Semiautomatic mapping of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Semiautomatic mapping of permafrost in the Yukon Flats, Alaska
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL071334
Volume 43
Issue 23
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 12131
Last page 12137
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Yukon Flats