amplified thawing of permafrost will result in higher rock slope instability and rock fall activity. We present a holistic conceptual approach connecting thermal and mechanical processes, validate parts of the model with geophysical and kinematic data and develop future scenarios to enhance understanding on system scale.

  17. Simulation of pollutant transport in mobile water-flow channels in permafrost environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. I. Debolskaya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A common problem for the Arctic region is pollution by persistent organic compounds and other substances that have accumulated over the years in these areas. With temperature increasing, these substances can get out of the snow, ice, permafrost in the human environment. With climate warming and permafrost degradation the risk of toxic substances from the burial sites of chemical and radioactive waste increases. The work is devoted to research the pollution propagation in the rivers flowing in the permafrost taking into account the possible deformations of the channels caused by the melting of the permafrost with increasing temperature of the river flow water. We also consider the distribution of pollutants released during erosion of the coastal slopes, caused thermal erosion. Numerical experiments confirmed the quantitative assessment obtained from the field observations of the erosion rate increases with increasing temperature. Study the impact of thermal and mechanical erosion of the distribution of impurities led to the conclusion that as a result of the formation of taliks uniform flow conditions are violated, resulting in a non-stationary distribution of impurities. The increase in the volume of the test section of the river due to the appearance of cavities in the coastal slope leads to an increase in impurity concentration. Analysis of the results of modeling the spread of contamination during thawing sources in the frozen shores, demonstrated the relationship in the process of distribution of impurities from the position of the source and allowed to give a preliminary quantitative assessment.

  18. Increased plant productivity in Alaskan tundra as a result of experimental warming of soil and permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; R.L. Rubin

    2012-01-01

    The response of northern tundra plant communities to warming temperatures is of critical concern because permafrost ecosystems play a key role in global carbon (C) storage, and climate-induced ecological shifts in the plant community will affect the transfer of carbon-dioxide between biological and atmospheric pools. This study, which focuses on the response of tundra...

  19. Isolation of nucleic acids and cultures from fossil ice and permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, E.; Hansen, Anders J.; Poinar, H. N.

    2004-01-01

    Owing to their constant low temperatures, glacial ice and permafrost might contain the oldest nucleic acids and microbial cells on Earth, which could prove key to reconstructing past ecosystems and for the planning of missions to other planets. However, recent claims concerning viable cells and m...

  20. The role of climate change in regulating Arctic permafrost peatland hydrological and vegetation change over the last millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Piilo, Sanna R.; Amesbury, Matthew J.; Charman, Dan J.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Väliranta, Minna M.

    2018-02-01

    Climate warming has inevitable impacts on the vegetation and hydrological dynamics of high-latitude permafrost peatlands. These impacts in turn determine the role of these peatlands in the global biogeochemical cycle. Here, we used six active layer peat cores from four permafrost peatlands in Northeast European Russia and Finnish Lapland to investigate permafrost peatland dynamics over the last millennium. Testate amoeba and plant macrofossils were used as proxies for hydrological and vegetation changes. Our results show that during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Russian sites experienced short-term permafrost thawing and this induced alternating dry-wet habitat changes eventually followed by desiccation. During the Little Ice Age (LIA) both sites generally supported dry-hummock habitats, at least partly driven by permafrost aggradation. However, proxy data suggest that occasionally, MCA habitat conditions were drier than during the LIA, implying that evapotranspiration may create important additional eco-hydrological feedback mechanisms under warm conditions. All sites showed a tendency towards dry conditions as inferred from both proxies starting either from ca. 100 years ago or in the past few decades after slight permafrost thawing, suggesting that recent warming has stimulated surface desiccation rather than deeper permafrost thawing. This study shows links between two important controls over hydrology and vegetation changes in high-latitude peatlands: direct temperature-induced surface layer response and deeper permafrost layer-related dynamics. These data provide important backgrounds for predictions of Arctic permafrost peatlands and related feedback mechanisms. Our results highlight the importance of increased evapotranspiration and thus provide an additional perspective to understanding of peatland-climate feedback mechanisms.

  1. Current ecological understanding of fungal-like pathogens of fish: what lies beneath?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Elie Gozlan

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite increasingly sophisticated microbiological techniques, and long after the first discovery of microbes, basic knowledge is still lacking to fully appreciate the ecological importance of microbial parasites in fish. This is likely due to the nature of their habitats as many species of fish suffer from living beneath turbid water away from easy recording. However, fishes represent key ecosystem services for millions of people around the world and the absence of a functional ecological understanding of viruses, prokaryotes, and small eukaryotes in the maintenance of fish populations and of their diversity represents an inherent barrier to aquatic conservation and food security. Among recent emerging infectious diseases responsible for severe population declines in plant and animal taxa, fungal and fungal-like microbes have emerged as significant contributors. Here, we review the current knowledge gaps of fungal and fungal-like parasites and pathogens in fish and put them into an ecological perspective with direct implications for the monitoring of fungal fish pathogens in the wild, their phylogeography as well as their associated ecological impact on fish populations. With increasing fish movement around the world for farming, releases into the wild for sport fishing and human-driven habitat changes, it is expected, along with improved environmental monitoring of fungal and fungal-like infections, that the full extent of the impact of these pathogens on wild fish populations will soon emerge as a major threat to freshwater biodiversity.

  2. InSAR-based detection of McKenzie River Delta Permafrost loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver-Cabrera, T.; Wdowinski, S.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost underlies most of the McKenzie River, North America's largest delta. The in the delta is catalogued as discontinuous permafrost due to the influence of shifting river channels on near-surface ground temperatures. The area is affected by climate change, studies show that ground temperature has increased by 1.5°C since 1970, due to rising annual mean air temperature. Flooding regimes within the delta are also affected by the changing climate due to melting of near surface ground ice together with sea-level rise increasing the potential of land subsidence. Observed consequences of changes occurring in the region are vegetation growth and northward migration of the tree line. The growing vegetation can affect physical properties of the accumulated snow, including depth, density and thermal conductivity. Thogether these variations affect permafrost stability. Permafrost changes can be measured throughout the impacts on river runoffs, ground water, drainages, carbon release, land subsidence and even infrastructure damages. Degradation of permafrost can also be measured by observing ecological changes in the area. In this study, we use InSAR observations to detect permafrost changes and their transition to wetland or vegetated land cover. Our data consist of four ALOS-PALSAR frames covering the entire McKenzie River Delta with temporal coverage spanning from January 2007 to March of 2011. Each frame has 20 to 24 acquisitions, in which half of the data acquired with HH polarization and the other half with HH+HV. We process the data using ROI_PAC and PYSAR software packages. Preliminary results have detected the following spatial patterns: (1) An overall good coherence of summer interferograms with 46-92 day interferograms, (2) Low coherence of winter interferograms (November to February), probably to the increase in snow coverage, (3) Phase jumps along the border of the river reflecting morphological differences between the region near to the river and other

  3. Uranium isotopes and dissolved organic carbon in loess permafrost: Modeling the age of ancient ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Stephanie A.; Paces, James B.; O'Donnell, J.A.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Kanevskiy, M.Z.; Aiken, George R.; Shur, Y.; Harden, Jennifer W.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2015-01-01

    The residence time of ice in permafrost is an indicator of past climate history, and of the resilience and vulnerability of high-latitude ecosystems to global change. Development of geochemical indicators of ground-ice residence times in permafrost will advance understanding of the circumstances and evidence of permafrost formation, preservation, and thaw in response to climate warming and other disturbance. We used uranium isotopes to evaluate the residence time of segregated ground ice from ice-rich loess permafrost cores in central Alaska. Activity ratios of 234U vs. 238U (234U/238U) in water from thawed core sections ranged between 1.163 and 1.904 due to contact of ice and associated liquid water with mineral surfaces over time. Measured (234U/238U) values in ground ice showed an overall increase with depth in a series of five neighboring cores up to 21 m deep. This is consistent with increasing residence time of ice with depth as a result of accumulation of loess over time, as well as characteristic ice morphologies, high segregated ice content, and wedge ice, all of which support an interpretation of syngenetic permafrost formation associated with loess deposition. At the same time, stratigraphic evidence indicates some past sediment redistribution and possibly shallow thaw among cores, with local mixing of aged thaw waters. Using measures of surface area and a leaching experiment to determine U distribution, a geometric model of (234U/238U) evolution suggests mean ages of up to ∼200 ky BP in the deepest core, with estimated uncertainties of up to an order of magnitude. Evidence of secondary coatings on loess grains with elevated (234U/238U) values and U concentrations suggests that refinement of the geometric model to account for weathering processes is needed to reduce uncertainty. We suggest that in this area of deep ice-rich loess permafrost, ice bodies have been preserved from the last glacial period (10–100 ky BP), despite subsequent

  4. Quality and Distribution of Frozen Organic Matter (Old, Deep, Fossil Carbon) in Siberian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmeister, Lutz; Strauss, Jens; Wetterich, Sebastian; Grosse, Guido; Overduin, Pier Paul

    2013-04-01

    Permafrost deposits constitute a large organic carbon (OC) pool vulnerable to degradation and potential carbon release due to global warming. Permafrost sections along coastal and river bank exposures and subsea cores in northeastern Siberia were studied for organic matter (OM) characteristics and ice content. OM stored in Quaternary permafrost grew, accumulated, froze, partly decomposed, and refroze under different periglacial environments, reflected in specific biogeochemical and cryolithological features. For the studied individual strata (Saalian ice-rich deposits, Pre-Eemian floodplain, Eemian lake deposits, Early to Middle Weichselian fluvial deposits, Middle Weichselian Yedoma, Late Weichselian Yedoma , Taberites, Holocene cover, Holocene thermokarst, Holocene thermoerosional valley and submerged lagoon and fluvial deposits) OM accumulation, preservation, and distribution are strongly linked to a broad variety of paleoenvironmental factors and specific surface and subsurface conditions before inclusion of OM into the permafrost. OM in permafrost includes twigs, leaves, peat, grass roots, plant detritus, and particulate and dissolved OM. The vertical distribution of total OC (TOC) in exposures varies from 0.1 wt % of the dry sediment in fluvial deposits to 45 wt % in Holocene peats. High TOC, high C/N, and low d13C reflect less decomposed OM accumulated under wet, anaerobic soil conditions characteristic of interglacial and interstadial periods. Glacial and stadial periods are characterized by less variable, low TOC, low C/N, and high d13C values indicating stable environments with reduced bioproductivity and stronger OM decomposition under dryer, aerobic soil conditions. Based on TOC data and updated information on bulk densities, we estimate average OC inventories for different stratigraphic units in northeastern Siberia, ranging from 7 kg C/m³ for Early Weichselian fluvial deposits, to 33 kg C/m³ for Middle Weichselian Yedoma deposits, to 75 kg C/m³ for

  5. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and waterways: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G. M.; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-06-01

    As Arctic regions warm, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to thaw and decomposition. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the reactivity and subsequent fate of carbon delivered to aquatic ecosystems. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a key regulator of aquatic metabolism and its biodegradability will determine the extent and rate of carbon release from aquatic ecosystems to the atmosphere. Knowledge of the mechanistic controls on DOC biodegradability is however currently poor due to a scarcity of long-term data sets, limited spatial coverage of available data, and methodological diversity. Here, we performed parallel biodegradable DOC (BDOC) experiments at six Arctic sites (16 experiments) using a standardized incubation protocol to examine the effect of methodological differences used as common practice in the literature. We further synthesized results from 14 aquatic and soil leachate BDOC studies from across the circum-arctic permafrost region to examine pan-Arctic trends in BDOC. An increasing extent of permafrost across the landscape resulted in higher BDOC losses in both soil and aquatic systems. We hypothesize that the unique composition of permafrost-derived DOC combined with limited prior microbial processing due to low soil temperature and relatively shorter flow path lengths and transport times, resulted in higher overall terrestrial and freshwater BDOC loss. Additionally, we found that the fraction of BDOC decreased moving down the fluvial network in continuous permafrost regions, i.e. from streams to large rivers, suggesting that highly biodegradable DOC is lost in headwater streams. We also observed a seasonal (January-December) decrease in BDOC losses in large streams and rivers, but no apparent change in smaller streams and soil leachates. We attribute this seasonal change to a combination of factors including

  6. Biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon in permafrost soils and aquatic systems: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Mann, P. J.; Spencer, R. G. M.; Treat, C. C.; Striegl, R. G.; Abbott, B. W.; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    As Arctic regions warm and frozen soils thaw, the large organic carbon pool stored in permafrost becomes increasingly vulnerable to decomposition or transport. The transfer of newly mobilized carbon to the atmosphere and its potential influence upon climate change will largely depend on the degradability of carbon delivered to aquatic ecosystems. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a key regulator of aquatic metabolism, yet knowledge of the mechanistic controls on DOC biodegradability is currently poor due to a scarcity of long-term data sets, limited spatial coverage of available data, and methodological diversity. Here, we performed parallel biodegradable DOC (BDOC) experiments at six Arctic sites (16 experiments) using a standardized incubation protocol to examine the effect of methodological differences commonly used in the literature. We also synthesized results from 14 aquatic and soil leachate BDOC studies from across the circum-arctic permafrost region to examine pan-arctic trends in BDOC. An increasing extent of permafrost across the landscape resulted in higher DOC losses in both soil and aquatic systems. We hypothesize that the unique composition of (yedoma) permafrost-derived DOC combined with limited prior microbial processing due to low soil temperature and relatively short flow path lengths and transport times, contributed to a higher overall terrestrial and freshwater DOC loss. Additionally, we found that the fraction of BDOC decreased moving down the fluvial network in continuous permafrost regions, i.e. from streams to large rivers, suggesting that highly biodegradable DOC is lost in headwater streams. We also observed a seasonal (January-December) decrease in BDOC in large streams and rivers, but saw no apparent change in smaller streams or soil leachates. We attribute this seasonal change to a combination of factors including shifts in carbon source, changing DOC residence time related to increasing thaw-depth, increasing water temperatures later

  7. Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, J.E.; Tank, S.E.; Bowden, W.B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W.F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, Y.; Billet, M.F.; Canario, J.; Cory, R.M.; Deshpande, B.N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, Milla; Walter Anthony, K.M.; Wickland, Kimberly P.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic (still) and lotic (moving) systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying factors determine (i) the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, (ii) whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and (iii) the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying factors determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted lakes and streams is also likely to change; these systems have unique microbiological communities, and show differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery

  8. Frozen in Time? Microbial strategies for survival and carbon metabolism over geologic time in a Pleistocene permafrost chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, R.; Douglas, T. A.; Waldrop, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost soils have received tremendous interest due to their importance as a global carbon store with the potential to be thawed over the coming centuries. Instead of being 'frozen in time,' permafrost contains active microbes. Most metagenomic studies have focused on Holocene aged permafrost. Here, we target Pleistocene aged ice and carbon rich permafrost (Yedoma), which can differ in carbon content and stage of decay. Our aim was to understand how microbes in the permafrost transform organic matter over geologic time and to identify physiological and biochemical adaptations that enable long-term survival. We used next-generation sequencing to characterize microbial communities along a permafrost age gradient. Samples were collected from the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) Permafrost Tunnel near Fox, AK, which penetrates a hillside providing access to permafrost ranging in age from 12 to 40 kyr. DNA was extracted directly from unthawed samples. 16S rRNA amplicon (16S) and shotgun metagenome sequencing revealed significant age-driven differences. First, microbial diversity declines with permafrost age, likely due to long-term exposure to environmental stresses and a reduction in metabolic resources. Second, we observed taxonomic differences among ages, with an increasing abundance of Firmicutes (endospore-formers) in older samples, suggesting that dormancy is a common survival strategy in older permafrost. Ordination of 16S and metagenome data revealed age-based clustering. Genes differing significantly between age categories included those involved in lipopolysaccharide assembly, cold-response, and carbon processing. These data point to the physiological adaptations to long-term frozen conditions and to the metabolic processes utilized in ancient permafrost. In fact, a gene common in older samples is involved in cadaverine production, which could potentially explain the putrefied smell of Pleistocene aged permafrost. Coupled with soil

  9. Slab melting and magma formation beneath the southern Cascade arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walowski, Kristina J.; Wallace, Paul J.; Clynne, Michael A.; Rasmussen, D.J.; Weis, D.

    2016-01-01

    The processes that drive magma formation beneath the Cascade arc and other warm-slab subduction zones have been debated because young oceanic crust is predicted to largely dehydrate beneath the forearc during subduction. In addition, geochemical variability along strike in the Cascades has led to contrasting interpretations about the role of volatiles in magma generation. Here, we focus on the Lassen segment of the Cascade arc, where previous work has demonstrated across-arc geochemical variations related to subduction enrichment, and H-isotope data suggest that H2O in basaltic magmas is derived from the final breakdown of chlorite in the mantle portion of the slab. We use naturally glassy, olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MI) from the tephra deposits of eight primitive (MgO>7 wt%) basaltic cinder cones to quantify the pre-eruptive volatile contents of mantle-derived melts in this region. The melt inclusions have B concentrations and isotope ratios that are similar to mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB), suggesting extensive dehydration of the downgoing plate prior to reaching sub-arc depths and little input of slab-derived B into the mantle wedge. However, correlations of volatile and trace element ratios (H2O/Ce, Cl/Nb, Sr/Nd) in the melt inclusions demonstrate that geochemical variability is the result of variable addition of a hydrous subduction component to the mantle wedge. Furthermore, correlations between subduction component tracers and radiogenic isotope ratios show that the subduction component has less radiogenic Sr and Pb than the Lassen sub-arc mantle, which can be explained by melting of subducted Gorda MORB beneath the arc. Agreement between pMELTS melting models and melt inclusion volatile, major, and trace element data suggests that hydrous slab melt addition to the mantle wedge can produce the range in primitive compositions erupted in the Lassen region. Our results provide further evidence that chlorite-derived fluids from the mantle portion of the

  10. Controls on ecosystem and root respiration across a permafrost and wetland gradient in interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Nicole A.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; McGuire, A. David; Kane, Evan S.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Harden, Jennifer W.

    2013-01-01

    Permafrost is common to many northern wetlands given the insulation of thick organic soil layers, although soil saturation in wetlands can lead to warmer soils and increased thaw depth. We analyzed five years of soil CO2 fluxes along a wetland gradient that varied in permafrost and soil moisture conditions. We predicted that communities with permafrost would have reduced ecosystem respiration (ER) but greater temperature sensitivity than communities without permafrost. These predictions were partially supported. The colder communities underlain by shallow permafrost had lower ecosystem respiration (ER) than communities with greater active layer thickness. However, the apparent Q10 of monthly averaged ER was similar in most of the vegetation communities except the rich fen, which had smaller Q10 values. Across the gradient there was a negative relationship between water table position and apparent Q10, showing that ER was more temperature sensitive under drier soil conditions. We explored whether root respiration could account for differences in ER between two adjacent communities (sedge marsh and rich fen), which corresponded to the highest and lowest ER, respectively. Despite differences in root respiration rates, roots contributed equally (~40%) to ER in both communities. Also, despite similar plant biomass, ER in the rich fen was positively related to root biomass, while ER in the sedge marsh appeared to be related more to vascular green area. Our results suggest that ER across this wetland gradient was temperature-limited, until conditions became so wet that respiration became oxygen-limited and influenced less by temperature. But even in sites with similar hydrology and thaw depth, ER varied significantly likely based on factors such as soil redox status and vegetation composition.

  11. Bacterial community structure in two permafrost wetlands on the Tibetan Plateau and Sanjiang Plain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Juanli; Ju, Yiwen; Deng, Yongcui; Zhang, Hongxun

    2014-08-01

    Permafrost wetlands are important methane emission sources and fragile ecosystems sensitive to climate change. Presently, there remains a lack of knowledge regarding bacterial communities, especially methanotrophs in vast areas of permafrost on the Tibetan Plateau in Northwest China and the Sanjiang Plain (SJ) in Northeast China. In this study, 16S rRNA-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) and 454 pyrosequencing were used to identify bacterial communities in soils sampled from a littoral wetland of Lake Namco on the Tibetan Plateau (NMC) and an alluvial wetland on the SJ. Additionally, methanotroph-specific primers targeting particulate methane monooxygenase subunit A gene (pmoA) were used for qPCR and pyrosequencing analysis of methanotrophic community structure in NMC soils. qPCR analysis revealed the presence of 10(10) 16S rRNA gene copies per gram of wet soil in both wetlands, with 10(8) pmoA copies per gram of wet soil in NMC. The two permafrost wetlands showed similar bacterial community compositions, which differed from those reported in other cold environments. Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria , and Chloroflexi were the most abundant phyla in both wetlands, whereas Acidobacteria was prevalent in the acidic wetland SJ only. These four phyla constituted more than 80 % of total bacterial community diversity in permafrost wetland soils, and Methylobacter of type I methanotrophs was overwhelmingly dominant in NMC soils. This study is the first major bacterial sequencing effort of permafrost in the NMC and SJ wetlands, which provides fundamental data for further studies of microbial function in extreme ecosystems under climate change scenarios.

  12. Substrate potential of last interglacial to Holocene permafrost organic matter for future microbial greenhouse gas production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapel, Janina G.; Schwamborn, Georg; Schirrmeister, Lutz; Horsfield, Brian; Mangelsdorf, Kai

    2018-04-01

    In this study the organic matter (OM) in several permafrost cores from Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island in NE Siberia was investigated. In the context of the observed global warming the aim was to evaluate the potential of freeze-locked OM from different depositional ages to act as a substrate provider for microbial production of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost. To assess this potential, the concentrations of free and bound acetate, which form an appropriate substrate for methanogenesis, were determined. The largest free-acetate (in pore water) and bound-acetate (organic-matrix-linked) substrate pools were present in interstadial marine isotope stage (MIS) 3 and stadial MIS 4 Yedoma permafrost deposits. In contrast, deposits from the last interglacial MIS 5e (Eemian) contained only a small pool of substrates. The Holocene (MIS 1) deposits revealed a significant bound-acetate pool, representing a future substrate potential upon release during OM degradation. Additionally, pyrolysis experiments on the OM allocated an increased aliphatic character to the MIS 3 and 4 Late Pleistocene deposits, which might indicate less decomposed and presumably more easily degradable OM. Biomarkers for past microbial communities, including those for methanogenic archaea, also showed the highest abundance during MIS 3 and 4, which indicated OM-stimulated microbial degradation and presumably greenhouse gas production during time of deposition. On a broader perspective, Arctic warming will increase and deepen permafrost thaw and favor substrate availability from older freeze-locked permafrost deposits. Thus, the Yedoma deposits especially showed a high potential for providing substrates relevant for microbial greenhouse gas production.

  13. Remote sensing of glacier- and permafrost-related hazards in high mountains: an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kääb

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Process interactions and chain reactions, the present shift of cryospheric hazard zones due to atmospheric warming, and the potential far reach of glacier disasters make it necessary to apply modern remote sensing techniques for the assessment of glacier and permafrost hazards in high-mountains. Typically, related hazard source areas are situated in remote regions, often difficult to access for physical and/or political reasons. In this contribution we provide an overview of air- and spaceborne remote sensing methods suitable for glacier and permafrost hazard assessment and disaster management. A number of image classification and change detection techniques support high-mountain hazard studies. Digital terrain models (DTMs, derived from optical stereo data, synthetic aperture radar or laserscanning, represent one of the most important data sets for investigating high-mountain processes. Fusion of satellite stereo-derived DTMs with the DTM from the Shuttle R