AWRA logo
Challenging Water Resources Professionals for the 21st Century

The Alaska Section, American Water Resources Association
Annual Meeting Proceedings

April 4-6, 2001
Fairbanks, Alaska
Wednesday, April 4, 2001
Alaska Surface Water Session

Aufeis Development and Stream Baseflow Hydrology In The Discontinuous Permafrost Region, Caribou Poker Creeks Research Watershed, Interior Alaska

Kenji Yoshikawa
Kevin Petrone, Larry D. Hinzman and William R. Bolton

Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

The aufeis (icing) classification and the source of water were examined using the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the inorganic carbon (IC) concentrations in the ice and water during wintertime. The three types of aufeis, spring aufeis, stream aufeis and ground aufeis, were distinguished by DOC and IC ratios from the aufeis and water samples. The ground aufeis had the highest DOC content (35-40mg/l). The source of this water is believed to be of shallow origin. Permafrost was distributed throughout most of the valley bottom and on the north-facing slopes in the research watershed. Ground aufeis developed at the interface of the permafrost boundary near the base of the south-facing slope by detecting GPR. On the other hand, spring aufeis began forming in late October or November and melted in May, yielding the longest lasting and thickest ice formation in the watershed. Spring aufeis is characterized by the high IC content (30 mg/l). The water from springs on north and south facing slopes had similar DOC/IC ratios, demonstrating that permafrost is not a controlling factor of the spring water DOC/IC ratio. Most of the spring water came from a deep geologic feature such as a fault. The DOC/IC ratio of the stream aufeis fell between spring aufeis and ground aufeis, because it is a mixture of water from both sources. The DOC content decreases until mid winter and increases from early march until spring melt.

Return to 2001 Proceedings Page

AWRAhome page
Alaska Section AWRA Home Page
This page is maintained by the AK-AWRA Webmaster, Michael R. Lilly, Alaska Section AWRA.
Last modified: June 21, 2001 MRL