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Sikuliqiruq: ice dynamics of the Meade River - Arctic Alaska, from freezeup to breakup from time-series ground imagery

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Ice formation and breakup on Arctic rivers strongly influence river flow, sedimentation, river ecology, winter travel, and subsistence fishing and hunting by Alaskan Natives. We use time-series ground imagery of the Meade River to examine the process at high temporal and spatial resolution. Freezeup from complete liquid cover to complete ice cover of the Meade River at Atqasuk, Alaska in the fall of 2008 occurred in less than three days between 28 September and 2 October 2008. Breakup in 2009 occurred in less than two hours between 23:47 UTC on 23 May 2009 and 01:27 UTC on 24 May 2009. All times in UTC. Breakup in 2009 and 2010 was of the thermal style in contrast to the mechanical style observed in 1966 and is consistent with a warming Arctic.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA 2: Alaska Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK, USA,Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA 3: Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA 4: Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA 5: Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, Atqasuk, AK, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2010


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