Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff

Date:
December 31, 2009
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
As the Arctic warms, permafrost will degrade, potentially resulting in increased groundwater runoff as frozen ground that had blocked the flow of water melts. To investigate how groundwater systems will evolve as surface temperatures rise, researchers have developed a model to simulate an idealized aquifer covered by a layer of permafrost.

As the Arctic warms, permafrost will degrade, potentially resulting in increased groundwater runoff as frozen ground that had blocked the flow of water melts. To investigate how groundwater systems will evolve as surface temperatures rise, Bense et al. developed a model to simulate an idealized aquifer covered by a layer of permafrost.

They ran the simulation under three scenarios, starting with three initial surface temperatures (-2, -1.5, and -1 degrees Celsius, or 28.4, 29.3 and 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit), corresponding to different permafrost thicknesses. In each case, they increased the average seasonal surface temperature by 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F) over 100 years, an average of model predictions for temperature increase in the Arctic over the next century.

After the warming period, in each scenario the temperature was then held constant for the next 1100 years.

The authors found that although the initial distribution of ice influences the response, in all cases groundwater flow to streams and rivers accelerates over time. In fact, the results indicate that substantial increases in groundwater flow are likely over the next few centuries even if surface air temperatures stabilize at current levels.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters. Authors include V. F. Bense: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; G. Ferguson: Department of Earth Sciences, Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada; H. Kooi: Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bense et al. Evolution of shallow groundwater flow systems in areas of degrading permafrost. Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (22): L22401 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL039225

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183536.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2009, December 31). Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183536.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Permafrost thaw may accelerate Arctic groundwater runoff." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183536.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — California's record drought is hurting honey supplies and raising prices for consumers. The lack of rainfall means fewer crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar bees need to make honey. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A U.S. team found nearly 4,000 species in a subglacial lake that hasn't seen sunlight in millennia, showing life can thrive even under the ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins