Research Article: The Biophysical Role of Water and Ice Within Permafrost Nearing Collapse: Insights From Novel Geophysical Observations

Research Article: The Biophysical Role of Water and Ice Within Permafrost Nearing Collapse: Insights From Novel Geophysical Observations

This excellent research article includes usage of Vista Clara Dart portable NMR logging tool as part of the investigative model.

The Biophysical Role of Water and Ice Within Permafrost Nearing Collapse: Insights From Novel Geophysical Observations

S. R. James,B. J. Minsley,J. W. McFarland,E. S. Euskirchen,C. W. Edgar,M. P. Waldrop,

Plain Language Summary:
“Changes in the amount of water and ice below the surface, in both space and time, influence high latitude boreal ecosystems across many scales—from microorganisms living within the soils to the health and stability of aboveground plant, animal, and human communities. Warming temperatures and changes in precipitation have the potential to significantly weaken permanently frozen soils (permafrost), which can alter landscapes and the global carbon budget. However, the full scale of these impacts is not well understood. We used a unique combination of measurements to quantify spatial and temporal variation in unfrozen water content and examine possible linkages to methane concentrations in permafrost vulnerable to thaw. Our results show soils at temperatures below 0°C and adjacent to already-thawed areas have relatively high levels of liquid water (5%–25%) and methane (up to 300,000 ppm), indicating these areas may be important for advancing thaw as well as for enhancing the ability of microbes to release carbon from the soils. Monitoring seasonal changes also revealed differences in the timing and nature of relationships between water and ice with carbon dioxide fluxes from the ground surface. These results provide a deeper understanding of how belowground water/ice influence biologic processes in high-latitude ecosystems.”

Access the full article from the AGU JGR Earth Surface site here:

The Biophysical Role of Water and Ice Within Permafrost Nearing Collapse: Insights From Novel Geophysical Observations – James – 2021 – Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface – Wiley Online Library