Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 14, 4279–4297, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4279-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 4279–4297, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4279-2020

Research article 01 Dec 2020

Research article | 01 Dec 2020

The catastrophic thermokarst lake drainage events of 2018 in northwestern Alaska: fast-forward into the future

Ingmar Nitze et al.

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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (25 Aug 2020) by Ketil Isaksen
AR by Ingmar Nitze on behalf of the Authors (26 Aug 2020)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (28 Sep 2020) by Ketil Isaksen
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Short summary
In summer 2018, northwestern Alaska was affected by widespread lake drainage which strongly exceeded previous observations. We analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns with remote sensing observations, weather data and lake-ice simulations. The preceding fall and winter season was the second warmest and wettest on record, causing the destabilization of permafrost and elevated water levels which likely led to widespread and rapid lake drainage during or right after ice breakup.