Investigating permafrost coastal erosion and the resulting nutrient input in the western Canadian Arctic

jaroslav.obu [ at ]


Rapid environmental changes in the Arctic, including permafrost thaw and coastal erosion, are expected to have great impacts on the global climate system, on the ecosystem and on local communities. However, the magnitude at which these processes occur and their impacts is still not completely understood. This project focuses on the study of coastal erosion rates and the resulting organic carbon and nutrient release to the nearshore zone on Herschel Island and Yukon Coastal Plain in northwest Canada. The methodological approach involves field sampling and surveys, laboratory analyses and remote sensing. Fifteen permafrost cores from different ecological units were drilled during the expedition to Herschel Island in 2013. Additionally, training areas for ecological units were delineated with GPS. Core samples will be analysed for CNS, TOC, grain size and δ13C signature. Training areas will be used to produce a map of ecological units with supervised classification of RapidEye imagery. Maps for soil organic carbon and nitrogen content will be produced based on the assumption that soil organic carbon and nitrogen contents are homogenous within ecological units. Rates of coastal erosion will be calculated from spatially detailed DEMs from different years. Airborne LIDAR scanning of the Yukon Coast and Herschel Island with POLAR 5 was carried out in the summers 2012 and 2013. A high-resolution DEM based on LIDAR data will enable comparisons between short-term three-dimensional changes of the coastline and soil organic carbon and nitrogen release into the nearshore zone.

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Conference (Poster)
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AK PErmafrost conference, 24 Oct 2013 - 26 Oct 2013, Salzburg.
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Obu, J. , Lantuit, H. , Fritz, M. , Heim, B. and Schirrmeister, L. (2013): Investigating permafrost coastal erosion and the resulting nutrient input in the western Canadian Arctic , AK PErmafrost conference, Salzburg, 24 October 2013 - 26 October 2013 .

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