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Filters: Contacts: Kenneth M. Hinkel (X)

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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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Thousands of lakes are found on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska and northwestern Canada. Developed atop continuous permafrost, these thaw lakes and associated drained thaw lake basins are the dominant landscape elements and together cover 46% of the 34,570 km2western Arctic Coastal Plain (WACP). Lakes drain by a variety of episodic processes, including coastal erosion, stream meandering, and headward erosion, bank overtopping, and lake coalescence. Comparison of Landsat multispectral scanner (MSS) imagery from the mid-1970s to Landsat 7 enhanced thematic mapper (ETM+) imagery from around 2000 shows that 50 lakes completely or partially drained over the approximately 25 year period, indicating landscape...
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Ice formation and breakup on Arctic rivers strongly influence river flow, sedimentation, river ecology, winter travel, and subsistence fishing and hunting by Alaskan Natives. We use time-series ground imagery ofthe Meade River to examine the process at high temporal and spatial resolution. Freezeup from complete liquid cover to complete ice cover ofthe Meade River at Atqasuk, Alaska in the fall of 2008 occurred in less than three days between 28 September and 2 October 2008. Breakup in 2009 occurred in less than two hours between 23:47 UTC on 23 May 2009 and 01:27 UTC on 24 May 2009. All times in UTC. Breakup in 2009 and 2010 was ofthe thermal style in contrast to the mechanical style observed in 1966 and is consistent...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Polar Geography
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Analysis of a 60 km segment of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast using a time‐series of aerial photography revealed that mean annual erosion rates increased from 6.8 m a−1(1955 to 1979), to 8.7 m a−1 (1979 to 2002), to 13.6 m a−1 (2002 to 2007). We also observed that spatial patterns of erosion have become more uniform across shoreline types with different degrees of ice‐richness. Further, during the remainder of the 2007 ice‐free season 25 m of erosion occurred locally, in the absence of a westerly storm event. Concurrent arctic changes potentially responsible for this shift in the rate and pattern of land loss include declining sea ice extent, increasing summertime sea surface temperature, rising sea‐level, and increases...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12757/abstract): The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate,...
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The dominant landscape process on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is the formation and drainage of thaw lakes. Lakes and drained thaw-lake basins account for approximately 75% of the modern surface expression of the Barrow Peninsula. The thaw-lake cycle usually obliterates lacustrine or peat sediments from previous cycles, which could otherwise be used for paleoecological reconstruction of long-term landscape and vegetation changes. Several possible erosional remnants of a former topographic surface that predates the formation of the thaw lakes have been tentatively identified. These remnants are characterized by a higher elevation, a thick organic layer with very high ground ice content in the upper...
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Three-dimensional ground-penetrating radar (3D GPR) was used to investigate the subsurface structure of ice-wedge polygons and other features of the frozen active layer and near-surface permafrost near Barrow, Alaska. Surveys were conducted at three sites located on landscapes of different geomorphic age. At each site, sediment cores were collected and characterised to aid interpretation of GPR data. At two sites, 3D GPR was able to delineate subsurface ice-wedge networks with high fidelity. Three-dimensional GPR data also revealed a fundamental difference in ice-wedge morphology between these two sites that is consistent with differences in landscape age. At a third site, the combination of two-dimensional and...
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Climate-sensitive Arctic lakes have been identified as conduits for ancient permafrost-carbon (C) emissions and as such accelerate warming. However, the environmental factors that control emission pathways and their sources are unclear; this complicates upscaling, forecasting and climate-impact-assessment efforts. Here we show that current whole-lake CH4 and CO2 emissions from widespread lakes in Arctic Alaska primarily originate from organic matter fixed within the past 3–4 millennia (modern to 3,300 ± 70 years before the present), and not from Pleistocene permafrost C. Furthermore, almost 100% of the annual diffusive C flux is emitted as CO2. Although the lakes mostly processed younger C (89 ± 3% of total C emissions),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature Climate Change
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This study presents modern erosion rate measurements based upon vertical aerial photography captured in 1955, 1979, and 2002 for a 100 km segment of the Beaufort Sea coastline. Annual erosion rates from 1955 to 2002 averaged 5.6 m a-1. However, mean erosion rates increased from 5.0 m a-1 in 1955-79 to 6.2 m a-1 in 1979-2002. Furthermore, from the first period to the second, erosion rates increased at 60% (598) of the 992 sites analyzed, decreased at 31% (307), and changed less than ?? 30 cm at 9% (87). Historical observations and quantitative studies over the past 175 years allowed us to place our erosion rate measurements into a longer-term context. Several of the coastal features along this stretch of coastline...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Arctic
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Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high-temperature sensitivity to winter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data. Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1 m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last 30 years (2.4°C), with MABT above freezing 5 of the last 7 years. This is in comparison to slower...


    map background search result map search result map Spatio-temporal analysis of gyres in oriented lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska based on remotely sensed images Spatio-temporal analysis of gyres in oriented lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska based on remotely sensed images