Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins

By: , and 
Edited by: John F. Shroder



Thermokarst lakes and drained lake basins are widespread in Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost lowlands with ice-rich sediments. Thermokarst lake formation is a dominant mode of permafrost degradation and is linked to surface disturbance, subsequent melting of ground ice, surface subsidence, water impoundment, and positive feedbacks between lake growth and permafrost thaw, whereas lake drainage generally results in local permafrost aggradation. Thermokarst lakes characteristically have unique limnological, morphological, and biogeochemical characteristics that are closely tied to cold-climate conditions and permafrost properties. Thermokarst lakes also have a tendency toward complete or partial drainage through permafrost degradation and erosion. Thermokarst lake dynamics strongly affect the development of landscape geomorphology, hydrology, and the habitat characteristic of permafrost lowlands.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins
ISBN 978-0-12-374739-6
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00216-5
Volume 8
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 29 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Treatise on Geomorphology
First page 325
Last page 353
Other Geospatial Arctic
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