Skip to main content
USGS - science for a changing world
Advanced Search

Filters: Tags: and Monitoring (X)

228 results (10ms)   

View Results as: JSON ATOM CSV
thumbnail
Pogo Mine Project: An Introduction The Project: The proposed Pogo Gold Mine would be located about 38 miles northeast of Delta Junction, Alaska, near the Goodpaster River (see figure 1). Teck-Pogo, Inc., the "applicant," plans to develop the mine on state-owned land. It would be an underground mine with a surface mill producing up to 500,000 ounces of gold each year. The applicant hopes to begin construction in 2002, and proposes to operate the mine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for about 12 years. This predicted mine-life is based on existing information; on-going exploration could increase the life of the mine. The project would employ up to 385 employees. Workers would be housed on site. An airstrip would...
thumbnail
Boreal regions contain more than half of the carbon in forested regions of the world and over 60% of the world's surface freshwater. Carbon storage and the flood control and water filtration provided by freshwaters and wetlands have recently been identified as the most important ecosystem services provided by boreal regions, with a value many times greater than current resource exploitation. Ecosystem services and sensitive ways of detecting their impairment have so far not been fully included in boreal conservation planning. Climate warming, via its effect on permafrost melting, insect damage, and forest fire, threatens to trigger large positive carbon feedbacks that may enhance the concentrations of greenhouse...
thumbnail
Detailed observations of stream, soil, and groundwater chemistry were used to determine the role of fire, permafrost and snowmelt processes on the fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and major solutes from interior Alaskan catchments. We examined an experimentally burned watershed and two reference watersheds that differ in permafrost coverage (high, 53%; medium-burn, 18%; and low, 4%) during the FROSTFIRE prescribed burn in July 1999. The fire elevated stream nitrate concentrations for a short period during the first post-fire storm, but nitrate declined thereafter, suggesting that less severe fires that leave an intact riparian zone may have only a short-term effect on stream chemistry. Nevertheless, we found fundamental...
thumbnail
This study is the second attempt to use the Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) method to map permafrost in mountainous regions of northwestern Canada. It differs from the first study which took place in Wolf Creek in terms of (1) the methodology used to evaluate BTS, (2) the strategy used to avoid spatial autocorrelation in residuals, and (3) the climatic regions investigated. Two study areas, part of the Ruby Range (61° 12' N, 138° 19' W) and Haines Summit (59° 37' N, 136° 27' W) were selected for BTS sampling based on differing climatic conditions and previous knowledge of permafrost elevations from active rock glaciers. A total of 30 BTS measurements were made in the Ruby Range in the winter of 2006 and a total...
thumbnail
The evolution of permafrost in cold regions is inextricably connected to hydrogeologic processes, climate, and ecosystems. Permafrost thawing has been linked to changes in wetland and lake areas, alteration of the groundwater contribution to streamflow, carbon release, and increased fire frequency. But detailed knowledge about the dynamic state of permafrost in relation to surface and groundwater systems remains an enigma. Here, we present the results of a pioneering 1,800 line-kilometer airborne electromagnetic survey that shows sediments deposited over the past 4 million years and the configuration of permafrost to depths of 100 meters in the Yukon Flats area near Fort Yukon, Alaska. The Yukon Flats is near the...
thumbnail
This thesis is an investigation of the biophysical controls on the three modes of methane (CH4 ) release from a boreal peatland: diffusion, plant-mediated transport and ebullition. My objectives were to (1) quantify the total CH4 flux of a permafrost thaw-affected peatland, (2) establish the relative importance of the three modes of CH4 release in these systems, and (3) identify key biotic and abiotic controls on individual transport mechanisms. Results showed that ebullition and plant-mediated transport were the dominant pathways for CH4 release and that traditional approaches for measuring total CH4 flux from peatland soils underestimated total efflux by not capturing ebullition. Further, results from a laboratory...
thumbnail
This paper examines changes in climate with respect to permafrost and engineering design in Arctic regions. Current understanding of climate changes, predictive modeling, and climate data were studied. Inconsistencies and differences were noted, discussed, and evaluated using comparisons of the resulting climate data and graphs. A graphical analysis was done to compare different methods of data analysis and different visual interpretations of historical climate trends. The graphical analyses in this paper should be used as a guide for determining the accuracy of thermal design parameters applied to current project designs. The methodology used to evaluate raw data can greatly affect the output values used in design....
thumbnail
Permanent electrode arrays were set up at ten monitoring sites from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fort St. John, British Columbia, in order to gain a clearer perspective of the effectiveness of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) monitoring over an annual cycle of freezing and thawing. This research forms part of a longer-term project that is attempting to use ERT to examine changes in permafrost resulting from climate change. Inter-site and intra-site variability were examined by installing and maintaining data-loggers to monitor active layer and shallow permafrost temperatures, air temperatures, and snow depths at each site from August 2010-August 2011. Additional site information was collected on each ERT survey...
thumbnail
We investigated spatial variability in the community structure of stream macroinvertebrates at six reaches within Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed in the Alaskan taiga forest. Stream reaches differed most notably in river continuum position (stream orders 1–4) and influence of permafrost. Permafrost may underly much of an entire watershed or may be only locally present in valley bottoms. Permafrost distribution influences hydrology, water temperature, and riparian vegetation. We sampled benthic macroinvertebrates six times during the ice-free season between June 1995 and June 1996. Mean invertebrate abundance (range: 1160–14494 individuals/ m2) was significantly different among sites, the lower values occurring...
thumbnail
Understanding the role of permafrost in controlling groundwater flow paths and fluxes is central in studies aimed at assessing potential climate change impacts on vegetation, species habitat, biogeochemical cycling, and biodiversity. Recent field studies in interior Alaska show evidence of hydrologic changes hypothesized to result from permafrost degradation. This study assesses the hydrologic control exerted by permafrost, elucidates modes of regional groundwater flow for various spatial permafrost patterns, and evaluates potential hydrologic consequences of permafrost degradation. The Yukon Flats Basin (YFB), a large (118,340 km super(2)) subbasin within the Yukon River Basin, provides the basis for this investigation....
thumbnail
Issue Title: Special Issue: Science Results from the Canadian International Polar Year 2007-2008 Tundra and taiga ecosystems comprise nearly 40 % of the terrestrial landscapes of Canada. These permafrost ecosystems have supported humans for more than 4500 years, and are currently home to ca. 115,000 people, the majority of whom are First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The responses of these ecosystems to the regional warming over the past 30-50 years were the focus of four Canadian IPY projects. Northern residents and researchers reported changes in climate and weather patterns and noted shifts in vegetation and other environmental variables. In forest-tundra areas tree growth and reproductive effort correlated with...
thumbnail
Old Crow Flats is a 5600 km2 glaciolacustrine plain that straddles the forest-tundra ecotone in northern Yukon. Continuous taiga corridors occur in the entrenched river valleys, where annual mean ground temperatures (Tg) at the depth of zero annual amplitude at two locations were ?3.1 and ?4.0ºC in 2013. On the Flats, the vegetation cover is patchy, and Tg varied between ?5.1 and ?2.6ºC. Annual mean near-surface permafrost temperatures (Tps) measured on the Flats between 2008 and 2011 in patches of taiga, tall shrubs and low shrubs were correlated with local snow depth. Snow depth was controlled by vegetation height if the snow supply was not limited, for example, where low shrubs and large lakes dominate the landscape....
Most spatial modelling of climate change impacts on permafrost has been conducted at half-degree latitude/longitude or coarser spatial resolution. At such coarse resolution, topographic effects on insolation cannot be considered accurately and the results are not suitable for land-use planning and ecological assessment. Here we mapped climate change impacts on permafrost from 1968 to 2100 at 10m resolution using a process-based model for Ivvavik National Park, an Arctic region with complex terrain in northern Yukon, Canada. Soil and drainage conditions were defined based on ecosystem types, which were mapped using SPOT imagery. Leaf area indices were mapped using Landsat imagery and the ecosystem map. Climate distribution...
thumbnail
We examined the effects of fire disturbance on permafrost degradation and thaw settlement across a series of wildfires (from ~1930 to 2010) in the forested areas of collapse-scar bog complexes in the Tanana Flats lowland of interior Alaska. Field measurements were combined with numerical modeling of soil thermal dynamics to assess the roles of fire severity and climate history in postfire permafrost dynamics. Field-based calculations of potential thaw settlement following the loss of remaining ice-rich permafrost averaged 0.6 m. This subsidence would cause the surface elevations of forests to drop on average 0.1 m below the surface water level of adjacent collapse-scar features. Up to 0.5 m of thaw settlement was...


map background search result map search result map Interactive effects of wildfire and climate on permafrost degradation in Alaskan lowland forests Vegetation-Permafrost Relations within the Forest-Tundra Ecotone near Old Crow, Northern Yukon, Canada Effects of observed and experimental climate change on terrestrial ecosystems in northern Canada: results from the Canadian IPY program Sensitivity of northern peatland carbon dynamics to Holocene climate change Airborne electromagnetic imaging of discontinuous permafrost The effect of fire and permafrost interactions on soil carbon accumulation in an upland black spruce ecosystem of interior Alaska: implications for post-thaw carbon loss Influence of permafrost distribution on groundwater flow in the context of climate-driven permafrost thaw: Example from Yukon Flats Basin, Alaska, United States Physical and ecological controls on methane release from a boreal peatland in interior Alaska Exploring the sensitivity of soil carbon dynamics to climate change, fire disturbance and permafrost thaw in a black spruce ecosystem Seasonal cycling in electrical resistivities at ten thin permafrost sites, southern Yukon and northern British Columbia Validation of the Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) method to map permafrost in complex mountainous terrain, Ruby Range, Yukon Territory and Haines Summit, British Columbia “The Worst Thing We Had To Contend With”: Permafrost and Construction of the Alcan Highway Geometry of oriented lakes in Old Crow Flats, northern Yukon Comprehensive conservation planning to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in Canadian boreal regions under a warming climate and increasing exploitation Export of carbon, nitrogen and major solutes from a boreal forest watershed: The influence of fire and permafrost Landscape patterns and stream reaches in the Alaskan taiga forest: potential roles of permafrost in differentiating macroinvertebrate communities POGO Gold Mine EIS/NEPA Project Progress in space-borne studies of permafrost for climate science: Towards a multi-ECV approach POGO Gold Mine EIS/NEPA Project Landscape patterns and stream reaches in the Alaskan taiga forest: potential roles of permafrost in differentiating macroinvertebrate communities Interactive effects of wildfire and climate on permafrost degradation in Alaskan lowland forests Validation of the Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) method to map permafrost in complex mountainous terrain, Ruby Range, Yukon Territory and Haines Summit, British Columbia Physical and ecological controls on methane release from a boreal peatland in interior Alaska Export of carbon, nitrogen and major solutes from a boreal forest watershed: The influence of fire and permafrost Exploring the sensitivity of soil carbon dynamics to climate change, fire disturbance and permafrost thaw in a black spruce ecosystem Geometry of oriented lakes in Old Crow Flats, northern Yukon Airborne electromagnetic imaging of discontinuous permafrost Influence of permafrost distribution on groundwater flow in the context of climate-driven permafrost thaw: Example from Yukon Flats Basin, Alaska, United States Seasonal cycling in electrical resistivities at ten thin permafrost sites, southern Yukon and northern British Columbia “The Worst Thing We Had To Contend With”: Permafrost and Construction of the Alcan Highway The effect of fire and permafrost interactions on soil carbon accumulation in an upland black spruce ecosystem of interior Alaska: implications for post-thaw carbon loss Vegetation-Permafrost Relations within the Forest-Tundra Ecotone near Old Crow, Northern Yukon, Canada Effects of observed and experimental climate change on terrestrial ecosystems in northern Canada: results from the Canadian IPY program Sensitivity of northern peatland carbon dynamics to Holocene climate change Progress in space-borne studies of permafrost for climate science: Towards a multi-ECV approach Comprehensive conservation planning to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in Canadian boreal regions under a warming climate and increasing exploitation