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TitleStatistics and characteristics of permafrost and ground-ice distribution in the Northern Hemisphere
AuthorZhang, T; Barry, R G; Knowles, K; Heginbottom, J A; Brown, J
SourcePolar Geography vol. 23, no. 2, 1999 p. 132-154
Year1999
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000001
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
AreaNorthern Hemisphere
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 0.0000
Lat/Long WENS 0.0000 180.0000 90.0000 0.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; surficial geology/geomorphology; permafrost; ground ice; ice wedges; overburden; glaciers; ice sheets
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; graphs
AbstractThe recently published digital version of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions (the IPA map), together with ancillary data sets of the global land cover characteristics data base and the Global Land One-kilometer Base Elevation data base, are used to investigate the distribution of permafrost and ground ice in the Northern Hemisphere. Our study indicates that permafrost underlies approximately 22.79×106 km2 or 23.9% of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. Permafrost extends from 26°N in the Himalayas to 84°N in northern Greenland. Approximately 70% of the permafrost is distributed between 45 and 67°N. Generally, permafrost with high ice content (>20% by volume) and relatively thick overburden cover (>5 to 10 m) is found at high latitudes, representing approximately 8.57% of the total permafrost area, or 2.02% of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. Permafrost with low ice content (<10% by volume with either thick or thin overburden cover) occurs mainly in mountainous regions and high plateaus, representing approximately 66.5% of the total permafrost area or 15.8% of the exposed land area. Approximately 62% of the permafrost of the Northern Hemisphere is found below 500 m a.s.l. and about 10% occurs above 3000 m a.s.l. Based on the IPA map categories, the estimated volume of ground ice in the Northern Hemisphere is between 5.63 and 15.12×103 km3, corresponding to ?2-4 cm sea level equivalent. Based on alternative assumptions, the volume of ground ice may be between 11.37 and 36.55×103 km3, which corresponds to 3-10 cm sea-level equivalent.
GEOSCAN ID211378