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- The origin of water feeding large aufeis fields (overflow river ice) on the Arctic Slope of Alaska is analyzed. Field measurements of two large aufeis fields on the eastern Arctic Slope were taken during July of 1978 and 1979. Measurements of aufeis extent and distribution were made using LANDSAT Multispectral Scanner Subsystem (MSS) satellite data from 1973 through 1979. In addition, ice cores were analyzed in the laboratory. Results of the field and laboratory studies indicate that the water derived from aufeis melt water has a chemical composition different from the adjacent upstream river water. Large aufeis fields are found in association with springs and faults thus indicating a subterranean origin of the feed water. In addition, the maximum extent of large aufeis fields was not found to follow meteorological patterns which would only be expected if the origin of the feed water were local. It is concluded that extent of large aufeis in a given river channel on the Arctic Slope is controlled by discharge from reservoirs of groundwater. It seems probable that precipitation passes into limestone aquifers in the Brooks Range, through an interconnecting system of subterranean fractures in calcareous rocks and ultimately discharges into alluvial sediments on the coastal plain to form aufeis. It is speculated that only small aufeis patches are affected by local meteorological parameters in the months just prior to aufeis formation.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19810004901.
Accession ID: 81N13412.
- No Copyright.
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