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Effects of permafrost on stream channel behavior in Arctic Alaska

Professional Paper 1068

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Abstract

Sites with drainage areas ranging from 88 to 12,200 sq km were monitored on five streams in northern Alaska during the breakup in 1976 to determine (1) the effects of frozen bed and bank material on channel behavior, and (2) the importance of the annual breakup flood in forming the channels of arctic streams. The thawing and concomitant erosion of channels varied with changes in bed-material size, channel pattern, drainage area, and climate. The response of channels to breakup flooding ranged from total permafrost control of channel processes, including both bed scour and lateral erosion, to only brief restriction of channel behavior early in the rise of the flooding. The watershed characteristic that appears to explain much of this variation is size of drainage area. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effects of permafrost on stream channel behavior in Arctic Alaska
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1068
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1978
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey : for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
Description:
19 p.