Timing and drivers of mid- to late Holocene ice-wedge polygon development in the Western Canadian Arctic


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Juliane.Wolter [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Ice-wedge polygon formation and development from low-centred to high-centred types are thought to be either linear processes acting on long time-scales or rapid shifts between different regimes. We analyzed six sediment cores from three ice-wedge polygons on the Yukon Coastal Plain to examine the timing and drivers of these dynamics. All sites developed from shallow lakes or submerged polygon environments to low-centred polygons before rapid degradation and drying during the last century. We found that ice-wedge polygon initiation was linked to moderate climatic cooling during the mid-Holocene combined with drainage of lakes. The further conversion to high-centred polygons appeared to have been a rapid process linked to modern climatic warming. Continued warming may thus lead to increasing ice-wedge melt on larger scales and subsequent degradation of ice-wedge polygons, especially if paired with increasing geomorphic disturbances caused by thermokarst and thermo-erosion.



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Conference (Talk)
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Primary Division
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Not peer-reviewed
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Published
Event Details
5th European Conference on Permafrost, 23 Jun 2018 - 01 Jul 2018, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France.
Eprint ID
47514
Cite as
Wolter, J. , Lantuit, H. , Wetterich, S. , Rethemeyer, J. and Fritz, M. (2018): Timing and drivers of mid- to late Holocene ice-wedge polygon development in the Western Canadian Arctic , 5th European Conference on Permafrost, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France, 23 June 2018 - 1 July 2018 .


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