Tundra Travel Modeling Project

This project intended to provide natural resource managers with objective, quantitative data to assist decision making regarding opening of the tundra to cross-country travel. DNR designed standardized, controlled field trials, with baseline data, to investigate the relationships present between winter exploration vehicle treatments and the independent variables of ground hardness, snow depth, and snow slab thickness, as they relate to the dependent variables of active layer depth, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation (a proxy for plant disturbance). Changes in the dependent variables were used as indicators of tundra disturbance.

Two main tundra community types were studied: Coastal Plain (wet graminoid/moist sedge shrub) and Foothills (tussock). DNR constructed four models to address physical soil properties: two models for each main community type, one predicting change in depth of active layer and a second predicting change in soil moisture.

DNR also investigated the limited potential management utility in using soil temperature, the amount of photosynthetically active radition (PAR) absorbed by plants, and changes in microtopograhy as tools for the identification of disturbance in the field. DNR operated under the assumption that changes in the abiotic factors of active layer depth and soil moisture drive alteration in tundra vegetation structure and composition.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
ISO Topics biota, environment, structure, transportation
Primary Contact Harry Bader
Other Contacts Jacynthe Guimond
Primary Organization Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Other Organizations US Department of Energy, Alaska Oil and Gas Association
Organization Types Federal, Industry and Consultants, State
Geo-keywords Alaska, North Slope
Start Date 12/16/05
Created February 23, 2016, 01:07 (AKST)
Last Updated August 16, 2021, 14:32 (AKDT)