Improved Understanding of Permafrost Controls on Hydrology in Interior Alaska by Integration of Ground-Based Geophysical Permafrost Characterization and Numerical Modeling
Final rept. Mar 2010-Apr 2015
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER FORT RICHARDSON AK COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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Permafrost and seasonal ground ice are key factors that control the routing of water above and below the land surface in interior Alaska hence frozen ground affects water resources, ecosystem state, landscape evolution, and soil stability. Despite its hydrologic, ecologic, and geotechnical importance, the spatial distribution of permafrost and its relation to subsurface water flow remains poorly understood for many areas of interior Alaska largely due to its remoteness and inaccessibility. This study was aimed at improving the knowledge base by 1 developing a new numerical modeling tool for simulation of groundwaterpermafrost interaction 2 demonstrating and evaluating geophysical methods for mapping of permafrost distribution at several test sites and 3 elucidating permafrost-controlled surface water groundwater exchanges using physics-based modeling to evaluate local settings that were characterized by field efforts and by evaluating larger scale interactions based on generic understanding of permafrost patterns based on geophysical and other data. This research has resulted in both basic-science and methodological advances. The hydrologic modeling tools and approaches and the geophysical methods and evaluation approaches developed here are readily transferrable to a wide range of issues related to permafrost characterization and dynamics affecting cold-region DoD installations and operations.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost