GooseffMN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA, mgooseff@mines.edu
Bowden, W, B, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, breck.bowden@uvm.edu
Balser, A, , University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, USA, andrew.balser@uaf.edu
Green, A, , Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA, agreen@mbl.edu
Peterson, B, , Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA, peterson@mbl.edu
Bradford, J, , Boise State University, Boise, USA, johnb@cgiss.boisestate.edu
 
STREAM ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS FROM INCREASED THERMOKARST ACTIVITY IN THE ALASKAN ARCTIC RESPONSE TO A CHANGING CLIMATE (Abstract ID: 957)
Recent observations suggest that thermokarst formation has increased around the Toolik Lake Field Station in the foothills region of the Brooks Range of Arctic Alaska. In August 2003 a thermokarst formed catastrophically on a slope in the headwaters of the Toolik River after an intense rainfall. A large (~0.75 m x 2 m) tunnel formed ~1 m below the surface, extending 50-100 m downslope. Initial failure occurred when the roof collapsed. Approximately 4000 m3 of peat and soil eroded from the site by August 2004. Ammonium, phosphate, and suspended sediment in the water draining the thermokarst increased by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. Previous research has shown that minor increases in nutrient loading stimulate primary and secondary production in these streams. However, the massive increase in sediment loading could smother benthic communities and negate the impacts of increased nutrient delivery. Although the terrestrial area impacted by thermokarsts is limited, the aquatic habitat altered by these failures is extensive. Warming in the Arctic foothills appears to be accelerating thermokarst formation which may have considerable and extensive impacts on aquatic ecosystems.
 
http://www.mines.edu/~mgooseff/web_tkarst/tkarst_proj.html
Presentation is (Oral, Poster or No Preference): Oral
Presentation is given by student: No
   
 
           
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