Arctic Arts Project
Arctic Arts Project

Tundra Change

As sea ice extent declined over the past years, Arctic tundra has received an increased amount of summer warmth and has gotten greener. Arctic tundra is a maritime biome, most of which can be found within 100 kilometers of seasonally ice-covered seas.

Arctic Arts Project

Patterned Ground

Patterned ground is the distinct, and often symmetrical geometric shapes formed by ground material in periglacial regions.

Arctic Arts Project

Polygon Hummocks

Polygons can form either in permafrost areas or in areas that are affected by seasonal frost. Recently photographed along Greenlands Eastern coast.

Geology a Profile in Change

  • Iceberg Sunset
  • Jokullsarlon Sunset
  • Volcanic Ice
  • Glacial Flow
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset
  • Ice Diamond Sunset

Glacial Melt Linked to Volcanic Activity

You don't really associate climate change with increased volcanic
activity, but a new study out of Iceland says there's a link, and it's not what you'd think.  Simply: As Iceland's glaciers melt, and the weight of that ice moves off the land and into the ocean, the island is actually rising, at rates as much as 3.5 cm per year.



"Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic ice caps," lead author
Kathleen Compton of the University of Arizona
As for how this relates to volcanic activity, the researcher says when the island went through a period of glacier loss 12,000 years ago, geological evidence suggests volcanic activity in some areas was as much as thirty times higher at the same time.



Another rebound could increase volcanic activity again, they say,
making events like the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull and the 2014 eruption of Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun volcanoes more likely.
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Coastal Erosion

With dramatic changes to weather patterns in the peri-arctic, issues with coastal erosion have become a significant point of focus among scientists.
The photo above was taken between significant storms along Iceland's southern coast where winds have been clocked exceeding 70m/sec.

 

 

Polygon Hummocks- Patterned Ground

Patterned ground is the distinct, and often symmetrical geometric shapes formed by ground material in periglacial regions. Typically found in remote regions of the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Australian outback, but also found anywhere that freezing and thawing of soil alternate; patterned ground has also been observed on Mars. The geometric shapes and patterns associated with patterned ground are often mistaken as artistic human creations. The nature of patterned ground had long puzzled scientists but the introduction of computer-generated geological models in the past 20 years has allowed scientists to relate the formation of these features to phenomena associated with frost heaving, which refers to expansion that occurs when wet, fine-grained, and porous soils freeze.
The Arctic Arts Project has captured/documented polygon hummocks in two unique locations: Alaska in the Dutch Hills of Denali, and the East Coast of Greenland near Tinit and Scoresby Sound.

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Extent and manifestations of permafrost

Permafrost is soil and sediment that is frozen more than two consecutive years, while the active layer is the upper part of the soil environment that thaws every summer. In practice, this means that permafrost occurs at an average air temperature of -2°C or colder. Active layer thickness varies with the season, but is 0.3 to 4 meters thick (shallow along the Arctic coast; deep in southern Siberia and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau). In the Northern Hemisphere, 24% of the ice-free land area, equivalent to 19 million square kilometer,[3] is more or less influenced by permafrost. Most of this area is found in Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland.

In periglacial areas and areas affected by seasonal frost, repeated freezing and thawing of groundwater forces larger stones toward the surface as smaller soils flow and settle underneath larger stones. At the surface, areas that are rich in larger stones contain much less water than highly porous areas of finer grained sediments. These water saturated areas of finer sediments have a much greater ability to expand and contract as freezing and thawing occur, leading to lateral forces which ultimately pile larger stones into clusters and stripes. Through time, repeated freeze-thaw cycles smooth out irregularities and odd-shaped piles to form the common polygons, circular, and stripes of patterned ground.