Permafrost Monitoring - High resolution temperature profiling of active layer permafrost at Teshekpuk Lake - Case Study
Teshekpuk Lake is the largest lake in the Alaskan Arctic and the third largest lake in the state. Given the importance of this region to an abundance of native wildlife and expected environmental changes associated with projected sea-level rise, coastline erosion and oil and gas development, the Teshekpuk Lake Observatory (TLO) was established as an effort to gain a better understanding of this internationally recognized ecosystem during a period of rapid environmental change in the Arctic.
An underlying characteristic of northern Alaska environs is the presence of permafrost, or permanently frozen soils. Essentially, a complex array of ice features within the soils influence hydrologic and thermal fluxes, making permafrost a unique boundary condition for forecasting environmental change in northern regions. Further, given the high spatial variability and vastness of Alaska’s North Slope, relatively few continuous, long-term measurements are available that characterize the temperature regime of the upper active layer and shallow permafrost depths.
Dr. Benjamin Jones of the US Geological Survey (USGS) initiated long term monitoring in proximity to Teshekpuk with the following parameters aimed at supporting quality data collection, sound science and public outreach:
- – High resolution temperature profiling of the permafrost active layer using BeadedStream TACs
- – Corresponding snow depths and air temperatures
- – Data transmitted in real-time to the web with BeadedStream Data Delivery
Teshekpuk Lake is located on Alaska’s North Slope. Visit www.teshekpuklake.com for more information on this unique region, and observatory projects and research.