Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-29
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
An Estimate of Ice Wedge Volume for a High Arctic Polar Desert Environment, Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island
Claire Bernard-Grand'Maison1 and Wayne Pollard2 1Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, K1N 6N5, Canada
2Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, H3A 0G4, Canada
Abstract. Quantifying ground ice volume on a regional scale is necessary to assess the vulnerability of permafrost landscapes to thaw induced disturbance like terrain subsidence and to quantify potential carbon release. Ice wedges (IWs) are a ubiquitous ground ice landform in the Arctic. Their high spatial variability makes generalizing their potential role in landscape change problematic. IWs form polygonal networks visible on satellite imagery from active layer surface troughs. This study focuses on the estimation of IW ice volume for the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, a continuous permafrost area characterized by polar desert conditions and extensive ground ice. We perform basic GIS analyses on high resolution satellite imagery to delineate IW troughs and estimate the associated IW ice volume using a 3D subsurface model. We demonstrate two semi-automated IW trough delineation methods with different strengths to increase time-efficiency of this process, done manually in previous studies. Our methods yield acceptable IW ice volume estimates validating the value of GIS to estimate IW volume on much larger scales. We estimate that IWs are potentially present on 50 % of the Fosheim Peninsula (± 3000 km2) where 3.81 % of the top 5.9 m of permafrost could be IW ice.

Citation: Bernard-Grand'Maison, C. and Pollard, W.: An Estimate of Ice Wedge Volume for a High Arctic Polar Desert Environment, Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-29, in review, 2018.
Claire Bernard-Grand'Maison and Wayne Pollard
Claire Bernard-Grand'Maison and Wayne Pollard
Claire Bernard-Grand'Maison and Wayne Pollard

Viewed

Total article views: 159 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
120 32 7 159 4 1 6

Views and downloads (calculated since 13 Feb 2018)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 13 Feb 2018)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 159 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 159 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 25 Feb 2018
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This study presents an estimation of the volume of ice in ice wedges, a ground ice feature in permafrost, for a High Arctic polar desert region. We demonstrate that Geographical Information Systems analyses can be used on satellite images to obtain first approximations of ice wedge ice volume. We estimate that 3.81 % of the top 5.9 m of permafrost could be ice wedge ice on the Fosheim Peninsula. In response to climate change, melting ice wedges will result in widespread terrain disturbance.
This study presents an estimation of the volume of ice in ice wedges, a ground ice feature in...
Share