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Geomorphic processes on the North Slope of AlaskaThree physiographic provinces comprise the North Slope of Alaska: the Arctic Mountains, the Arctic Foothills and the Arctic Coastal Plain Provinces. The features and processes in the Arctic Coastal Plain, a zone of continuous permafrost, are stressed in this paper. The evidence for and mechanisms of the geomorphic cycle are discussed starting with frost cracks. Frost cracks may form polygonal ground which leads to low-centered ice wedge polygons in areas having ice-rich permafrost. As the low-centered ice wedge polygons enlarge due to thermal erosion they may evolve into thaw lakes which are largely oriented in a northwest-southeast direction on the Arctic Coastal Plain. Eventual drainage of a deep lake may result in a closed-system pingo. Evidence of the various stages of the geomorphic cycle is ubiquitous on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain and indicates the ice content of the permafrost in some areas.
Document ID
19790015390
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
Hall, D. K. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1979
Subject Category
GEOPHYSICS
Report/Patent Number
NASA-TM-79720
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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