Printer friendly version Share

News Release

Climate-Driven Permafrost Thaw

17 February 2017 Geological Society of America, The (GSA)

In bitter cold regions like northwestern Canada, permafrost has preserved relict ground-ice and vast glacial sedimentary stores in a quasi-stable state. These landscapes therefore retain a high potential for climate-driven transformation.

In their open-access GEOLOGY article published online on 7 Feb. 2017, Steven Kokelj of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey and colleagues write that climate-driven renewal of deglaciation and potential postglacial permafrost landscape evolution has major implications for predicting the nature and trajectories of northern landscape change and the cascade of downstream impacts.

They show that mapping across 1.27 million square kilometers of northwestern Canada points to large thaw-induced slope disturbances (thaw slumps) that delineate the margins of former ice sheets. Recent intensification of this thaw slumping has mobilized primary glacial sediments, triggering a cascade of fluvial, lacustrine, and coastal effects.

*****
GEOLOGY articles recently published ahead of print are online at http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/recent. All GEOLOGY articles are online http://geology.gsapubs.org/. Representatives of the media may obtain complimentary articles by contacting Kea Giles at the e-mail address above. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before publishing stories on their work, and please make reference to GEOLOGY in articles published. Non-media requests for articles may be directed to GSA Sales and Service, gsaservice@geosociety.org.

http://www.geosociety.org/

http://www.geosociety.org/GSA/News/Releases/GSA/News/pr/2017/17-04.aspx

Attached files

  • Megaslumps in fluvially incised hummocky moraine, Peel Plateau, northwestern Canada. Image courtesy Steven V. Kokelj; a larger version is available.


eNEWS-Jan 2017 FNSF ad Cambridge grey garduated New Norwegian logo Elhuyar with Basque expertsvar 2015