BLM REA CYR 2013 Long-Term Future (2060s) Percent Permafrost Cover within the Stream Network

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Thawing permafrost in interior Alaska will lead to dramatic changes in stream discharge, bank stability, and water chemistry. Stream discharge will change from surface- to groundwater-dominated flow, resulting in increased baseflows (including winter flows) and declining annual flows. Thawing permafrost along streams and rivers will decrease bank stability, which could lead to erosion and alteration of the stream channel. Shifts to deeper flow paths will result in altered stream chemistry, depending upon the soil types intersected and residence times. Observations in Alaska show that flow paths will interact with organic-rich soils and result in increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, although over longer time periods deeper flow paths through mineral soils may result in adsorption and mineralization of organic matter and decreased export to streams. Increased mineralization and weathering after permafrost thaw will lead to higher export of inorganic nutrients and major ions to streams. Increases in nutrient export and groundwater flow will likely have positive effects on aquatic habitats, such as increased productivity and increased overwintering habitats, respectively. Currently, permafrost covers most of the study area, resulting in high watershed cover for both small and large streams. By the 2060s, almost a quarter of small streams and over 10% of large streams will no longer have permafrost in their watersheds. The watersheds most affected by permafrost thaw include tributaries of the Tanana River, such as the Tolovana, Chena, and Salcha rivers in addition to upper Yukon tributaries, such as Beaver and Birch creeks.

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Dates

Metadata Date October 13, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) August 10, 2016 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date October 13, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) August 10, 2016 (publication)
Responsible Party Alaska Center for Conservation Science, University of Alaska Anchorage (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
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Bbox East Long -141.001857465
Bbox North Lat 69.034456883
Bbox South Lat 62.0292445479
Bbox West Long -163.832876574
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
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Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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