Formation of oriented thaw lakes by thaw slumping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the classic model for oriented thaw lakes, sublittoral shelves form by wind-driven circulation near shorelines oriented perpendicular to the wind, protecting the adjacent banks from thaw and wave cut erosion. Here I propose an alternative model based on thaw slumping and test the model predictions against observations in northern Alaska. Thermal modeling illustrates that bank height controls the rate of thaw slumping because summertime thaw penetrates only decimeters into a tall bank but as much as tens of meters into a short bank. This effect also leads to oriented lakes because of a nonlinear relationship between bank height and bank retreat rate. Bank material texture also controls the rate of thaw slumping because fine-grained sediments drain slowly and maintain higher pore pressures than coarse-grained sediments, resulting in lower critical angles for slumping. To test the thaw slumping model quantitatively, I constructed a process-based numerical model that includes thaw slumping, lacustrine sediment dispersal, and thawdriven lake floor subsidence. The model predicts that lake orientations and aspect ratios are controlled by topographic aspect and slope, not by wind direction and intensity. The thaw slumping model further predicts inverse correlations between lake area and bank height and between lake area and bank material texture. An analysis of oriented thaw lakes in northern Alaska shows that systematically smaller, deeper lakes form in coarse-grained eolian sediments compared with those formed in fine-grained fluvial marine sediments. This pattern strongly supports the thaw slumping model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberF02018
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume110
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Fingerprint

slumping
lakes
Lakes
Banks (bodies of water)
lake
Sediments
sediments
textures
Textures
texture
wind-driven circulation
shorelines
wind direction
Pore pressure
Subsidence
fine grained sediment
subsidence
shelves
pore pressure
alluvial deposit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Formation of oriented thaw lakes by thaw slumping. / Pelletier, Jon.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 110, No. 2, F02018, 2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0626bb73d57c49a4a6c1eff1748c3ca3,
title = "Formation of oriented thaw lakes by thaw slumping",
abstract = "In the classic model for oriented thaw lakes, sublittoral shelves form by wind-driven circulation near shorelines oriented perpendicular to the wind, protecting the adjacent banks from thaw and wave cut erosion. Here I propose an alternative model based on thaw slumping and test the model predictions against observations in northern Alaska. Thermal modeling illustrates that bank height controls the rate of thaw slumping because summertime thaw penetrates only decimeters into a tall bank but as much as tens of meters into a short bank. This effect also leads to oriented lakes because of a nonlinear relationship between bank height and bank retreat rate. Bank material texture also controls the rate of thaw slumping because fine-grained sediments drain slowly and maintain higher pore pressures than coarse-grained sediments, resulting in lower critical angles for slumping. To test the thaw slumping model quantitatively, I constructed a process-based numerical model that includes thaw slumping, lacustrine sediment dispersal, and thawdriven lake floor subsidence. The model predicts that lake orientations and aspect ratios are controlled by topographic aspect and slope, not by wind direction and intensity. The thaw slumping model further predicts inverse correlations between lake area and bank height and between lake area and bank material texture. An analysis of oriented thaw lakes in northern Alaska shows that systematically smaller, deeper lakes form in coarse-grained eolian sediments compared with those formed in fine-grained fluvial marine sediments. This pattern strongly supports the thaw slumping model.",
author = "Jon Pelletier",
year = "2005",
doi = "10.1029/2004JF000158",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "110",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics",
issn = "2169-9380",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Formation of oriented thaw lakes by thaw slumping

AU - Pelletier, Jon

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - In the classic model for oriented thaw lakes, sublittoral shelves form by wind-driven circulation near shorelines oriented perpendicular to the wind, protecting the adjacent banks from thaw and wave cut erosion. Here I propose an alternative model based on thaw slumping and test the model predictions against observations in northern Alaska. Thermal modeling illustrates that bank height controls the rate of thaw slumping because summertime thaw penetrates only decimeters into a tall bank but as much as tens of meters into a short bank. This effect also leads to oriented lakes because of a nonlinear relationship between bank height and bank retreat rate. Bank material texture also controls the rate of thaw slumping because fine-grained sediments drain slowly and maintain higher pore pressures than coarse-grained sediments, resulting in lower critical angles for slumping. To test the thaw slumping model quantitatively, I constructed a process-based numerical model that includes thaw slumping, lacustrine sediment dispersal, and thawdriven lake floor subsidence. The model predicts that lake orientations and aspect ratios are controlled by topographic aspect and slope, not by wind direction and intensity. The thaw slumping model further predicts inverse correlations between lake area and bank height and between lake area and bank material texture. An analysis of oriented thaw lakes in northern Alaska shows that systematically smaller, deeper lakes form in coarse-grained eolian sediments compared with those formed in fine-grained fluvial marine sediments. This pattern strongly supports the thaw slumping model.

AB - In the classic model for oriented thaw lakes, sublittoral shelves form by wind-driven circulation near shorelines oriented perpendicular to the wind, protecting the adjacent banks from thaw and wave cut erosion. Here I propose an alternative model based on thaw slumping and test the model predictions against observations in northern Alaska. Thermal modeling illustrates that bank height controls the rate of thaw slumping because summertime thaw penetrates only decimeters into a tall bank but as much as tens of meters into a short bank. This effect also leads to oriented lakes because of a nonlinear relationship between bank height and bank retreat rate. Bank material texture also controls the rate of thaw slumping because fine-grained sediments drain slowly and maintain higher pore pressures than coarse-grained sediments, resulting in lower critical angles for slumping. To test the thaw slumping model quantitatively, I constructed a process-based numerical model that includes thaw slumping, lacustrine sediment dispersal, and thawdriven lake floor subsidence. The model predicts that lake orientations and aspect ratios are controlled by topographic aspect and slope, not by wind direction and intensity. The thaw slumping model further predicts inverse correlations between lake area and bank height and between lake area and bank material texture. An analysis of oriented thaw lakes in northern Alaska shows that systematically smaller, deeper lakes form in coarse-grained eolian sediments compared with those formed in fine-grained fluvial marine sediments. This pattern strongly supports the thaw slumping model.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33750329907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33750329907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2004JF000158

DO - 10.1029/2004JF000158

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33750329907

VL - 110

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics

SN - 2169-9380

IS - 2

M1 - F02018

ER -