Ground thermal regime in an ice-wedge polygon landscape near Barrow


Ice-wedge polygons are perhaps the most dominant permafrost related features in the Arctic landscape. The microtopography of these features, including rims, troughs, and high and low polygon centers, alter the local hydrology, as water tends to collect in the low areas. During winter, wind redistribution of snow leads to an increased snowpack depth in the low areas, while the slightly higher areas often have thinner snow cover, also leading to differences across the landscape in vegetation communities and soil moisture between higher and lower areas. These differences in local surface conditions lead to spatial variability of the ground thermal regime in the different microtopographic areas and between different types of ice-wedge polygons. We studied four different ice-wedge polygon developmental stages using intensive two-dimensional subsurface temperature measurements.Published here are videos that depict the two-dimensional temperature field cross-section from each polygon, created using the temperature data from five vertical temperature profiles of 16 temperatures for each polygon. The daily average temperature values were interpolated, linearly, onto a grid using the depths converted to elevation and the horizontal distance between temperature profiles. Movies using the daily cross-sections were created to aid in the initial data interpretation and quickly get a sense of the two-dimensional ground thermal dynamics within each polygon.The mean daily ground temperature is shown for the period 15 Sept. 2012 to 30 Oct. 2015 as a cross-section through each polygon (Incipient Polygon starts in 1 Sept. 2013). The magenta bars show the daily snow depth and the location of the snow depth sensors are indicated by the *, black if data is available and red if not. The black line, when present shows the location of the thawing or freezing front. The temperature measurement profiles are shown as black dots for each measurement point.

Author Affiliations: Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks (Cable & Romanovsky); International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks (Busey); Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam (Cable)

Metadata Access
Creator Cable, William L; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Busey, Robert C
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
Publication Year 2018
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 20 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-156.605 LON, 71.282 LAT); Barrow, Northern Alaska