Title: Understanding the Physical Properties and Dynamics of Permafrost: An Important Link Among Changes in Climate, Hydrology, and the Ecology of Northern High Latitudes
Fellow: Steven M. Jepsen, (303) 236-4150, firstname.lastname@example.org
Station: Denver, CO
Date: March 29, 2010
Education:Ph.D. Engineering-Applied Mechanics, Montana State University-Bozeman, 2005
Advisors: Michelle A. Walvoord, (303) 236-4998, email@example.com; Cliff I. Voss, (703) 648-5885, firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: The thawing of permafrost across northern high latitude regions is expected to alter water run-off and infiltration processes, in turn influencing surface water distribution, nutrient cycling, ecosystem processes, and ground fluxes of greenhouse gases. The interaction of permafrost thaw and groundwater flow is thought to play a key role in these processes. The goal of this study is to analyze how permafrost thaw under variable climate will influence groundwater fluxes in the vicinity of the Yukon River Basin, Alaska, a region of discontinuous permafrost. The tools of this study include a coupled groundwater and energy transport model with freezing, SUTRA-ICE, and field work in the Yukon River Basin, Alaska, including geophysical surveys and ground measurements of parameters including temperature and soil moisture.