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Catalog Record: Landscape and Permafrost Changes in The Prudhoe Bay Oilfield, Alaska
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Landscape and Permafrost Changes in The Prudhoe Bay Oilfield, Alaska

A primary challenge for adaptive management of large Arctic oil and gas developments is documenting the changes that have already occurred. The first and most straightforward element is a catalog of incremental changes to the extent of oilfield infrastructure, followed by an assessment of the consequences to the environment.

This document contains a recent assessment as published in Global Change Biology (see below) along with key supplementary information and recent field observations regarding the long-term effects of oilfield roads. The first chapter is the main GCB article, which describes the history of infrastructure across all of the North Slope region as well as a landscape-scale analysis of the spread of indirect effects such as road dust, infrastructure-related flooding, and thermokarst. The biggest surprise from this analysis was the rapid thawing of ice-wedges and abrupt increase of thermokarst that occurred between 1990 and 2010. The increase in thermokarst was most extensive in areas adjacent to infrastructure, but it also occurred widely in areas remote from infrastructure, a likely response to a series of recent exceptionally warm summers. The next three chapters contain key information that supports the conclusions of the Raynolds et al. (2014) article:

Raynolds MK, Walker DA, Ambrosius KJ et al. (2014) Cumulative geoecological effects of 62 years of infrastructure and climate change in ice-rich permafrost landscapes, Prudhoe Bay Oilfield, Alaska. Global Change Biology, 1211–1224. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12500.

Complete
1970-01-01
2014-06-01

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    WalkerDA2014_agc14-01.pdf (6.24 MB)

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    http://www.geobotany.uaf.edu/

Status: Complete
Start Date: 1970/01/01
Type: Report
End Date: 2014/06/01
Primary Contacts
Name: Martha Raynolds
Email: mkraynolds@alaska.edu
Other Contacts
Name: Donald A. (Skip) Walker
Email: dawalker@alaska.edu
Primary Organizations
Type
Institute of Arctic Biology UAF
Academic

Other Organizations
Institute of Northern Engineering UAF, Geophysical Institute UAF , National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Direct Record Link
http://catalog.northslopescience.org/catalog/entries/8608-landscape-and-permafrost-changes-i
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http://catalog.northslopescience.org/catalog/entries/8608-landscape-and-permafrost-changes-i/map