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Modeling the evolution of climate‐sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf

Thawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate‐sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences November 2014, Vol.119(11), pp.2082-2094
Main Author: Portnov, Alexey
Other Authors: Mienert, Jurgen , Serov, Pavel
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language:
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 2169-8953 ; E-ISSN: 2169-8961 ; DOI: 10.1002/2014JG002685
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recordid: wj10.1002/2014JG002685
title: Modeling the evolution of climate‐sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf
format: Article
creator:
  • Portnov, Alexey
  • Mienert, Jurgen
  • Serov, Pavel
subjects:
  • West Yamal Shelf
  • Permafrost Modeling
  • Gas Expulsion
ispartof: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, November 2014, Vol.119(11), pp.2082-2094
description: Thawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate‐sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost. Here we show modeling of the permafrost evolution from the Late Pleistocene to present time at the West Yamal shelf. Modeling results suggest a highly dynamic permafrost system that directly responds to even minor variations of lower and upper boundary conditions, e.g., geothermal heat flux from below and/or bottom water temperature changes from above permafrost. Scenarios of permafrost evolution show a potentially nearest landward modern extent of the permafrost at the West Yamal shelf limited by ~17 m isobaths, whereas its farthest seaward extent coincides with ~100 m isobaths. The model also predicts seaward tapering of relict permafrost with a maximal thickness of 275–390 m near the shoreline. Previous field observations detected extensive emissions of free gas into the water column at the transition zone between today's shallow water permafrost (20 m). The model adapts well to corresponding heat flux and ocean temperature data, providing crucial information about the modern permafrost conditions. It shows current locations of upper and lower permafrost boundaries and evidences for possible release of methane from the seabed to the hydrosphere in a warming Arctic. Permafrost modeling at the West Yamal shelf is defined as a highly dynamic systemContinuous subsea permafrost is
language:
source:
identifier: ISSN: 2169-8953 ; E-ISSN: 2169-8961 ; DOI: 10.1002/2014JG002685
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 2169-8953
  • 21698953
  • 2169-8961
  • 21698961
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titleModeling the evolution of climate‐sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf
creatorPortnov, Alexey ; Mienert, Jurgen ; Serov, Pavel
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subjectWest Yamal Shelf ; Permafrost Modeling ; Gas Expulsion
descriptionThawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate‐sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost. Here we show modeling of the permafrost evolution from the Late Pleistocene to present time at the West Yamal shelf. Modeling results suggest a highly dynamic permafrost system that directly responds to even minor variations of lower and upper boundary conditions, e.g., geothermal heat flux from below and/or bottom water temperature changes from above permafrost. Scenarios of permafrost evolution show a potentially nearest landward modern extent of the permafrost at the West Yamal shelf limited by ~17 m isobaths, whereas its farthest seaward extent coincides with ~100 m isobaths. The model also predicts seaward tapering of relict permafrost with a maximal thickness of 275–390 m near the shoreline. Previous field observations detected extensive emissions of free gas into the water column at the transition zone between today's shallow water permafrost (20 m). The model adapts well to corresponding heat flux and ocean temperature data, providing crucial information about the modern permafrost conditions. It shows current locations of upper and lower permafrost boundaries and evidences for possible release of methane from the seabed to the hydrosphere in a warming Arctic. Permafrost modeling at the West Yamal shelf is defined as a highly dynamic systemContinuous subsea permafrost is <250 m thick and limited to water depth <20 mTapering seaward permafrost governs seafloor gas escape in water depths >20 m
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titleModeling the evolution of climate‐sensitive Arctic subsea permafrost in regions of extensive gas expulsion at the West Yamal shelf
descriptionThawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate‐sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost. Here we show modeling of the permafrost evolution from the Late Pleistocene to present time at the West Yamal shelf. Modeling results suggest a highly dynamic permafrost system that directly responds to even minor variations of lower and upper boundary conditions, e.g., geothermal heat flux from below and/or bottom water temperature changes from above permafrost. Scenarios of permafrost evolution show a potentially nearest landward modern extent of the permafrost at the West Yamal shelf limited by ~17 m isobaths, whereas its farthest seaward extent coincides with ~100 m isobaths. The model also predicts seaward tapering of relict permafrost with a maximal thickness of 275–390 m near the shoreline. Previous field observations detected extensive emissions of free gas into the water column at the transition zone between today's shallow water permafrost (20 m). The model adapts well to corresponding heat flux and ocean temperature data, providing crucial information about the modern permafrost conditions. It shows current locations of upper and lower permafrost boundaries and evidences for possible release of methane from the seabed to the hydrosphere in a warming Arctic. Permafrost modeling at the West Yamal shelf is defined as a highly dynamic systemContinuous subsea permafrost is <250 m thick and limited to water depth <20 mTapering seaward permafrost governs seafloor gas escape in water depths >20 m
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abstractThawing subsea permafrost controls methane release from the Russian Arctic shelf having a considerable impact on the climate‐sensitive Arctic environment. Expulsions of methane from shallow Russian Arctic shelf areas may continue to rise in response to intense degradation of relict subsea permafrost. Here we show modeling of the permafrost evolution from the Late Pleistocene to present time at the West Yamal shelf. Modeling results suggest a highly dynamic permafrost system that directly responds to even minor variations of lower and upper boundary conditions, e.g., geothermal heat flux from below and/or bottom water temperature changes from above permafrost. Scenarios of permafrost evolution show a potentially nearest landward modern extent of the permafrost at the West Yamal shelf limited by ~17 m isobaths, whereas its farthest seaward extent coincides with ~100 m isobaths. The model also predicts seaward tapering of relict permafrost with a maximal thickness of 275–390 m near the shoreline. Previous field observations detected extensive emissions of free gas into the water column at the transition zone between today's shallow water permafrost (20 m). The model adapts well to corresponding heat flux and ocean temperature data, providing crucial information about the modern permafrost conditions. It shows current locations of upper and lower permafrost boundaries and evidences for possible release of methane from the seabed to the hydrosphere in a warming Arctic. Permafrost modeling at the West Yamal shelf is defined as a highly dynamic systemContinuous subsea permafrost is <250 m thick and limited to water depth <20 mTapering seaward permafrost governs seafloor gas escape in water depths >20 m
doi10.1002/2014JG002685
pages2082-2094
date2014-11