Permafrost is a unique characteristic of polar regions and high mountains and it is fundamental to geomorphic processes and ecological development in those environments. Despite the critical importance of permafrost to ecosystem responses to climate change, permafrost characteristics of Alaska have been mapped in only generalized regional maps or site-level terrain unit maps for engineering design and assessment. This mapping effort provides an intermediate-level mapping of permafrost throughout Northern Alaska and is intended to improve landscape-level assessments, regional climate impact modeling and prediction. Permafrost has been mapped through correlation with mapping of terrain units, airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys and modeling of soil temperatures from terrain conditions.
GIS data are provided for download in geodatabase and shapefile format and contain the following layers: permafrost extent, thermokarst landforms, maximum settlement potential, massive ice, segregated ice, biome, ecoregion, ecological subsection, ecological section, ecological landscape, soil landscape, physiography, lithology, general geology, average elevation (m), and mean annual air temperature (c). ARCGIS layer files are also included in this download/
Data for 861 permafrost boreholes throughout the North Slope were compiled. All public access data are available for download as an Access database. The data are also provided in a web mapping tool available from the Catalog home page under Additional North Slope Information or see website link below.
The project final report is provided for download (Final Report updated June 8, 2015).
Note:This revision updates "Landscape Level Ecological Mapping of Northern Alaska (NOAK) and Field Site Photography - 2014 Update" (http://catalog.northslope.org/catalogs/9549).
NoAK permafrost soils acess database, table and variable listing 2014-12-12.zip (1.13 MB)
NoAK_LandscapePermafrost_12122014.zip (10.7 MB)
Permafrost Characterization and Mapping for Northern Alaska Final 2015.pdf (3.32 MB)