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Ecological overview of Kenai Fjords National Park

January 1, 2004

The major drivers of Kenai Fjords ecosystems are tectonics and climate. In this overview, we describe how these forces have contributed to the shaping of the lands and ecosystems of Kenai Fjords.

Physically, the park is comprised of several distinct components, set within a broader ecophysical framework that includes the Kenai Peninsula and coastal marine waters and islands. Squeezed between the Gulf of Alaska and the Kenai Mountains, the coastal zone of the park is a narrow band of exposed headlands and deep fjords. The Harding Icefield caps the Kenai Mountains above the fjords with ice estimated to be 3,000 feet (1,000 m) thick (Figure 1). Although not included in the National Park Service jurisdiction, the park is ecologically linked to the offshore marine ecosystem, and the embedded offshore islands, most of which are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Publication Year 2004
Title Ecological overview of Kenai Fjords National Park
Authors Page Spencer, Gail V. Irvine
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Alaska Park Science
Index ID 70187740
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center