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Permafrost characterization at the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX) site: Geophysical and related field data collected from 2018-2020

June 23, 2021

Geophysical measurements and related field data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX) site in Interior Alaska from 2018 to 2020 to characterize subsurface thermal and hydrologic conditions along a permafrost thaw gradient. The APEX site is managed by the Bonanza Creek LTER (Long Term Ecological Research). In April 2018, seven boreholes were emplaced to depths of 2.3-2.5 meters (m) to allow for repeat logging with downhole nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to quantify the spatial and temporal variations in unfrozen water content within active-layer and permafrost soils. NMR data were collected on ten separate occasions between April 2018 and October 2020. In June 2018, soil temperature and moisture sensors were installed at select locations and depths across the study site to record point-scale temperature and moisture conditions in 30 minute intervals. In August 2018, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data were collected along four 82 m-long transects. Models of electrical resistivity produced from these data revealed the spatial variability in soil lithology and thermal state (frozen vs. thawed) to depths up to 10-15 m below the surface. Lastly, manual permafrost-probe measurements of thaw depths were collected at each instrument location during summer site visits for comparison to the geophysical data.