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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
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Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2011 / Accepted: 21 February 2011 / Published: 22 February 2011
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Abstract

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.
Keywords: permafrost; Talik; climate change; groundwater changes; Alaska; GRACE permafrost; Talik; climate change; groundwater changes; Alaska; GRACE
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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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