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Kenneth M. Hinkel

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Lakes are prevalent in the Arctic and thus play a key role in regional hydrology. Since many Arctic lakes are shallow and ice grows thick (historically 2-m or greater), seasonal ice commonly freezes to the lake bed (bedfast ice) by winter's end. Bedfast ice fundamentally alters lake energy balance and melt-out processes compared to deeper lakes that exceed the maximum ice thickness (floating ice) and maintain perennial liquid water below floating ice. Our analysis of lakes in northern Alaska indicated that ice-out of bedfast ice lakes occurred on average 17 days earlier (22-June) than ice-out on adjacent floating ice lakes (9-July). Earlier ice-free conditions in bedfast ice lakes caused higher open-water evaporation,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Water Resources Research
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Lakes are dominant landforms in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA) as well as important social and ecological resources. Of recent importance is the management of these freshwater ecosystems because lakes deeper than maximum ice thickness provide an important and often sole source of liquid water for aquatic biota, villages, and industry during winter. To better understand seasonal and annual hydrodynamics in the context of lake morphometry, we analyzed lakes in two adjacent areas where winter water use is expected to increase in the near future because of industrial expansion. Landsat Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery acquired between 1985 and 2007 were analyzed and compared with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Environmental Management
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Pingos are circular to elongate ice-cored mounds that form by injection and freezing of pressurized water in near-surface permafrost. Here we use a digital surface model (DSM) derived from an airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) system to assess the distribution and morphometry of pingos within a 40,000 km2 area on the western Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. We have identified 1247 pingo forms in the study region, ranging in height from 2 to 21 m, with a mean height of 4.6 m. Pingos in this region are of hydrostatic origin, with 98% located within 995 drained lake basins, most of which are underlain by thick eolian sand deposits. The highest pingo density (0.18 km− 2) occurs where streams...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geomorphology
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The formation of oriented thermokarst lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska has been the subject of debate for more than half a century. The striking elongation of the lakes perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction has led to the development of a preferred wind-generated gyre hypothesis, while other hypotheses include a combination of sun angle, topographic aspect, and/or antecedent conditions. A spatio-temporal analysis of oriented thermokarst lake gyres with recent (Landsat 8) and historical (Landsat 4, 5, 7 and ASTER) satellite imagery of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska indicates that wind-generated gyres are both frequent and regionally extensive. Gyres are most common in lakes...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Remote Sensing
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Indigenous knowledge is a valuable but under-used source of information relevant to landscape change research. We interviewed Iñupiat elders, hunters, and other knowledge-holders in the villages of Barrow and Atqasuk on the western Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska to gain further insight into the processes governing the ubiquitous lakes and the dynamics of landscape change in this region of continuous permafrost. The interviews provided a suite of information related to lakes and associated drained lake basins, as well as knowledge on landforms, environmental change, human events, and other phenomena. We were able to corroborate many observations independently and verify the timing of several large and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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