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Benjamin M. Jones

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In landscapes underlain by ice-rich permafrost, the development of thermokarst landforms can have drastic impacts on ecosystem processes and human infrastructure. Here we describe the distribution of thermokarst landforms in the continuous permafrost zone of Arctic Alaska, analyze linkages to the underlying surficial geology, and discuss the vulnerability of different types of landscapes to future thaw. We identified nine major thermokarst landforms and then mapped their distributions in twelve representative study areas totaling 300-km2. These study areas differ in their geologic history, permafrost-ice content, and ground thermal regime. Results show that 63% of the entire study area is occupied by thermokarst...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geomorphology
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Thermokarst processes characterize a variety of ice-rich permafrost terrains and often lead to lake formation. The long-term evolution of thermokarst landscapes and the stability and longevity of lakes depend upon climate, vegetation and ground conditions, including the volume of excess ground ice and its distribution. The current lake status of thermokarst-lake landscapes and their future trajectories under climate warming are better understood in the light of their long-term development. We studied the lake-rich southern marginal upland of the Yukon Flats (northern interior Alaska) using dated lake-sediment cores, observations of river-cut exposures, and remotely-sensed data. The region features thick (up to 40...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Sedimentary Geology
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Arctic lowland landscapes have been modified by thermokarst lake processes throughout the Holocene. Thermokarst lakes form as a result of ice-rich permafrost degradation, and they may expand over time through thermal and mechanical shoreline erosion. We studied proximal and distal sedimentary records from a thermokarst lake located on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska to reconstruct the impact of catchment dynamics and morphology on the lacustrine depositional environment and to quantify carbon accumulation in thermokarst lake sediments. Short cores were collected for analysis of pollen, sedimentological, and geochemical proxies. Radiocarbon and 210Pb/137Cs dating, as well as extrapolation of measured...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: arktos
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The purpose of this report is to provide statewide baseline information on the status and potential drivers of land-cover change in Alaska. The information gathered for this report is based on a review and analysis of published literature and consists of prominent factors contributing to the current state of the land surface of Alaska as well as a synthesis of information about the status and trends of the factors affecting the land surface of Alaska. The land surface of Alaska is sparsely populated and the impacts from humans are far less extensive when compared to the contiguous United States. The changes in the population and the economy of Alaska have historically been driven by boom and bust cycles, primarily...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Lake surface regimes are fundamental attributes of lake ecosystems and their interaction with the land and atmosphere. High latitudes may be particularly sensitive to climate change, however, adequate baselines for these lakes are often lacking. In this study, we couple monitoring, remote sensing, and modeling techniques to generate baseline datasets of lake surface temperature and ice cover in the Alaskan Subarctic and Arctic. No detectable trends were observed during this study period, but a number of interesting patterns were noted among lakes and between regions. The largest Arctic lake was relatively unresponsive to air temperature, while the largest Subarctic lake was very responsive likely because it is fed...
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