P D Morse


DOI bib
The Northwest Territories Thermokarst Mapping Collective: A northern-driven mapping collaborative toward understanding the effects of permafrost thaw
Steven V. Kokelj, Tristan Gingras-Hill, Seamus V Daly, P D Morse, S A Wolfe, Ashley Rudy, Jurjen van der Sluijs, Niels Weiss, H B O'Neill, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Trevor C. Lantz, Carolyn Gibson, Dieter Cazon, Robert Fraser, Duane G. Froese, Garfield Giff, Charles Klengenberg, Scott F. Lamoureux, William L. Quinton, M. R. Turetsky, Alexandre Chiasson, C.C. Ferguson, Michael Newton, Mike Pope, Jason Paul, A E Wilson, Joseph M. Young
Arctic Science

This paper documents the first comprehensive inventory of thermokarst and thaw-sensitive terrain indicators for a 2 million km2 region of northwestern Canada. This is accomplished through the Thermokarst Mapping Collective (TMC), a research collaborative to systematically inventory indicators of permafrost thaw sensitivity by mapping and aerial assessments across the Northwest Territories (NT), Canada. The increase in NT-based permafrost capacity has fostered science leadership and collaboration with government, academic, and community researchers to enable project implementation. Ongoing communications and outreach have informed study design and strengthened Indigenous and stakeholder relationships. Documentation of theme-based methods supported mapper training, and flexible data infrastructure facilitated progress by Canada-wide researchers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The TMC inventory of thermokarst and thaw-sensitive landforms agree well with fine-scale empirical mapping (69% to 84% accuracy) and aerial inventory (74% to 96% accuracy) datasets. National- and circumpolar-scale modelling of sensitive permafrost terrain contrasts significantly with TMC outputs, highlighting their limitations and the value of empirically-based mapping approaches. We demonstrate that the multi-parameter TMC outputs support a holistic understanding and refined depictions of permafrost terrain sensitivity, provide novel opportunities for syntheses, and inform future modelling approaches, which are urgently required to comprehend better what permafrost thaw means for Canada’s North.


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The distribution and dynamics of aufeis in permafrost regions
Timothy Ensom, Olga Makarieva, P D Morse, D. L. Kane, Владимир Романович Алексеев, Philip Marsh
Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, Volume 31, Issue 3

Aufeis, also known as an icing or naled, is an accumulation of ice that forms primarily during winter when water is expelled onto frozen ground or ice surfaces and freezes in layers. Process‐oriented aufeis research initially expanded in the 20th century, but recent interest in changing hydrological conditions in permafrost regions has rejuvenated this field. Despite its societal relevance, the controls on aufeis distribution and dynamics are not well defined and this impedes projections of variation in aufeis size and distribution expected to accompany climate change. This paper reviews the physical controls on aufeis development, current broad‐scale aufeis distribution and anticipated change, and approaches to aufeis investigation. We propose an adjustment to terminology to better distinguish between the formation process and resulting ice bodies, a clarification of the aufeis classification approach based on source water, and a size threshold for broad‐scale aufeis inventory to facilitate collaborative research. We identify additional objectives for future research including advancing process knowledge at fine spatial scales, describing broad‐scale distribution using current remote sensing capabilities, and improving our understanding and predictive capacity over the interactions between aufeis and landscape‐scale permafrost, hydrogeological, geotectonic, and climate conditions.