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Title: Influences and interactions of inundation, peat, and snow on active layer thickness

Abstract

Active layer thickness (ALT), the uppermost layer of soil that thaws on an annual basis, is a direct control on the amount of organic carbon potentially available for decomposition and release to the atmosphere as carbon-rich Arctic permafrost soils thaw in a warming climate. Here, we investigate how key site characteristics affect ALT using an integrated surface/subsurface permafrost thermal hydrology model. ALT is most sensitive to organic layer thickness followed by snow depth but is relatively insensitive to the amount of water on the landscape with other conditions held fixed. Furthermore, the weak ALT sensitivity to subsurface saturation suggests that changes in Arctic landscape hydrology may only have a minor effect on future ALT. But, surface inundation amplifies the sensitivities to the other parameters and under large snowpacks can trigger the formation of near-surface taliks.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos New Mexico USA
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Institute and Environmental Sciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1260075
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1304711
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-28074
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276; KP1702010; ERKP757
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; active layer thickness; thermal hydrology; inundation and soil moisture; ALT sensitivity; organic soil thermal properties; snow depth; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Planetary Sciences

Citation Formats

Atchley, Adam L., Coon, Ethan T., Painter, Scott L., Harp, Dylan R., and Wilson, Cathy J.. Influences and interactions of inundation, peat, and snow on active layer thickness. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2016GL068550.
Atchley, Adam L., Coon, Ethan T., Painter, Scott L., Harp, Dylan R., & Wilson, Cathy J.. Influences and interactions of inundation, peat, and snow on active layer thickness. United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068550
Atchley, Adam L., Coon, Ethan T., Painter, Scott L., Harp, Dylan R., and Wilson, Cathy J.. Wed . "Influences and interactions of inundation, peat, and snow on active layer thickness". United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068550. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1260075.
@article{osti_1260075,
title = {Influences and interactions of inundation, peat, and snow on active layer thickness},
author = {Atchley, Adam L. and Coon, Ethan T. and Painter, Scott L. and Harp, Dylan R. and Wilson, Cathy J.},
abstractNote = {Active layer thickness (ALT), the uppermost layer of soil that thaws on an annual basis, is a direct control on the amount of organic carbon potentially available for decomposition and release to the atmosphere as carbon-rich Arctic permafrost soils thaw in a warming climate. Here, we investigate how key site characteristics affect ALT using an integrated surface/subsurface permafrost thermal hydrology model. ALT is most sensitive to organic layer thickness followed by snow depth but is relatively insensitive to the amount of water on the landscape with other conditions held fixed. Furthermore, the weak ALT sensitivity to subsurface saturation suggests that changes in Arctic landscape hydrology may only have a minor effect on future ALT. But, surface inundation amplifies the sensitivities to the other parameters and under large snowpacks can trigger the formation of near-surface taliks.},
doi = {10.1002/2016GL068550},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1260075}, journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
issn = {0094-8276},
number = 10,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {5}
}

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Cited by: 6 works
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Works referenced in this record:

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

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    journal, February 2018


    Hydrometeorological measurements in peatland‐dominated, discontinuous permafrost at Scotty Creek, Northwest Territories, Canada
    journal, June 2019


    Controls on permafrost thaw in a coupled groundwater-flow and heat-transport system: Iqaluit Airport, Nunavut, Canada
    journal, December 2016


    Coupled cryo-hydrogeological modelling of permafrost dynamics near Umiujaq (Nunavik, Canada)
    journal, February 2020


    Soil Physical, Hydraulic, and Thermal Properties in Interior Alaska, USA: Implications for Hydrologic Response to Thawing Permafrost Conditions
    journal, May 2019


    Taliks: A Tipping Point in Discontinuous Permafrost Degradation in Peatlands
    journal, November 2019


    Feedbacks Between Surface Deformation and Permafrost Degradation in Ice Wedge Polygons, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska
    journal, March 2020


    Mechanistic Modeling of Microtopographic Impacts on CO 2 and CH 4 Fluxes in an Alaskan Tundra Ecosystem Using the CLM‐Microbe Model
    journal, December 2019


    Modeling the role of preferential snow accumulation in through talik development and hillslope groundwater flow in a transitional permafrost landscape
    journal, October 2018


    Permafrost thaw induced drying of wetlands at Scotty Creek, NWT, Canada
    journal, October 2018


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    journal, January 2016


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    journal, January 2016


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    journal, January 2018