Ice wedge degradation is a widespread occurrence across the circumpolar Arctic causing extreme spatial heterogeneity in water distribution, vegetation, and energy balance across landscapes. These heterogeneities influence carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes, yet there is little understanding of how they effect change in landscape‐level carbon (C) gas flux over time. We measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes in an area undergoing ice wedge degradation near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and combined with repeat imagery analysis to estimate seasonal landscape‐level C flux response to geomorphic change. Net CO2 and CH4 emissions changed by −25% and +42%, respectively, resulting in a 14% increase in seasonal CO2‐C equivalent emissions over 69 years as ice wedge degradation formed water‐filled troughs. The dynamic ice wedge degradation/stabilization process can cause significant changes in CO2 and CH4 fluxes over time, and the integration of this process is important to forecasting landscape‐level C fluxes in permafrost regions abundant in ice wedges.
|Title||Carbon dioxide and methane flux in a dynamic Arctic tundra landscape: Decadal‐scale impacts of ice wedge degradation and stabilization|
|Authors||Kimberly P. Wickland, M.Torre Jorgenson, Joshua C. Koch, Mikhail Z. Kanevskiy, Robert G. Striegl|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||WMA - Earth System Processes Division|