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Effects of permafrost on stream channel behavior in Arctic Alaska

January 1, 1994

Sites with drainage areas ranging from 88 to 12,200 sq km were monitored on five streams in northern Alaska during the breakup in 1976 to determine (1) the effects of frozen bed and bank material on channel behavior, and (2) the importance of the annual breakup flood in forming the channels of arctic streams. The thawing and concomitant erosion of channels varied with changes in bed-material size, channel pattern, drainage area, and climate. The response of channels to breakup flooding ranged from total permafrost control of channel processes, including both bed scour and lateral erosion, to only brief restriction of channel behavior early in the rise of the flooding. The watershed characteristic that appears to explain much of this variation is size of drainage area. (Woodard-USGS)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1978
Title Effects of permafrost on stream channel behavior in Arctic Alaska
DOI 10.3133/pp1068
Authors Kevin M. Scott
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1068
Index ID pp1068
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization