Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
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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Cited articles

Allard, M., Sarrazin, D., and L'Hérault, E.: Borehole monitoring temperatures in northeastern Canada, v. 1.2 (1988–2014), Nordicana D,, 2014.
Ballantyne, C. K.: Periglacial Landforms | Patterned Ground, Elsevier, Oxford, 2182–2191,, 2007.
Billings, W. D. and Peterson, K. M.: Vegetational change and ice-wedge polygons through the thaw-lake cycle in Arctic Alaska, Arct. Alp. Res., 12, 413–432,, 1980.
Black, R. F.: Periglacial features indicative of permafrost: ice and soil wedges, Quaternary Res., 6, 3–26,, 1976.
Bliss, L. C. and Gold, W. G.: The patterning of plant communities and edaphic factors along a high arctic coastline: implications for succession, Can. J. Botany, 72, 1095–1107,, 1994.
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.
Final-revised paper