Movie:Arctic Coastal Erosion- Melting Block 2010


Information Page: Arctic Coastal Erosion- Melting Block 2010

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Arctic Coastal Erosion_Melting Block

Key Attributes

Domain: terrestrial, hydrology, coastal, marine
Keywords: Arctic Alaska, Permafrost Melt, Waves, Thermal erosion, Sea Ice free season
Model name: Animation model name
Name: Irina, Overeem

and EIS-Extreme Ice Survey

Where: Drew Point, Alaska, Beaufort Sea Coast, USA
When: August 13th-22nd, 2010

Short Description

Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: Melting of a toppled block of permafrost coast

Abstract: Long stretches of permafrost coast in the Arctic region consist of ice-rich sediments. These permafrost areas have been experiencing rapid warming over the last decades. The warming melts the permafrost, but it also exposes the coast longer to the forces of the ocean because the sea-ice free season has expanded.

This particular movie shows the permafrost coast near DrewPoint, along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. At Drew Point, there are nowadays about twice as many days of open water than in the late 1970's. This results in more absorption of heat in the ocean water. The bluff is approximately 4.5 m high, and the block in the movies is about 13 m long. The block is not necessarily eroded by waves, but also just by melt ( this is called - thermal erosion). The warm sea water needs to touch the block and then rapid melt will occur. The massive block disappears in about a week.




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