Wildfire-initiated talik development exceeds current thaw projections: Observations and models from Alaska's continuous permafrost zone
As the Arctic warms and wildfire occurrence increases, talik formation in permafrost regions is projected to expand and affect the cycling of water and carbon. Yet, few unified field and modeling studies have examined this process in detail, particularly in areas of continuous permafrost. We address this gap by presenting multimethod, multiseasonal geophysical measurements of permafrost and liquid‐water content that reveal substantial talik development in response to recent wildfire in continuous permafrost of boreal Alaska. Results from observation‐based cryohydrogeologic model simulations suggest that predisturbance subsurface conditions are key factors influencing thaw response to fire disturbance and air temperature warming. Our high‐resolution integrated study illustrates enhanced vulnerability of boreal continuous permafrost, with observed talik formation that exceeds coarse‐scale model projections by ~100 years even under the most extreme future emissions scenario. Results raise important scaling questions for representing extreme permafrost thaw phenomena of growing widespread importance in large‐scale predictive models.
|Wildfire-initiated talik development exceeds current thaw projections: Observations and models from Alaska's continuous permafrost zone
|David Rey, Michelle A. Walvoord, Burke J. Minsley, Brian A. Ebel, Clifford I. Voss, Kamini Singha
|Geophysical Research Letters
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|WMA - Earth System Processes Division