EGU22-9681, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Drained lake basins on a circumpolar scale – Updates from the IPA Action Group

Helena Bergstedt1, Benjamin Jones2, Guido Grosse3, Alexandra Veremeeva4, Amy Breen5, Anna Liljedahl6, Annett Bartsch1, Benjamin Gaglioti2, Frédéric Bouchard7, Gustaf Hugelius8, Ingmar Nitze3, Juliane Wolter3, Kenneth Hinkel9, Louise Farquharson10, Matthias Fuchs3, Mikhail Kanevskyi2, Pascale Roy-Leveillee11, and Trevor Lantz12
Helena Bergstedt et al.
  • 1bgeos, Korneuburg, Austria (
  • 2Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 3Alfred Wegener Insitute for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam
  • 4Laboratory of Soil Cryology, Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • 5International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 6Woodwell Climate Research Cente
  • 7Géosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS), Université Paris Saclay, France
  • 8Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University
  • 9Michigan Technological University
  • 10Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 11Department of Geography, Université Laval
  • 12University of Victoria

Lakes and drained lake basins (DLB) are ubiquitous landforms in permafrost regions. The long-term dynamics of lake formation and drainage is evident in the abundance of DLBs covering 50% to 75% of arctic permafrost lowlands in parts of arctic Alaska, Russia, and Canada. Following partial or complete drainage events, DLBs evolve through time. As the basins age and ground ice enrichment occurs, the surface heaves and vegetation communities evolve, exhibiting spectral and texture differences indicative of these changing conditions. This mosaic of vegetative and geomorphic succession and the distinct differences between DLBs and surrounding areas can be discriminated and used to make a landscape-scale classification employing various indices derived from multispectral remote sensing imagery that, when combined with field sampling and peat initiation timing, can be used to scale across spatial and temporal domains. Previously published local and regional studies have demonstrated the importance of DLBs regarding carbon storage, greenhouse gas and nutrient fluxes, hydrology, geomorphology, and habitat availability. A coordinated pan-Arctic scale effort is needed to better understand the importance of DLBs in circumpolar permafrost-regions. Here we present an update of ongoing work within the Action Group on DLBs supported by the International Permafrost Association (IPA), an effort by the community to develop a first pan-Arctic drained lake basin data product. Comprehensive mapping of DLB areas across the circumpolar permafrost landscape will allow for future utilization of these data in pan-Arctic models and greatly enhance our understanding of DLBs in the context of permafrost landscapes. Utilizing remote sensing imagery (Landsat-8) and freely available DEM data sets (e.g. ArcticDEM) allows us to implement our mapping approach on a circumpolar scale. A previously published prototype of this data product covering the North Slope of Alaska forms the basis of this large-scale mapping effort. Here we present first result working towards a pan-Arctic remote sensing-based DLB data product focussing on selected areas in Canada and Siberia, Russia.

How to cite: Bergstedt, H., Jones, B., Grosse, G., Veremeeva, A., Breen, A., Liljedahl, A., Bartsch, A., Gaglioti, B., Bouchard, F., Hugelius, G., Nitze, I., Wolter, J., Hinkel, K., Farquharson, L., Fuchs, M., Kanevskyi, M., Roy-Leveillee, P., and Lantz, T.: Drained lake basins on a circumpolar scale – Updates from the IPA Action Group, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9681,, 2022.