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The Classification and Geomorphic Implications of Thaw Lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
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The lakes of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska were classified, based on size, shape, orientation and distribution, into six lake units and three nonlake units. Regional slope and relief were demonstrated to control lake size, the largest lakes occurring on the flattest, northernmost segment of the Coastal Plain. Using ERTS-1 sequential imagery and existing photography and data, lakes were grouped according to three depth ranges, 1 m, 1-2 m and 2 m. Deepest lakes have the longest period of summer ice cover. Ice on shallow lakes melts the earliest. Maximum depths of lakes were computed based on ice volume content of the perennially frozen ground permafrost and these agreed with observed values and ranges. The lake classification and regional ERTS-1 coverage also appear to provide additional information on the limits of late-Pleistocene transgressions on the Coastal Plain.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE