skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic

Abstract

We report that eroding permafrost coasts are likely indicators and integrators of changes in the Arctic System as they are susceptible to the combined effects of declining sea ice extent, increases in open water duration, more frequent and impactful storms, sea-level rise, and warming permafrost. However, few observation sites in the Arctic have yet to link decadal-scale erosion rates with changing environmental conditions due to temporal data gaps. This study increases the temporal fidelity of coastal permafrost bluff observations using near-annual high spatial resolution (<1 m) satellite imagery acquired between 2008–2017 for a 9 km segment of coastline at Drew Point, Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska. Our results show that mean annual erosion for the 2007–2016 decade was 17.2 m yr -1, which is 2.5 times faster than historic rates, indicating that bluff erosion at this site is likely responding to changes in the Arctic System. In spite of a sustained increase in decadal-scale mean annual erosion rates, mean open water season erosion varied from 6.7 m yr -1 in 2010 to more than 22.0 m yr -1 in 2007, 2012, and 2016. This variability provided a range of coastal responses through which we explored the different roles of potential environmentalmore » drivers. The lack of significant correlations between mean open water season erosion and the environmental variables compiled in this study indicates that we may not be adequately capturing the environmental forcing factors, that the system is conditioned by long-term transient effects or extreme weather events rather than annual variability, or that other not yet considered factors may be responsible for the increased erosion occurring at Drew Point. Finally, our results highlight an increase in erosion at Drew Point in the 21st century as well as the complexities associated with unraveling the factors responsible for changing coastal permafrost bluffs in the Arctic.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [3];  [4];  [3];  [3];  [5];  [1];  [4];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [1];  [1];  [11] more »;  [11];  [12]; ORCiD logo [13];  [1];  [1];  [1] « less
  1. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (United States)
  2. U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK (United States)
  3. Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam (Germany)
  4. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  5. U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)
  6. U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, CO (United States)
  7. Integral Consulting, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  8. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
  9. Geological Survey of Canada, British Columbia (Canada)
  10. University of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States)
  11. U.S. Geological Survey, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  12. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
  13. GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1485841
Report Number(s):
SAND-2018-13133J
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326; 669996
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Jones, Benjamin M., Farquharson, Louise M., Baughman, Carson A., Buzard, Richard M., Arp, Christopher D., Grosse, Guido, Bull, Diana L., Günther, Frank, Nitze, Ingmar, Urban, Frank, Kasper, Jeremy L., Frederick, Jennifer M., Thomas, Matthew, Jones, Craig, Mota, Alejandro, Dallimore, Scott, Tweedie, Craig, Maio, Christopher, Mann, Daniel H., Richmond, Bruce, Gibbs, Ann, Xiao, Ming, Sachs, Torsten, Iwahana, Go, Kanevskiy, Mikhail, and Romanovsky, Vladimir E. A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae471.
Jones, Benjamin M., Farquharson, Louise M., Baughman, Carson A., Buzard, Richard M., Arp, Christopher D., Grosse, Guido, Bull, Diana L., Günther, Frank, Nitze, Ingmar, Urban, Frank, Kasper, Jeremy L., Frederick, Jennifer M., Thomas, Matthew, Jones, Craig, Mota, Alejandro, Dallimore, Scott, Tweedie, Craig, Maio, Christopher, Mann, Daniel H., Richmond, Bruce, Gibbs, Ann, Xiao, Ming, Sachs, Torsten, Iwahana, Go, Kanevskiy, Mikhail, & Romanovsky, Vladimir E. A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae471.
Jones, Benjamin M., Farquharson, Louise M., Baughman, Carson A., Buzard, Richard M., Arp, Christopher D., Grosse, Guido, Bull, Diana L., Günther, Frank, Nitze, Ingmar, Urban, Frank, Kasper, Jeremy L., Frederick, Jennifer M., Thomas, Matthew, Jones, Craig, Mota, Alejandro, Dallimore, Scott, Tweedie, Craig, Maio, Christopher, Mann, Daniel H., Richmond, Bruce, Gibbs, Ann, Xiao, Ming, Sachs, Torsten, Iwahana, Go, Kanevskiy, Mikhail, and Romanovsky, Vladimir E. Wed . "A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae471. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1485841.
@article{osti_1485841,
title = {A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic},
author = {Jones, Benjamin M. and Farquharson, Louise M. and Baughman, Carson A. and Buzard, Richard M. and Arp, Christopher D. and Grosse, Guido and Bull, Diana L. and Günther, Frank and Nitze, Ingmar and Urban, Frank and Kasper, Jeremy L. and Frederick, Jennifer M. and Thomas, Matthew and Jones, Craig and Mota, Alejandro and Dallimore, Scott and Tweedie, Craig and Maio, Christopher and Mann, Daniel H. and Richmond, Bruce and Gibbs, Ann and Xiao, Ming and Sachs, Torsten and Iwahana, Go and Kanevskiy, Mikhail and Romanovsky, Vladimir E.},
abstractNote = {We report that eroding permafrost coasts are likely indicators and integrators of changes in the Arctic System as they are susceptible to the combined effects of declining sea ice extent, increases in open water duration, more frequent and impactful storms, sea-level rise, and warming permafrost. However, few observation sites in the Arctic have yet to link decadal-scale erosion rates with changing environmental conditions due to temporal data gaps. This study increases the temporal fidelity of coastal permafrost bluff observations using near-annual high spatial resolution (<1 m) satellite imagery acquired between 2008–2017 for a 9 km segment of coastline at Drew Point, Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska. Our results show that mean annual erosion for the 2007–2016 decade was 17.2 m yr-1, which is 2.5 times faster than historic rates, indicating that bluff erosion at this site is likely responding to changes in the Arctic System. In spite of a sustained increase in decadal-scale mean annual erosion rates, mean open water season erosion varied from 6.7 m yr-1 in 2010 to more than 22.0 m yr-1 in 2007, 2012, and 2016. This variability provided a range of coastal responses through which we explored the different roles of potential environmental drivers. The lack of significant correlations between mean open water season erosion and the environmental variables compiled in this study indicates that we may not be adequately capturing the environmental forcing factors, that the system is conditioned by long-term transient effects or extreme weather events rather than annual variability, or that other not yet considered factors may be responsible for the increased erosion occurring at Drew Point. Finally, our results highlight an increase in erosion at Drew Point in the 21st century as well as the complexities associated with unraveling the factors responsible for changing coastal permafrost bluffs in the Arctic.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aae471},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
issn = {1748-9326},
number = 11,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Table 1 Table 1: Annual observations of coastal change and potential environmental forcing factors at Drew Point from 2007 to 2016. Mean, maximum, and daily OWD erosion values derived from high resolution satellite imagery. Storms and storm power value corresponding to the OWD between image acquisitions from the Drew Point Meteorological Station.more » Summertime thawing degree day (TDD) sums and near surface permafrost temperature (1.2 m depth) from June to November also derived from the Drew Point Meteorological Station. Sea surface temperatures (SST) derived from NOAA OISST V2 data from 71°N to 72°N and 155°W to 153°W.« less

Save / Share: