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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(2), 378-397; doi:10.3390/rs3020378

Alaskan Permafrost Groundwater Storage Changes Derived from GRACE and Ground Measurements

Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 757230, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2011 / Accepted: 21 February 2011 / Published: 22 February 2011
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The Arctic is in transition from climate-driven thawing of permafrost. We investigate satellite-derived water equivalent mass changes, snow water equivalent with in situ measurements of runoff and ground-survey derived geoid models from 1999 through 2009. The Alaskan Arctic coastal plain groundwater storage (including wetland bog, thaw pond and lake) is increasing by 1.15 ± 0.65 km3/a (area-average 1.10 ± 0.62 cm/a), and Yukon River watershed groundwater storage is decreasing by 7.44 ± 3.76 km3/a (area‑average 0.79 ± 0.40 cm/a). Geoid changes show increases within the Arctic coastal region and decreases within the Yukon River watershed. We hypothesize these changes are linked to the development of new predominately closed- and possibly open-talik in the continuous permafrost zone under large thaw lakes with increases of lakes and new predominately open-talik and reduction of permafrost extent in the discontinuous and sporadic zones with decreases of thaw lakes. View Full-Text
Keywords: permafrost; Talik; climate change; groundwater changes; Alaska; GRACE permafrost; Talik; climate change; groundwater changes; Alaska; GRACE

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Muskett, R.R.; Romanovsky, V.E. Alaskan Permafrost Groundwater Storage Changes Derived from GRACE and Ground Measurements. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 378-397.

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