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

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052222

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Abstract

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 sāˆ’1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along <5% of the tracklines at depths of ~5 to 470 m below the seafloor. The resulting map reveals the minimum extent of subsea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/2012GL052222
Volume
39
Issue:
15
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
AGU
Contributing office(s):
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
L15501
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Other Geospatial:
Beaufort Sea