• Hydrologic comparisons and model simulations of subarctic watersheds containing continuous and discontinuous permafrost, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

      Carr, Anne T. (2003-05)
      Mauze Gulch (4.9 km²), and Niagara Creek (6.5 km²), located near Zougarok, Alaska and Melsing Creek (80.6 km²), and Clyde's Gulch (2 km²), located near Council, Alaska were studied to quantify the hydrologic response of these watersheds. They have been studied extensively as part of the NSF Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS) study. These watersheds demonstrate a progression from a continental subarctic to a marine moderated subarctic environment. Each contains varying proportions of permafrost. Mauze Gulch and Niagara Creek are underlain by continuous, warm, thin permafrost (1̃5-50m thick). Melsing Creek and Clyde's Gulch are underlain by discontinuous permafrost. The Swedish HBV-96 model was applied to these watersheds. The model requires minimal input of meteorological data (temperature and precipitation) to generate hydrographs. Examining the basic stream hydrology showed that differences in hydrologic response based on permafrost distribution can be identified. By changing parameters, such as field capacity and the percolation to the groundwater, it is possible to reflect physical differences between watersheds using the model. Results of this study were compared with previously studied basins in Alaska. Comparisons showed that model parameters can be used to distinguish differences in hydrologic response in basins with varying amounts of permafrost.