Image above: A paddler looks at a permafrost section along the Titaluk River..
Photo Credit: Ben Gaglioti.
The climate during the last ice age on the North Slope of Alaska is often depicted as dry and cold, vegetation as impoverished and stunted, and animals as large and hirsute. Here I present a more spatially and temporally animated record of landscape change during this time. The chronology of aeolian sedimentation, soil development, and wood isotopes preserved in a permafrost exposure on the Titaluk River serve as regional indicators of effective moisture and temperature changes. I present this record in the context of the Brooks Range glacial chronology, and the large mammal population in the region. I then summarize the landscape change that occurred during the rapid climate oscillation at the end of the last ice age.