Geophysical Research Letters
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Warming and thawing in the Arctic are promoting biogeochemical processing and hydrologic transport in carbon‐rich permafrost and soils that transfer carbon to surface waters or the atmosphere. Hydrologic and biogeochemical impacts of thawing are challenging to predict with sparse information on arctic soil hydraulic and thermal properties. We developed empirical and statistical models of soil properties for three main strata in the shallow, seasonally thawed soils above permafrost in a study area of ~7,500 km2 in Alaska. The models show that soil vertical stratification and hydraulic properties are predictable based on vegetation cover and slope. We also show that the distinct hydraulic and thermal properties of each soil stratum can be predicted solely from bulk density. These findings fill the gap for a sparsely mapped region of the Arctic and enable regional interpolation of soil properties critical for determining future hydrologic responses and the fate of carbon in thawing permafrost.
O'Connor, M. T., Cardenas, M. B., Ferencz, S. B., Wu, Y., Neilson, B. T., Chen, J., & Kling, G. W. ( 2020). Empirical models for predicting water and heat flow properties of permafrost soils. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL087646. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087646