Permafrost coasts represent 34 % of the global coastline and are likely to become one of the most impacted environments of the Earth under changing climate conditions. The lengthening of the open-water season and the increasing open-water area, due to the decline of sea ice extent, will induce changes to the length of the fetch and allow storms to hit the coasts further in the fall season. These storms are thought to bear staggering threats to the coasts in the form of destruction of community and industry infrastructure as well as dramatic changes in sediment and nutrient pathways in the nearshore zone. Alas, Arctic coasts remain largely unknown and unexplored, which puts current adaptation and mitigation strategies in northern communities into jeopardy. A thorough systematic investigation of the coast at the circum-Arctic scale is needed to better understand the processes that act upon it. This presentation shows the end product stemming from the ten-year (1999-2009) Arctic Coastal Dynamics project in the form of a coastal classification segmenting the arctic coast in more than 1300 stretches of coast. The presentation will highlight the similarities and differences between the different coastal seas in the Arctic and the contribution of coastal erosion to nearshore sediment budget. It will also depict the geographical distribution of a wide range of parameters related to geomorphology, cryolithology (Ground ice) and geochemistry.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES I (2009-2013) > TOPIC 1: The Changing Arctic and Antarctic > WP 1.5: The Role of degrading Permafrost and Carbon Turnover in the Coastal, Shelf and Deep-Sea Environment