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Title: Degrading Permafrost Mapped with Electrical Resistivity Tomography, Airborne Imagery and LiDAR, and Seasonal Thaw Measurements
Authors: Douglas, Thomas A.
Hiemstra, Christopher A.
Saari, Stephanie P.
Bjella, Kevin L.
Campbell, Seth W.
Jorgenson, M. Torre.
Brown, Dana R. N.
Liljedahl, Anna K.
Keywords: Permafrost
Climate changes
Alaska-Tanana River Watershed
Optical radar
Aerial photogrammetry
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Miscellaneous Paper (Engineer Reseach and Development Center (U.S.));no.ERDC/CRREL MP-21-9
Is Version Of: Douglas,Thomas A., Jorgenson, M. Torre, Brown, Dana R. N., Campbell, Seth W., Hiemstra, Christopher A., Saari, Stephanie P., Bjella, Kevin, and Liljedahl, Anna K. Degrading permafrost mapped with electrical resistivity tomography, airborne imagery and LiDAR, and seasonal thaw measurements. GEOPHYSICS 2016 81:1, WA71-WA85,
Abstract: Accurate identification of the relationships between permafrost extent and landscape patterns helps develop airborne geophysical or remote sensing tools to map permafrost in remote locations or across large areas. These tools are particularly applicable in discontinuous permafrost where climate warming or disturbances such as human development or fire can lead to rapid permafrost degradation. We linked field-based geophysical, point-scale, and imagery surveying measurements to map permafrost at five fire scars on the Tanana Flats in central Alaska. Ground-based elevation surveys, seasonal thaw-depth profiles, and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) measurements were combined with airborne imagery and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to identify relationships between permafrost geomorphology and elapsed time since fire disturbance. ERT was a robust technique for mapping the presence or absence of permafrost because of the marked difference in resistivity values for frozen versus unfrozen material. There was no clear relationship between elapsed time since fire and permafrost extent at our sites. The transition zone boundaries between permafrost soils and unfrozen soils in the collapse-scar bogs at our sites had complex and unpredictable morphologies, suggesting attempts to quantify the presence or absence of permafrost using aerial measurements alone could lead to incomplete results. The results from our study indicated limitations in being able to apply airborne surveying measurements at the landscape scale toward accurately estimating permafrost extent.
Description: Miscellaneous Paper
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/CRREL MP-21-9
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Size: 21 pages / 1.71 MB
Types of Materials: PDF/A
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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