Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Hydrology of a drainage basin on the Alaskan coastal plain
Authors: University of Denver
Brown, Jerry, 1936-
Dingman, S. L.
Lewellen, Robert Irl
Keywords: Barrow (Alaska)
Alaskan coastal plain
Frozen ground
Frozen soils
Stream chemistry
Water chemistry
Patterned ground
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 240.
Description: Research Report
Abstract: A 4-summer hydrologic record from a 1.6 km^2 drainage basin at Barrow, Alaska is analyzed. The watershed, a drained lake basin, is underlain by continuous permafrost within 0.3m of the tundra surface and is covered by ice-wedge polygons and numerous small shallow ponds. Considerable variations from the 20-yr means of summer climate (thaw period 88 days, precipitation 67 mm) are represented in the data: 1963 - cold, extremely wet; 1964 - cold, extremely dry; 1965 - cool, dry; 1966 - cool, wet. Runoff varied greatly from storm to storm, occurring primarily through and over the tundra mat and through an intricate system of polygonal troughs and ponds. As a result of the subdued coastal topography, varying areas (0.3 km^2 to 1.6 km^2) contribute to runoff from different storms. Analyses of hydrographs revealed: 1) lag times generally from 3 to 10 hr; 2) recession constants of about 50 hr, but occasionally as much as 160 hr; and 3) runoff from individual storms between 1 and 70%. About 5% of the thaw season precipitation normally runs off. Comparison of total thaw season precipitation between the U.S. Weather Bureau and a shielded gage located on the watershed indicated no major differences. If "trace" precipitation is considered, only 90% of the actual precipitation may be recorded. Pan evaporation for an average thaw season is about 160 mm and evapotranspiration which is essentially in balance with precipitation is about 60 mm. Conductivity of runoff water varied from 250 μmhos during sustained discharge to more than 500 μmhos during low flows in dry years. Precipitation chemistry showed no correlation with storm direction. Assuming all winter precipitation runs off, and the data are spatially and temporally representative, about 50% of the measured annual precipitation in this region runs off into the Arctic Ocean.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
CRREL-Research-Report-240.pdf1.78 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail