Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Research article 19 Jun 2017
Research article | 19 Jun 2017
Determining the terrain characteristics related to the surface expression of subsurface water pressurization in permafrost landscapes using susceptibility modelling
Jean E. Holloway et al.
No articles found.
Thomas Schneider von Deimling, Hanna Lee, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Sebastian Westermann, Vladimir Romanovsky, Scott Lamoureux, Donald A. Walker, Sarah Chadburn, Erin Trochim, Lei Cai, Jan Nitzbon, Stephan Jacobi, and Moritz Langer
The Cryosphere, 15, 2451–2471,Short summary
Climate warming puts infrastructure built on permafrost at risk of failure. There is a growing need for appropriate model-based risk assessments. Here we present a modelling study and show an exemplary case of how a gravel road in a cold permafrost environment in Alaska might suffer from degrading permafrost under a scenario of intense climate warming. We use this case study to discuss the broader-scale applicability of our model for simulating future Arctic infrastructure failure.
Caroline Coch, Bennet Juhls, Scott F. Lamoureux, Melissa J. Lafrenière, Michael Fritz, Birgit Heim, and Hugues Lantuit
Biogeosciences, 16, 4535–4553,Short summary
Climate change affects Arctic ecosystems. This includes thawing of permafrost (ground below 0 °C) and an increase in rainfall. Both have substantial impacts on the chemical composition of river water. We compared the composition of small rivers in the low and high Arctic with the large Arctic rivers. In comparison, dissolved organic matter in the small rivers is more susceptible to degradation; thus, it could potentially increase carbon dioxide emissions. Rainfall events have a similar effect.
Maxime P. Boreux, Scott F. Lamoureux, and Brian F. Cumming
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for HESSShort summary
The investigation of groundwater-lake water interactions in a highly permeable boreal terrain using several indicators showed that lowland lakes are imbedded into the groundwater system and are thus relatively resilient to short-term hydroclimatic change while upland lakes rely more on precipitation as their main water input, making them more sensitive to evaporative drawdown. This suggest that landscape position controls the vulnerability of lake water levels to hydroclimatic change.
François Lapointe, Pierre Francus, Scott F. Lamoureux, Mathias Vuille, Jean-Philippe Jenny, Raymond S. Bradley, and Charly Massa
Clim. Past, 13, 411–420,Short summary
Using a unique annually-laminated record (varve) from the western Canadian High Arctic, we found a significant relationship between our varve record and instrumental and reconstructed Pacific Decadal Oscillations (PDOs). The negative (positive) PDO (North Pacific Index) phases increase precipitation as low sea-ice extent, warmer temperature and winds reach our region more efficiently. Our results imply that future negative PDO phases will likely impact the already rapidly warming Arctic.
Related subject area
GeomorphologyHigh-resolution inventory to capture glacier disintegration in the Austrian SilvrettaRecent degradation of interior Alaska permafrost mapped with ground surveys, geophysics, deep drilling, and repeat airborne lidarThaw-driven mass wasting couples slopes with downstream systems, and effects propagate through Arctic drainage networksFormation of ribbed bedforms below shear margins and lobes of palaeo-ice streamsIce content and interannual water storage changes of an active rock glacier in the dry Andes of ArgentinaInsights into a remote cryosphere: a multi-method approach to assess permafrost occurrence at the Qugaqie basin, western Nyainqêntanglha Range, Tibetan PlateauA quasi-annual record of time-transgressive esker formation: implications for ice-sheet reconstruction and subglacial hydrologyPermafrost distribution and conditions at the headwalls of two receding glaciers (Schladming and Hallstatt glaciers) in the Dachstein Massif, Northern Calcareous Alps, AustriaRock glacier characteristics serve as an indirect record of multiple alpine glacier advances in Taylor Valley, AntarcticaIce-stream flow switching by up-ice propagation of instabilities along glacial marginal troughsEvaluating the destabilization susceptibility of active rock glaciers in the French AlpsGlacial and geomorphic effects of a supraglacial lake drainage and outburst event, Everest region, Nepal HimalayaBasal control of supraglacial meltwater catchments on the Greenland Ice SheetHow dynamic are ice-stream beds?Subglacial drainage patterns of Devon Island, Canada: detailed comparison of rivers and subglacial meltwater channelsSub-seasonal thaw slump mass wasting is not consistently energy limited at the landscape scalePermafrost distribution modelling in the semi-arid Chilean AndesInternal structure of two alpine rock glaciers investigated by quasi-3-D electrical resistivity imagingRock glaciers on the run – understanding rock glacier landform evolution and recent changes from numerical flow modelingModeling debris-covered glaciers: response to steady debris depositionThe geomorphological effect of cornice fall avalanches in the Longyeardalen valley, SvalbardAn improved bathymetry compilation for the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, to inform ice-sheet and ocean models
Andrea Fischer, Gabriele Schwaizer, Bernd Seiser, Kay Helfricht, and Martin Stocker-Waldhuber
The Cryosphere, 15, 4637–4654,Short summary
Eastern Alpine glaciers have been receding since the Little Ice Age maximum, but until now the majority of glacier margins could be delineated unambiguously. Today the outlines of totally debris-covered glacier ice are fuzzy and raise the discussion if these features are still glaciers. We investigated the fate of glacier remnants with high-resolution elevation models, analyzing also thickness changes in buried ice. In the past 13 years, the 46 glaciers of Silvretta lost one-third of their area.
Thomas A. Douglas, Christopher A. Hiemstra, John E. Anderson, Robyn A. Barbato, Kevin L. Bjella, Elias J. Deeb, Arthur B. Gelvin, Patricia E. Nelsen, Stephen D. Newman, Stephanie P. Saari, and Anna M. Wagner
The Cryosphere, 15, 3555–3575,Short summary
Permafrost is actively degrading across high latitudes due to climate warming. We combined thousands of end-of-summer active layer measurements, permafrost temperatures, geophysical surveys, deep borehole drilling, and repeat airborne lidar to quantify permafrost warming and thawing at sites across central Alaska. We calculate the mass of permafrost soil carbon potentially exposed to thaw over the past 7 years (0.44 Pg) is similar to the yearly carbon dioxide emissions of Australia.
Steven V. Kokelj, Justin Kokoszka, Jurjen van der Sluijs, Ashley C. A. Rudy, Jon Tunnicliffe, Sarah Shakil, Suzanne E. Tank, and Scott Zolkos
The Cryosphere, 15, 3059–3081,Short summary
Climate-driven landslides are transforming glacially conditioned permafrost terrain, coupling slopes with aquatic systems, and triggering a cascade of downstream effects. Nonlinear intensification of thawing slopes is primarily affecting headwater systems where slope sediment yields overwhelm stream transport capacity. The propagation of effects across watershed scales indicates that western Arctic Canada will be an interconnected hotspot of thaw-driven change through the coming millennia.
Jean Vérité, Édouard Ravier, Olivier Bourgeois, Stéphane Pochat, Thomas Lelandais, Régis Mourgues, Christopher D. Clark, Paul Bessin, David Peigné, and Nigel Atkinson
The Cryosphere, 15, 2889–2916,Short summary
Subglacial bedforms are commonly used to reconstruct past glacial dynamics and investigate processes occuring at the ice–bed interface. Using analogue modelling and geomorphological mapping, we demonstrate that ridges with undulating crests, known as subglacial ribbed bedforms, are ubiquitous features along ice stream corridors. These bedforms provide a tantalizing glimpse into (1) the former positions of ice stream margins, (2) the ice lobe dynamics and (3) the meltwater drainage efficiency.
Christian Halla, Jan Henrik Blöthe, Carla Tapia Baldis, Dario Trombotto Liaudat, Christin Hilbich, Christian Hauck, and Lothar Schrott
The Cryosphere, 15, 1187–1213,Short summary
In the semi-arid to arid Andes of Argentina, rock glaciers contain invisible and unknown amounts of ground ice that could become more important in future for the water availability during the dry season. The study shows that the investigated rock glacier represents an important long-term ice reservoir in the dry mountain catchment and that interannual changes of ground ice can store and release significant amounts of annual precipitation.
Johannes Buckel, Eike Reinosch, Andreas Hördt, Fan Zhang, Björn Riedel, Markus Gerke, Antje Schwalb, and Roland Mäusbacher
The Cryosphere, 15, 149–168,Short summary
This study presents insights into the remote cryosphere of a mountain range at the Tibetan Plateau. Small-scaled studies and field data about permafrost occurrence are very scarce. A multi-method approach (geomorphological mapping, geophysics, InSAR time series analysis) assesses the lower occurrence of permafrost the range of 5350 and 5500 m above sea level (a.s.l.) in the Qugaqie basin. The highest, multiannual creeping rates up to 150 mm/yr are observed on rock glaciers.
Stephen J. Livingstone, Emma L. M. Lewington, Chris D. Clark, Robert D. Storrar, Andrew J. Sole, Isabelle McMartin, Nico Dewald, and Felix Ng
The Cryosphere, 14, 1989–2004,Short summary
We map series of aligned mounds (esker beads) across central Nunavut, Canada. Mounds are interpreted to have formed roughly annually as sediment carried by subglacial rivers is deposited at the ice margin. Chains of mounds are formed as the ice retreats. This high-resolution (annual) record allows us to constrain the pace of ice retreat, sediment fluxes, and the style of drainage through time. In particular, we suggest that eskers in general record a composite signature of ice-marginal drainage.
Matthias Rode, Oliver Sass, Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Harald Schnepfleitner, and Christoph Gitschthaler
The Cryosphere, 14, 1173–1186,
Kelsey Winsor, Kate M. Swanger, Esther Babcock, Rachel D. Valletta, and James L. Dickson
The Cryosphere, 14, 1–16,Short summary
We studied an ice-cored rock glacier in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, coupling ground-penetrating radar analyses with stable isotope and major ion geochemistry of (a) surface ponds and (b) buried clean ice. These analyses indicate that the rock glacier ice is fed by a nearby alpine glacier, recording multiple Holocene to late Pleistocene glacial advances. We demonstrate the potential to use rock glaciers and buried ice, common throughout Antarctica, to map previous glacial extents.
Etienne Brouard and Patrick Lajeunesse
The Cryosphere, 13, 981–996,Short summary
Modifications in ice-stream networks have major impacts on ice sheet mass balance and global sea level. However, the mechanisms controlling ice-stream switching remain poorly understood. We report a flow switch in an ice-stream system that occurred on the Baffin Island shelf through the erosion of a marginal trough. Up-ice propagation of ice streams through marginal troughs can lead to the piracy of neighboring ice catchments, which induces an adjacent ice-stream switch and shutdown.
Marco Marcer, Charlie Serrano, Alexander Brenning, Xavier Bodin, Jason Goetz, and Philippe Schoeneich
The Cryosphere, 13, 141–155,Short summary
This study aims to assess the occurrence of rock glacier destabilization in the French Alps, a process that causes a landslide-like behaviour of permafrost debris slopes. A significant number of the landforms in the region were found to be experiencing destabilization. Multivariate analysis suggested a link between destabilization occurrence and permafrost thaw induced by climate warming. These results call for a regional characterization of permafrost hazards in the context of climate change.
Evan S. Miles, C. Scott Watson, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, Michel Esteves, Duncan J. Quincey, Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, and Patrick Wagnon
The Cryosphere, 12, 3891–3905,Short summary
We use high-resolution satellite imagery and field visits to assess the growth and drainage of a lake on Changri Shar Glacier in the Everest region, and its impact. The lake filled and drained within 3 months, which is a shorter interval than would be detected by standard monitoring protocols, but forced re-routing of major trails in several locations. The water appears to have flowed beneath Changri Shar and Khumbu glaciers in an efficient manner, suggesting pre-existing developed flow paths.
Josh Crozier, Leif Karlstrom, and Kang Yang
The Cryosphere, 12, 3383–3407,Short summary
Understanding ice sheet surface meltwater routing is important for modeling and predicting ice sheet evolution. We determined that bed topography underlying the Greenland Ice Sheet is the primary influence on 1–10 km scale ice surface topography, and on drainage-basin-scale surface meltwater routing. We provide a simple means of predicting the response of surface meltwater routing to changing ice flow conditions and explore the implications of this for subglacial hydrology.
Damon Davies, Robert G. Bingham, Edward C. King, Andrew M. Smith, Alex M. Brisbourne, Matteo Spagnolo, Alastair G. C. Graham, Anna E. Hogg, and David G. Vaughan
The Cryosphere, 12, 1615–1628,Short summary
This paper investigates the dynamics of ice stream beds using repeat geophysical surveys of the bed of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica; 60 km of the bed was surveyed, comprising the most extensive repeat ground-based geophysical surveys of an Antarctic ice stream; 90 % of the surveyed bed shows no significant change despite the glacier increasing in speed by up to 40 % over the last decade. This result suggests that ice stream beds are potentially more stable than previously suggested.
Anna Grau Galofre, A. Mark Jellinek, Gordon R. Osinski, Michael Zanetti, and Antero Kukko
The Cryosphere, 12, 1461–1478,Short summary
Water accumulated at the base of ice sheets is the main driver of glacier acceleration and loss of ice mass in Arctic regions. Previously glaciated landscapes sculpted by this water carry information about how ice sheets collapse and ultimately disappear. The search for these landscapes took us to the high Arctic, to explore channels that formed under kilometers of ice during the last ice age. In this work we describe how subglacial channels look and how they helped to drain an ice sheet.
Simon Zwieback, Steven V. Kokelj, Frank Günther, Julia Boike, Guido Grosse, and Irena Hajnsek
The Cryosphere, 12, 549–564,Short summary
We analyse elevation losses at thaw slumps, at which icy sediments are exposed. As ice requires a large amount of energy to melt, one would expect that mass wasting is governed by the available energy. However, we observe very little mass wasting in June, despite the ample energy supply. Also, in summer, mass wasting is not always energy limited. This highlights the importance of other processes, such as the formation of a protective veneer, in shaping mass wasting at sub-seasonal scales.
Guillermo F. Azócar, Alexander Brenning, and Xavier Bodin
The Cryosphere, 11, 877–890,Short summary
We present in this work a new statistical permafrost distribution model that provided a more detailed, locally adjusted insights into mountain permafrost distribution in the semi-arid Chilean Andes. The results indicate conditions favorable for permafrost presence, can be present in up to about 6.8 % of the study area (1051 km2), especially in the Elqui and Huasco watersheds. This kind of methodological approach used in this research can be replicable in another parts of the Andes.
Adrian Emmert and Christof Kneisel
The Cryosphere, 11, 841–855,Short summary
We investigated the internal structure of two alpine rock glaciers to derive information on their development. Through a 3-D mapping of the electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface, we could detect variations of ice content and delimit frozen and unfrozen structures. Our study shows that the development of the investigated rock glaciers is influenced by not only creep processes and remnant ice from past glaciations but also recently buried ice patches and refreezing meltwater.
Johann Müller, Andreas Vieli, and Isabelle Gärtner-Roer
The Cryosphere, 10, 2865–2886,Short summary
Rock glaciers are landforms indicative of permafrost creep and received considerable attention concerning their dynamical and thermal changes. We use a holistic approach to analyze and model the current and long-term dynamical development of two rock glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The modeling results show the impact of variations in temperature and sediment–ice supply on rock glacier evolution and describe proceeding signs of degradation due to climate warming.
Leif S. Anderson and Robert S. Anderson
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124,Short summary
Mountains erode and shed rocks down slope. When these rocks (debris) fall on glacier ice they can suppress ice melt. By protecting glaciers from melt, debris can make glaciers extend to lower elevations. Using mathematical models of glaciers and debris deposition, we find that debris can more than double the length of glaciers. The amount of debris deposited on the glacier, which scales with mountain height and steepness, is the most important control on debris-covered glacier length and volume.
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The Cryosphere, 7, 1361–1374,
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The Cryosphere, 5, 95–106,
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Below ground pressurization occurs when there is more moisture in the soil pores than normal, and it can potentially result in landscape degradation. We mapped features that are caused by this overpressurization and generated susceptibility maps to find other areas on the landscape that could be susceptible in the future. The susceptibility maps identified areas that may be sensitive to pressurization and help improve our understanding of potentially hazardous permafrost degradation.
Below ground pressurization occurs when there is more moisture in the soil pores than normal,...