CSDMS 2020 Webinars

CSDMS Summer Science Series III: On the Distribution of Lake Sizes in Arctic Deltas

Lawrence Vulis

University of California, United States

We examine the distribution of waterbody sizes on lowland arctic deltas and explore whether ephemeral wetlands versus perennial lakes have different size distributions. We document that lake areas follow a lognormal distribution, while wetland area follow a power law distribution. We propose a mechanistic model of thermokarst lake growth which is consistent with the observed lognormal distribution, and argue that the power law distribution of wetland area is consistent with an inundated rough landscape, as observed in temperate wetlands. We conclude by examining the implications of these contrasting two processes on projections of future lake area change.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group