USGS Permafrost Research Determines the Risks of Permafrost Thaw to Biologic and Hydrologic Resources

Fact Sheet 2020-3058
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with university, Federal, Tribal, and independent partners, conducts fundamental research on the distribution, vulnerability, and importance of permafrost in arctic and boreal ecosystems. Scientists, land managers, and policy makers use USGS data to help make decisions for development, wildlife habitat, and other needs. Native villages and cities can forecast landscape change and where soils are vulnerable to thaw with more certainty. The scientific community can use USGS data to develop scenarios of future permafrost change.

Suggested Citation

Waldrop, M.P., Anderson, L., Dornblaser, M., Erikson, L.H., Gibbs, A.E., Herman-Mercer, N.M., James, S.R., Jones, M.C., Koch, J.C., Leewis, M.-C., Manies, K.L., Minsley, B.J., Pastick, N.J., Patil, V., Urban, F., Walvoord, M.A., Wickland, K.P., and Zimmerman, C., 2021, USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3058, 6 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • What is Permafrost?
  • Permafrost—Remnants of Ice Ages Past
  • Detecting Permafrost Change
  • The Necessity of Long-Term Field Experiments to Understand Variability and Change
  • Monitoring Changes to Animal and Plant Communities
  • Working with Indigenous Communities
  • Contributing USGS Science Centers and Disciplines
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2020-3058
DOI 10.3133/fs20203058
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Volcano Science Center, WMA - Earth System Processes Division
Description 6 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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