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Title: Arctic River Delta Morphologic Variability and Implications for Riverine Fluxes to the Coast

Abstract

Arctic riverine fluxes are anticipated to increase as the Arctic warms and have a large impact on the Arctic ocean. Deltas modify the spatial and temporal distributions of riverine fluxes, but no thorough studies have been conducted to analyze Arctic delta morphologies to determine their influence on land–ocean fluxes. We performed an analysis of six high–latitude deltas (Colville, Kolyma, Lena, Mackenzie, Yenisei, and Yukon) to characterize delta morphologies and determine the influence of morphology on the distribution of fluxes to the coast. All six deltas deliver material to the coast at discrete locations across small areas despite differences in delta shoreline length. Large Arctic deltas exhibit large variability in channel width, which we hypothesize is due to a feedback with ice cover and retreat that favors the growth of large channels over geologic timescales. Spatial variability in island sizes suggests variability in channel activity, island nourishment, and susceptibility to drowning by sea level rise. Potential lake storage is highest on the Mackenzie delta, thus providing a means for reducing nutrient and sediment loading of the coastal ocean. Here, the connected lakes are also prevalent on the Colville and Yukon deltas, suggesting that these deltas can filter riverine fluxes even whenmore » the deltas are not flooded. Differences in Arctic delta morphologies can be explained by varying levels of riverine and marine influence, antecedent topography, and local channel dynamics. Ice cover also plays a large role in controlling Arctic delta morphologies and dynamics that has not been previously represented in interpretations of existing delta metrics.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1593113
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1582119
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-21963
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9003
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 125; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9003
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Arctic; delta; remote sensing; morphometric analysis; river

Citation Formats

Piliouras, Anastasia, and Rowland, Joel C. Arctic River Delta Morphologic Variability and Implications for Riverine Fluxes to the Coast. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019JF005250.
Piliouras, Anastasia, & Rowland, Joel C. Arctic River Delta Morphologic Variability and Implications for Riverine Fluxes to the Coast. United States. doi:10.1029/2019JF005250.
Piliouras, Anastasia, and Rowland, Joel C. Sat . "Arctic River Delta Morphologic Variability and Implications for Riverine Fluxes to the Coast". United States. doi:10.1029/2019JF005250.
@article{osti_1593113,
title = {Arctic River Delta Morphologic Variability and Implications for Riverine Fluxes to the Coast},
author = {Piliouras, Anastasia and Rowland, Joel C.},
abstractNote = {Arctic riverine fluxes are anticipated to increase as the Arctic warms and have a large impact on the Arctic ocean. Deltas modify the spatial and temporal distributions of riverine fluxes, but no thorough studies have been conducted to analyze Arctic delta morphologies to determine their influence on land–ocean fluxes. We performed an analysis of six high–latitude deltas (Colville, Kolyma, Lena, Mackenzie, Yenisei, and Yukon) to characterize delta morphologies and determine the influence of morphology on the distribution of fluxes to the coast. All six deltas deliver material to the coast at discrete locations across small areas despite differences in delta shoreline length. Large Arctic deltas exhibit large variability in channel width, which we hypothesize is due to a feedback with ice cover and retreat that favors the growth of large channels over geologic timescales. Spatial variability in island sizes suggests variability in channel activity, island nourishment, and susceptibility to drowning by sea level rise. Potential lake storage is highest on the Mackenzie delta, thus providing a means for reducing nutrient and sediment loading of the coastal ocean. Here, the connected lakes are also prevalent on the Colville and Yukon deltas, suggesting that these deltas can filter riverine fluxes even when the deltas are not flooded. Differences in Arctic delta morphologies can be explained by varying levels of riverine and marine influence, antecedent topography, and local channel dynamics. Ice cover also plays a large role in controlling Arctic delta morphologies and dynamics that has not been previously represented in interpretations of existing delta metrics.},
doi = {10.1029/2019JF005250},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface},
number = 1,
volume = 125,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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