Spatial and Temporal Influences of Thermokarst Failures on Surface Processes in Arctic Landscapes



Youtube video of thermokarst on the north shore of Horn Lake, Alaska from timelapse imagery, taken in summer 2010.
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This research project is a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort to study the responses of Arctic landscapes to permafrost degradation known as thermokarst - landscape features caused by structural failure following the melting of ground ice.  As the arctic climate warms, there is increasing report of thermokarst incidence.  Responses of geomorphology, stream networks, terrestrial and aquatic ecosyststems, however, are poorly understood.

Our research team includes 16 principal investigators and many students from 11 institutions, with a wide range of scientific expertise.  Together, we are significantly advancing our collective understanding of the causes and consequences of thermokarst across the arctic landscape. 

View our project proposal summary here.


This project was funded from 2008-2012 and has wound down.  We will continue to publish our findings from this grant and update our publications page as papers become available.

Archived News Items:
20 May 2011 - 2011 field season starts with sampling snowmelt at several locations around Toolik Field Station
29 Jun 2010 - new article in Eos on Arctic landscape change in response to warming
20 Jun 2010 - Second field season based at Toolik Field Station and the seasonal NPS cabin at Kelly River underway.
12 May 2010 -
article in Audubon Magazine about our project
15 Jan 2010 - Bill Sherwonit article about climate change in the Arctic featuring our project
17 Aug 2009 - article in Chemical & Engineering News about our project
31 Jul 2009 - article in the Economist about our project
30 Jul 2009 - article in the New Scientist about our project
19 Jul 2009 - newspaper article published in the New Jersey Star-Ledger on our project
14 Jul 2009 - South Dakota Public Radio story on our project (you will need Real Player)
30 Jun 2009 Nature news publishes Q&A with lead PI Breck Bowden...
23 Jun 2009
- Our first field season based out of the Toolik Field Station is underway! Check out our project blog.
Jun 2009 -
Check out our 2009 first field season blog and videos.



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The material on this web site is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation
Arctic System Sciences Program, Collaborative Awards
ARC-.0806341, 0806399, 0806329, 0806254,
0806465, 0806451, 0806271, and 0806394.
This page is maintained by Michael Gooseff, hosted at Penn State University.