Publication Date


First Advisor

Robert Hollister


Thaw depth was measured in a tundra ecosystem in Atqasuk, Alaska. This project focuses on the Atqasuk dry site which has been studied to understand the impacts of experimental warming on the tundra ecosystem. We were interested in how the spatial distribution of plots influences thaw depth measurements. The site has 48 plots. Thaw depth was measured in mid-August from 1996-2019. ArcGIS was used to interpolate the results of each year’s thaw depth and estimate the effect of the landscape on thaw depth. The average thaw depth was 110 cm across all plots and all years. There was significant variation between years but no clear trend over time. Experimental warming had no impact on the thaw depth. There was significant variation between plots, but these differences were not consistent across years. This study shows the depth of thaw is dynamic and difficult to predict over time and across the landscape.

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