VAWS: Responses of Permafrost Landscape to Surface Disturbances – Case studies in Siberian forest and Alaskan tundra
June 17, 2020 @ 11:00 am to 12:00 pm AKDT
Speaker: Go Iwahana
Research Assistant Professor
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Ground-surface disturbances, including wildfires, deforestation, and climate change, alter the thermal status of permafrost leading landscape changes in Polar Regions. Given the increasing number of reports about rapid permafrost thaw and predicted occurrence of wildfires in the Arctic, it is of great social concern to know where and to what extent permafrost degradation is currently ongoing and may occur in the near future. This is true, especially in ice-rich permafrost zones, as consequential subsidence by ice-rich permafrost thaw (thermokarst) will cause significant changes in surface ecology, landscape evolution, and hydrological processes.
This presentation introduces several case studies on thermokarst subsidence observed in the field and by remote sensing in various time ranges. Field surveys and microwave remote sensing analyses were conducted to quantify thermokarst after surface disturbances in boreal forests of NE Siberia and tundra fire scars in Alaska.