Research Article: Geophysical Observations of Taliks Below Drained Lake Basins on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Research Article: Geophysical Observations of Taliks Below Drained Lake Basins on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

This article used Vista Clara GMR Surface NMR equipment as part of their investigation of taliks below drained lake basins in Alaska.

Geophysical Observations of Taliks Below Drained Lake Basins on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Lakes and drained lake basins (DLBs) together cover up to ∼80% of the western Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. The formation and drainage of lakes in this continuous permafrost region drive spatial and temporal landscape dynamics. Postdrainage processes including vegetation succession and permafrost aggradation have implications for hydrology, carbon cycling, and landscape evolution.

The researchers used surface nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and transient electromagnetic (TEM) measurements in conjunction with thermal modeling to investigate permafrost aggradation beneath eight DLBs on the western Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska.

The results show evidence of taliks below several DLBs that drained before and after 1949 (oldest imagery). We observed depths to the top of taliks between 9 and 45 m. Thermal modeling and geophysical observations agree about the presence and extent of taliks at sites that drained after 1949. Lake drainage events will likely become more frequent in the future due to climate change and our modeling results suggest that warmer and wetter conditions will limit permafrost aggradation in DLBs. The observations provide useful information to predict future evolution of permafrost in DLBs and its implications for the water and carbon cycles in the Arctic.

Read the full article here.