Ice-Rafted Sediments as a Cause of Some Thermokarst Lakes in the Noatak River Delta, Alaska

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Science  04 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4183, pp. 51-53
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4183.51


Irregular, barren polygonal sheets of mud scattered over the landscape of the western portion of the Noatak River Delta are derived from lake-bottom sediments, ice-rafted during flooding. The evidence suggests that the sheets of mud change the albedo and the thermal regime of the soil, induce the development of thermokarst, and lead to the formation of ponds and lakes. The angular perimeters, especially of the small ponds, support the suggested mode of formation.