Map of orange stream observations across ARCN parks in northern Alaska
Map of orange stream observations across Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network (ARCN) parks in northern Alaska. Picture inserts show aerial images of select iron-impacted, orange streams. The NPS units in ARCN are the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BELA), Cape Krusenstern National Monument (CAKR), Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (GAAR), Kobuk Valley National Park (KOVA), and the Noatak National Preserve (NOAT). Recent observations from Arctic Alaska indicate that waters draining permafrost landscapes may be susceptible to iron and carbon mobilization following thaw. One consequence of these altered iron-cycling processes is the abrupt change in color (orange) of stream and river reaches, reflecting a dramatic shift in water quality.
Map created by Carson Baughman, U.S. Geological Survey. Photos by Kenneth Hill, National Park Service