An overview of the hydrology of Arctic wetlands, its controls and future implications will be presented. The presentation will focus on recent research on the role of permafrost on hydrology, including surface water, and how permafrost degradation at the sub-meter scale can alter watershed-scale hydrologic fluxes and stores. Also, ongoing and related research by others at U Alaska will be presented, including a large new project called the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic). The presentation will be split between field measurements and modeling, with some recent remote sensing analyses - a mixture or past, ongoing and future work.
Dr. Anna K. Liljedahl is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she holds a joint appointment with the Water and Environment Research Center (WERC) and the International Arctic Research Center (IARC). She earned her MS from Umea University, Sweden, and her PhD from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research includes field and modeling analyses of the water balance in low-gradient arctic coastal plain landscapes underlain by continuous permafrost as well as the glacier affected region of Interior Alaska, which is underlain by discontinuous permafrost. Dr. Liljedahl studies the role of microscale variations in surface topography (i.e. ice wedge polygons) on watershed-scale hydrologic fluxes and stocks, including evpotranspiration and soil moisture, and also has assessed the impact of fire on soil thermal and hydrologic regimes. Her recently funded NASA EPSCoR project is validating remote sensing techniques to in situ measurements of river break-up in the Kuparuk River, Northern Alaska. Dr. Liljedahl, is secretary of the U.S. Permafrost Association and President-Elect for the American Water Resources Association – Alaska Section. She Co-Chairs the Hydrology Working group that defines hydrologic research needs for the Arctic Landscape and Conservation Cooperative.