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Regional modelling of permafrost thicknesses over the past 130 ka: implications for permafrost development in Great Britain

Busby, Jonathan P.; Lee, Jonathan R.; Kender, Sev; Williamson, Paul; Norris, Simon. 2016 Regional modelling of permafrost thicknesses over the past 130 ka: implications for permafrost development in Great Britain. Boreas, 45 (1). 46-60. 10.1111/bor.12136

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Abstract/Summary

The greatest thicknesses of permafrost in Great Britain most likely occurred during the last glacial–interglacial cycle, as this is when some of the coldest conditions occurred during the last 1 000 000 years. The regional development of permafrost across Great Britain during the last glacial–interglacial cycle was modelled from a ground surface temperature history based on mean annual temperatures and the presence of glacier ice. To quantify the growth and decay of permafrost, modelling was undertaken at six locations across Great Britain that represent upland glaciated, lowland glaciated, upland unglaciated and lowland unglaciated conditions. Maximum predicted permafrost depths derived in this academic study range between several tens of metres to over 100 m depending upon various factors including elevation, glacier ice cover, geothermal heat flux and air temperature. In general, the greatest maximum permafrost thicknesses occur at upland glaciated locations, with minimum thickness at lowland sites. Current direct geological evidence for permafrost is from surface or shallow processes, mainly associated with the active layer. Further research is recommended to identify the imprint of freeze/thaw conditions in permanently frozen porous rocks from beneath the active layer.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/bor.12136
ISSN: 03009483
Date made live: 06 Jan 2016 15:29 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/512592

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