• An Analysis of the Demands for Water from the Private Sector in a Sub-Arctic Urban Area

      Haring, Robert C. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-04)
      Manufacturing and domestic uses of water are very important to local communities throughout Alaska, although manufacturing typically represents relatively high levels of consumption in terms of population use equivalents. This study is concerned principally with the present water use practices and associated problems in the private sector of the North Star Borough, Alaska.
    • A Builder's Guide to Water and Energy

      Seifert, Richard D.; Dwight, Linda Perry (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1980-08)
    • Clearing Alaskan water supply impoundments: management, laboratory study, and literature review

      Smith, Daniel W.; Justice, Stanley R. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-04)
      Water supply impoundments in northern regions have seen only limited application. Reasons for the lack of use of such impoundments include the following: 1) little demand for water due to the low population densities and rustic life styles; 2) a lack of conventional distribution systems in many communities; 3) poorly developed technology for construction of dams on permafrost; 4) adequacy of existing river, lake, ice, and lagoon water supplies; 5) shortage of capital to finance the high cost of construction in remote regions.
    • Design of a multichannel outdoor data logger for precise temperature measurements

      Dolgikh, Kirill; Raskovic, Dejan; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Thorsen, Denise (2018-12)
      In this thesis, we present the prototype of a multichannel data logger (the Logger) for precise temperature measurements. Its intended application is to take soil (permafrost) temperature measurements with a thermistor probe or thermistor string. However, its hardware and firmware architectures are quite flexible, so it can be used in other applications. The Logger has 16 channels. In addition to the internal memory, it supports microSD-cards of up to 2 GB, which allows it to store up to 41.9 million measurements for each channel. The Logger's estimated battery life is 8 years when making measurements once per hour. It has a radio transmitter, which will allow it to download data wirelessly and potentially participate in a wireless sensor network once the appropriate firmware is developed. Currently, only the communication protocol with the radio is implemented, while the radio-to-radio protocol is under development. The Logger is small - only 6 x 1 x 1 inches and the final product will be even smaller. Components are rated down to -40° C and the Logger successfully passed testing at -30° C. After the extensive testing to ensure performance it has been shown that the Logger outperforms the Campbell Scientific, Inc. CR1000 logger and exceeds the design requirements. Measured temperature resolution of the Logger is below 2.5 mK in the entire temperature range. The Logger's equivalent temperature accuracy, which was determined using a known resistive input, is below 10 mK within -25° C to 40° C and below 20 mK elsewhere. The developed calibration technique provides the equivalent accuracy below 0.3 mK within -40° C to 40° C. To provide an accuracy of ±0.01° C when making temperature measurements with thermistors, the Logger should be calibrated against a thermometer that has been calibrated as a secondary standard, which will be done in the future.
    • Flood Frequency Design in Sparse-data Regions

      Carlson, Robert F.; Fox, Patricia M. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1978-06)
      This report summarizes work conducted with funds received from the Office of Water Research and Technology (OWRT), Project B-030-ALAS, Flood Frequency in Sparse-Data Regions. The study was conducted from July 1, 1974, to June 30, 1976, plus a one-year extension to June 30, 1977. The technical results are given in a number of publications which are referenced and abstracted here along with a presentation of the overall philosophy of the project and a coherent summary of the work. Alaska may be characterized, as can most northern areas, by a very sparse data collection network of hydrologic variables. In combination with several physical characteristics of northern hydrology, the sparse data network leads to a very difficult design circumstance. The most well known physical aspect of northern hydrology is permafrost. Other factors of importance are large elevation differences, regional inhomogeneity, high latitude, low temperatures, and the very dynamic nature of the spring breakup. These factors, in combination with the short data base in northern regions, cause hydrologic design to have a large degree of uncertainty.
    • Hydrologic Properties of Subarctic Organic Soils

      Kane, Douglas L.; Seifert, Richard D.; Taylor, George S. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1978-01)
      The need for understanding the natural system and how it responds to various stresses is important; this is especially so in an environment where the climate not only sustains permafrost, but develops massive seasonal frost as well. Consequently, the role of the shallow surface organic layer is also quite important. Since a slight change in the soil thermal regime may bring about a phase change in the water or ice, therefore, the system response to surface alterations such as burning can be quite severe. The need for a better understanding of the behavior and properties of the organic layer is, therefore, accentuated. The central theme of this study was the examination of the hydrologic and hydraulic properties of subarctic organic soils. Summarized in this paper are the results of three aspects of subarctic organic soil examinations conducted during the duration of the project. First, a field site was set up in Washington Creek with the major emphasis on measuring numerous variables of that soil system during the summer. The greatest variations in moisture content occur in the thick organic soils that exist at this site. Our major emphasis was to study the soil moisture levels in these soils. This topic is covered in the first major section, including associated laboratory studies. Those laboratory studies include investigations of several hydraulic and hydrologic properties of taiga organic and mineral soils. Second, some field data on organic moisture levels was collected at the site of prescribed burns in Washington Creek to ascertain the sustainability of fires as a function of moisture levels. This portion of the study is described under the second major heading. The last element of this study was a continued application of the two-dimensional flow model that was developed in an earlier study funded by the U. S. Forest Service, Institute of Northern Forestry, and reported by Kane, Luthin, and Taylor (1975a). Many of the results and concepts gathered in the field work were integrated into the modeling effort, which is aimed at producing better estimates of the hydrologic effects of surface disturbances in the black spruce taiga subarctic ecosystem. This knowledge should also contribute to better fire management decisions of the same system.
    • Late-Pleistocene Syngenetic Permafrost in the CRREL Permafrost Tunnel, Fox, Alaska

      Kanevskiy, M.Z.; French, H.M.; Shur, Y.L. (Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008)
      Late-Pleistocene syngenetic permafrost exposed in the walls and ceiling of the CRREL permafrost tunnel consists of ice-and organic-rich silty sediments penetrated by ice wedges. Evidence of long-continued syngenetic freezing under cold-climate conditions includes the dominance of lenticular and micro-lenticular cryostructures throughout the walls, ice veins and wedges at many levels, the presence of undecomposed rootlets, and organic-rich layers that reflect the former positions of the ground surface. Fluvio-thermal modifications are indicated by bodies ofthermokarst-cave ('pool') ice, by soil and ice pseudomorphs, and by reticulate-chaotic cryostructures associated with freezing ofsaturated sediments trapped in underground channels.
    • Multiresolution digital soil mapping of permafrost soils using a random forest classifier: an investigation along the Dalton Highway corridor, Alaska

      Paul, Joshua D.; Ping, Chien-Lu; Prakash, Anupma; Rossello, Jordi Cristobal; Libohova, Zamir (2018-12)
      In order to complete soil inventories in the remote permafrost zones of Alaska, there is a need to develop efficient digital soil mapping tools that can be applied over large areas using a minimum of ground truth data. This investigation first used a random forest classifier to test combinations of environmental input data at multiple resolutions (10m, 30m, and 100m). Five tiers of soil taxonomic units were predicted: Order, Suborder, Great Group, "Series Concept", and Particle Size Class. Model outputs are compared quantitatively via estimated out-of-bag accuracy, and qualitatively via visual inspection by soil scientists. Estimated out-of-bag accuracy ranged from ~45% to ~75%, with results improving when fewer classes were modeled. Model runs at 10m and 30m resolution performed comparably, with 100m resolution performing ~5-10% worse in most cases. Increasing the number of trees used, including categorical environmental input data (e.g. landforms), and replacement of environmental covariates with principal component analysis (PCA) bands did not significantly improve model performance. The random forest classifier was then used in a digital soil mapping pilot study along the Dalton Highway in northern Alaska. Parameters suggested in the initial study were used to predict multiple soil taxonomic classes from a basic collection of environmental covariates generated using high resolution (10m) satellite images and sparsely sampled pedon data. Covariates included maximum curvature, multiresolution valley bottom flatness, normalized height, potential incoming solar radiation, slope, terrain ruggedness index, and modified soil and vegetation index. Five tiers of soil taxonomic units were predicted: Order, Suborder, Great Group, "Series Concept", and Particle Size Class. Model outputs are compared quantitatively via estimated out-of-bag accuracy. Estimated out-of-bag accuracy ranged from ~45% to ~75%, with results improving when fewer classes were modeled. We suggest future research into optimized sampling to ensure an adequate distribution of samples across the feature space, and the incorporation of expert knowledge into accuracy assessments. Overall, digital soil mapping with random forest classifiers appears to be a promising method for completing the soil survey of Alaska.
    • Surface Erosion and Sedimentation Associated with Forest Land Use in Interior Alaska

      Aldrich, James W.; Johnson, Ronald A. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1979-05)
      The magnitude of sheet-rill erosion associated with various landscape manipulations is presented. The Universal Soil Loss Equation's usefulness for predicting annual sheet-rill erosion within interior Alaska is confirmed. Investigations of sheet-rill erosion indicate that removing the trees from forested areas with only minor ground cover disturbance did not increase erosion. Removing the ground cover, however, increased erosion 18 times above that on forested areas. Erosion is substantially reduced when disturbed areas are covered with straw mulch and fertilizer. Comparison of the actual erosion and the quantity of erosion predicted with the Universal Soil Loss Equation indicates that the equation overestimates annual erosion by an average of 21 percent. It overestimates individual storm erosion by an average of 174 percent. Data are also presented concerning sheet-rill erosion in a permafrost trail, distribution of the rainfall erosion index, and suggested cover and management factor values.