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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
31 Jan 2011
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
Modelling the spatial pattern of ground thaw in a small basin in the arctic tundra
S. Endrizzi1,*, W. L. Quinton2, and P. Marsh1 1National Hydrology Research Centre, Environment Canada, Saskatoon, Canada
2Cold Regions Research Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
*now at: Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Abstract. In the arctic tundra the ground is normally composed by a relatively thin organic soil layer, overlying mineral sediment. Subsurface water drainage generally occurs in the organic layer for its high hydraulic conductivity. However, the organic layer shows significant decrease of hydraulic conductivity with depth. The position and the topography of the frost table, which here acts as a relatively impermeable surface, are therefore crucial in determining the hillslope drainage rate. This work aims at understanding how the topography of the ground surface affects the spatial variability of the depth of thaw in a 1 km2 low-elevation arctic tundra basin with a fine resolution model that fully couples energy and water flow processes. The simulations indicate that the spatial patterns of ground thaw are not dominated by slope and aspect, but are instead entirely controlled by the spatial distribution of soil moisture, which is determined by subsurface flow patterns. Measured thaw depths have a similar range of variability to the simulated values for each stage of active layer development, although the model slightly overestimated the depth of thaw.

Citation: Endrizzi, S., Quinton, W. L., and Marsh, P.: Modelling the spatial pattern of ground thaw in a small basin in the arctic tundra, The Cryosphere Discuss., 5, 367-400, doi:10.5194/tcd-5-367-2011, 2011.
S. Endrizzi et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
SC C154: 'Referee comment', Julia Boike, 16 Mar 2011 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
AC C1006: 'Answers to comments by Julia Boike', Stefano Endrizzi, 29 Sep 2011 Printer-friendly Version 
RC C178: 'Referee Comment', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Mar 2011 Printer-friendly Version 
S. Endrizzi et al.
S. Endrizzi et al.


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