USGS - science for a changing world

Guido Grosse

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This digital database is the product of collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam, Foothill College GeoSpatial Technology Certificate Program, and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska. The primary goal for creating this digital database is to enhance current estimates of organic carbon stored in deep permafrost, in particular Late Pleistocene syngenetic ice-rich loess permafrost deposits, called Yedoma. This deposit is vulnerable to thermokarst and erosion due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The original paper maps were issued by the Department of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation or its predecessor the...
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This digital database is the product of collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; the Los Altos Hills Foothill College GeoSpatial Technology Certificate Program; the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany; and the Institute of Physical Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The primary goal for creating this digital database is to enhance current estimates of soil organic carbon stored in deep permafrost, in particular the late Pleistocene syngenetic ice-rich permafrost deposits of the Yedoma Suite. Previous studies estimated that Yedoma deposits cover about 1...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Characteristics of the natural fire regime are poorly resolved in the Arctic, even though fire may play an important role cycling carbon stored in tundra vegetation and soils to the atmosphere. In the course of studying vegetation and permafrost-terrain characteristics along a chronosequence of tundra burn sites from AD 1977, 1993, and 2007 on the North Slope of Alaska, we discovered two large, previously unrecognized tundra fires. The Meade River fire burned an estimated 500 km2 and the Ketik River fire burned an estimated 1200 km2. Based on radiocarbon dating of charred twigs, analysis of historic aerial photography, and regional climate proxy data, these fires likely occurred between AD 1880 and 1920. Together,...
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Arctic freshwater ecosystems have responded rapidly to climatic changes over the last half century. Lakes and rivers are experiencing a thinning of the seasonal ice cover, which may increase potential over-wintering freshwater habitat, winter water supply for industrial withdrawal, and permafrost degradation. Here, we combined the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and high-resolution (HR) spotlight TerraSAR-X (TSX) satellite data (1.25 m resolution) to identify and characterize floating ice and grounded ice conditions in lakes, ponds, beaded stream pools, and an alluvial river channel. Classified ice conditions from the GPR and the TSX data showed excellent agreement: 90.6% for a predominantly floating ice lake,...
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Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100 km2 study area on the Beaufort Sea coastal plain of northern Alaska. We detected statistically significant change (99% confidence interval), defined as contiguous areas (>10 m2) that had changed in height by at least 0.55 m, in 0.3% of the study region. Erosional features indicative of ice-rich permafrost degradation were associated with ice-bonded coastal, river, and lake...
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