Invited perspective: What lies beneath a changing arctic?

Jeffrey M. McKenzie*, Barret L. Kurylyk, Michelle A. Walvoord, Victor F. Bense, Daniel Fortier, Christopher Spence, Christophe Grenier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

As permafrost thaws in the Arctic, new subsurface pathways open for the transport of groundwater, energy, and solutes. We identify different ways that these subsurface changes are driving observed surface consequences, including the potential for increased contaminant transport, modification to water resources, and enhanced rates of infrastructure (e.g. buildings and roads) damage. Further, as permafrost thaws it allows groundwater to transport carbon, nutrients, and other dissolved constituents from terrestrial to aquatic environments via progressively deeper subsurface flow paths. Cryohydrogeology, the study of groundwater in cold regions, should be included in northern research initiatives to account for this hidden catalyst of environmental and societal change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
JournalCryosphere
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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