Linkages between lake shrinkage/expansion and sublacustrine permafrost distribution determined from remote sensing of interior Alaska, USA

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

[1] Linkages between permafrost distribution and lake surface-area changes in cold regions have not been previously examined over a large scale because of the paucity of subsurface permafrost information. Here, a first large-scale examination of these linkages is made over a 5150 km2 area of Yukon Flats, Alaska, USA, by evaluating the relationship between lake surface-area changes during 1979–2009, derived from Landsat satellite data, and sublacustrine groundwater flow-path connectivity inferred from a pioneering, airborne geophysical survey of permafrost. The results suggest that the shallow (few tens of meters) thaw state of permafrost has more influence than deeper permafrost conditions on the evolving water budgets of lakes on a multidecadal time scale. In the region studied, these key shallow aquifers have high hydraulic conductivity and great spatial variability in thaw state, making groundwater flow and associated lake level evolution particularly sensitive to climate change owing to the close proximity of these aquifers to the atmosphere.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Linkages between lake shrinkage/expansion and sublacustrine permafrost distribution determined from remote sensing of interior Alaska, USA
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/grl.50187
Volume 40
Issue 5
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 6 p.
First page 882
Last page 887
Country United States
State Alaska
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