The long-term ground thermal effects of a snow fence were examined in continuous permafrost on Peel Plateau, Northwest Territories. As the fence was erected in the early 1980s, present-day ground thermal conditions include the response to over 30 years of snow pack modification. Snow cover, ground temperatures, late-summer thaw depth and moisture content are higher at the fence than in ground nearby. The terrain surface around the fence has subsided about 0.5 m due to the disturbance. Field measurements indicate that a talik has developed below the fence. Numerical simulation of the ground thermal regime beneath the snow drift suggests that the talik began to form 25 years after the fence was constructed, and that thaw depth in late summer is now about 3 m. Copyright

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Permafrost and Periglacial Processes
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

O'Neill, H.B. (H. B.), & Burn, C. (2017). Talik Formation at a Snow Fence in Continuous Permafrost, Western Arctic Canada. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 28(3), 558–565. doi:10.1002/ppp.1905