Arctic Circumpolar Distribution and Soil Carbon of Thermokarst Landscapes, 2015

This data set provides the distribution of thermokarst landscapes in the boreal and tundra ecoregions within the northern circumpolar permafrost zones. This dataset provides an areal estimate of wetland, lake, and hillslope thermokarst landscapes as of 2015. Estimates of soil organic carbon (SOC) content associated with thermokarst and non-thermokarst landscapes were based on available circumpolar 0 to 3 meter SOC storage data.

A spatial modelling framework was used to estimate where thermokarst landscapes are currently located or could develop.The framework weighed the perceived relative influence of landscape characteristics including ground ice content, sedimentary overburden thickness, permafrost zonation, terrestrial ecoregion, topographical roughness, and the presence of permafrost peat soils (histels). Weights of landscape characteristics for determining the regional coverage were decided through an expert elicitation, which included input from all co-authors as well as from members of the Permafrost Carbon Network.

Estimates of SOC storage for the three thermokarst landscape types, and non-thermokarst landscapes,were based on available spatial information of 0-3 m SOC storage from Hugelius et al., (2014). Partitioning of the total SOC storage within each region of this study were based on the thermokarst landscape coverages, region-specific SOC concentrations (kg C/m2), and areal coverages of different soil types.

There is one shapefile (.shp) with this data set. The data are also provided in .kmz format as a companion file for viewing in Google Earth.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
ISO Topics geoscientificInformation
Other Contacts David Olefeldt, Vladimir Romanovsky (Email:, David McGuire
Organization Types Academic
Geo-keywords Arctic
Created October 25, 2016, 05:15 (AKDT)
Last Updated July 1, 2021, 22:59 (AKDT)