Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1439-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1439-2016
Research article
 | 
08 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 08 Mar 2016

Nonlinear thermal and moisture response of ice-wedge polygons to permafrost disturbance increases heterogeneity of high Arctic wetland

Etienne Godin, Daniel Fortier, and Esther Lévesque

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Short summary
Bowl-shaped ice-wedge polygons in permafrost regions can retain snowmelt water and moisture in their center. On Bylot Island (NU, CA), a rapidly developing thermal erosion gully eroded the polygons' ridges, impacting the polygon centers' ground moisture and temperature, plant cover and species. An intact polygon was homogeneous in its center for the aforementioned elements, whereas eroded polygons had a varying response following the breach, with heterogeneity as their new equilibrium state.
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