The N-factor of nonsorted circles along a climate gradient in Arctic Alaska

TitleThe N-factor of nonsorted circles along a climate gradient in Arctic Alaska
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKade, A, Romanovsky, VE, Walker, DA
Date PublishedOct-Dec
ISBN Number1045-6740
Keywordsactive-layer thickness, arctic tundra, bioclimate gradient, discontinuous permafrost, kuparuk river basin, plant cover, snow characteristics, soil temperature, soils, temperature, thaw, thaw depth, tundra, USA, vegetation

Three study sites were selected on zonal sites from north to south along a climate gradient in Arctic Alaska. Air and mineral soil surface temperatures of nonsorted circles and adjacent well-vegetated tundra plots were monitored from September 2003 through September 2004, and the depths of vegetation, soil organic horizons and snow were measured. N-factors, the ratio of ground-surface temperature to air temperature, were determined for the summer and winter seasons. N-factors and thaw depths were greater for relatively barren nonsorted circles than for adjacent well-vegetated tundra. Along the climate gradient, the thickness of vegetation, soil organic layer and snow increased from north to south, while n-factors and thaw depths decreased at bare circles from 1.43 +/- 0.02 to 0.74 +/- 0.01 and from 81.2 +/- 1.4 cm to 59.5 +/- 2.4 cm, respectively, and at the tundra from 0.99 +/- 10.02 to 0.17 +/- 0.01 and from 62.6 +/- 1.4 cm to 21.0 +/- 2.8 cm, respectively. Copyright (C) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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