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      Modeling spatial structure of thermokarst lake fields in permafrost of Western Siberia based on satellite images

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      Arctic Environmental Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Deciphering the satellite images of medium and high spatial resolution of the northern territories of Western Siberia has been carried out using geoinformation system ArcGIS 10.3. Images of medium resolution Landsat-8 and high resolution Kanopus-V were used. Kanopus-V images alluded to determine the number and areas of small lakes, which are considered as intensive sources of methane emission into the atmosphere from thermokarst lakes. Data on the spatial characteristics of thermokarst lakes were obtained. Based on the integration of images of medium and high spatial resolution, a synthesized histogram of the distribution of lakes in a wide range of sizes was constructed, taking into account small lakes. The obtained histogram was approximated by a lognormal distribution law by the Pearson criterion with a probability of 0.99. Based on the geo-simulation approach, a new model of the spatial structure of the fields of thermokarst lakes is presented, taking into account the lognormal law of the lake size-distribution. Algorithms for modeling the spatial structure of the fields of thermokarst lakes are described. An example of modeling the field of thermokarst lakes with a lognormal law of their size-distribution is given. The practical applicability of the previously developed model with an exponential distribution of lakes in size, based on data from Landsat images, has been experimentally confirmed. The results can be used to obtain predictions of the dynamics of methane emissions from the thermokarst lakes of the Arctic zone of Northern Eurasia for the coming decades in the context of climate changes.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Large contribution to inland water CO2 and CH4 emissions from very small ponds

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            Effect of permafrost thawing on organic carbon and trace element colloidal speciation in the thermokarst lakes of western Siberia

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              The size-distribution of Earth’s lakes

               B. Cael,  D. Seekell (2016)
              Globally, there are millions of small lakes, but a small number of large lakes. Most key ecosystem patterns and processes scale with lake size, thus this asymmetry between area and abundance is a fundamental constraint on broad-scale patterns in lake ecology. Nonetheless, descriptions of lake size-distributions are scarce and empirical distributions are rarely evaluated relative to theoretical predictions. Here we develop expectations for Earth’s lake area-distribution based on percolation theory and evaluate these expectations with data from a global lake census. Lake surface areas ≥8.5 km2 are power-law distributed with a tail exponent (τ = 1.97) and fractal dimension (d = 1.38), similar to theoretical expectations (τ = 2.05; d = 4/3). Lakes <8.5 km2 are not power-law distributed. An independently developed regional lake census exhibits a similar transition and consistency with theoretical predictions. Small lakes deviate from the power-law distribution because smaller lakes are more susceptible to dynamical change and topographic behavior at sub-kilometer scales is not self-similar. Our results provide a robust characterization and theoretical explanation for the lake size-abundance relationship, and form a fundamental basis for understanding and predicting patterns in lake ecology at broad scales.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Arctic Environmental Research
                AER
                Pensoft Publishers
                2658-7173
                2541-8416
                February 13 2019
                February 13 2019
                : 19
                : 1
                : 1-10
                Article
                10.3897/issn2541-8416.2019.19.1.1
                © 2019

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