• Subarctic natural organic matter seasonality study: Influence of permafrost thaw on surface waters
    • Kristin Gagne (PhD Candidate, Chemistry and Biogeochemistry, UAF)
    • February 09, 2018
  • Image above: Kristin has sampled hundreds of water in streams, lakes and wells in Goldstream Valley that she has analyzed in the departments lab.
    Photo Credit: UAF/JR Archeta.


Yedoma permafrost is a reservoir for 800 GT of carbon and discontinuous permafrost is dramatically thawing, allowing this carbon organic matter (OM) to be released from the permafrost into the surrounding hydrologic system. This ancient carbon influence on surface water DOM could have a dramatic effect on biogeochemical cycling in the boreal watershed. The chemical and functional group composition of permafrost organic matter largely remains unknown. Characterizing natural organic matter (NOM) chemical composition offers insight into the quality and extent of the permafrost carbon pool that may mobilize and transform into smaller components. The Goldstream watershed in interior Alaska is underlain by discontinuous permafrost with varying stage of talik (thaw bulb) development, allowing for the comparison of thaw stage on DOM composition. Water samples were collected from top and bottom of lakes, pore waters from lakes, groundwater, and streams in regions of the watershed with varying degrees of permafrost thaw in order to investigate seasonal variability and associated trends in NOM composition. Through our investigation of NOM chemical composition, we determined variations between all water types and potential chemical influence from permafrost thaw.

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Meeting ID: 356-254-783

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  • Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC)
  • 437 Duckering
  • 1760 Tanana Loop
  • PO Box 75 5860
  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5860, USA