Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 124(6), (2019): 3490-3507, doi:10.1029/2018JC014675.
Offshore permafrost plays a role in the global climate system, but observations of permafrost thickness, state, and composition are limited to specific regions. The current global permafrost map shows potential offshore permafrost distribution based on bathymetry and global sea level rise. As a first‐order estimate, we employ a heat transfer model to calculate the subsurface temperature field. Our model uses dynamic upper boundary conditions that synthesize Earth System Model air temperature, ice mass distribution and thickness, and global sea level reconstruction and applies globally distributed geothermal heat flux as a lower boundary condition. Sea level reconstruction accounts for differences between marine and terrestrial sedimentation history. Sediment composition and pore water salinity are integrated in the model. Model runs for 450 ka for cross‐shelf transects were used to initialize the model for circumarctic modeling for the past 50 ka. Preindustrial submarine permafrost (i.e., cryotic sediment), modeled at 12.5‐km spatial resolution, lies beneath almost 2.5 ×106km2 of the Arctic shelf. Our simple modeling approach results in estimates of distribution of cryotic sediment that are similar to the current global map and recent seismically delineated permafrost distributions for the Beaufort and Kara seas, suggesting that sea level is a first‐order determinant for submarine permafrost distribution. Ice content and sediment thermal conductivity are also important for determining rates of permafrost thickness change. The model provides a consistent circumarctic approach to map submarine permafrost and to estimate the dynamics of permafrost in the past.
Boundary condition data are available online via the sources referenced in the manuscript. This work was partially funded by a Helmholtz Association of Research Centres (HGF) Joint Russian‐German Research Group (HGF JRG 100). This study is part of a project that has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement 773421. Submarine permafrost studies in the Kara and Laptev Seas were supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR/RFFI) grants 18‐05‐60004 and 18‐05‐70091, respectively. The International Permafrost Association (IPA) and the Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) supported research coordination that led to this study. We acknowledge coordination support of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) through their core project on Climate and Cryosphere (CliC). Thanks to Martin Jakobsson for providing a digitized version of the preliminary IHO delineation of the Arctic seas and to Guy Masters for access to the observational geothermal database. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Woods Hole Open Access Server