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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-132
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-132
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  17 Jun 2020

17 Jun 2020

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This preprint was under review for the journal TC. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

Invited Perspective: What Lies Beneath a Changing Arctic?

Jeffrey M. McKenzie1, Barret L. Kurylyk2, Michelle A. Walvoord3, Victor F. Bense4, Daniel Fortier5, Chris Spence6, and Christophe Grenier7 Jeffrey M. McKenzie et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, H3A 0E8, Canada
  • 2Department of Civil and Resource Engineering and Centre for Water Resources Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, B3H 4R2, Canada
  • 3Earth System Processes Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • 4Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 5Cold Regions Geomorphology and Geotechnical Laboratory, Department of Geography, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
  • 6National Hydrology Research Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Saskatoon, Canada
  • 7Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Abstract. As permafrost thaws in the Arctic, new subsurface pathways open for the movement of groundwater, energy, and solutes. We identify different ways that these subsurface changes are driving observed surface phenomena, including the potential for increased contaminant transport, modification to water resources, and enhanced rates of infrastructure (e.g. buildings and roads) damage. Further, as permafrost thaws it allows groundwater to transport carbon, nutrients, and other dissolved constituents from terrestrial to aquatic environments via progressively deeper subsurface flow paths. Cryohydrogeology, the study of groundwater in cold regions, must be included in Northern research initiatives to account for this hidden catalyst of environmental and societal change.

Jeffrey M. McKenzie et al.

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Jeffrey M. McKenzie et al.

Jeffrey M. McKenzie et al.

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Short summary
Groundwater is an underappreciated catalyst of environmental change in a warming Arctic. We provide evidence of how changing groundwater systems underpin surface changes in the North, and we argue for research and inclusion of Cryohydrogeology (i.e. the study of groundwater in cold regions).
Groundwater is an underappreciated catalyst of environmental change in a warming Arctic. We...
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