Effect of winter seismic exploration on visual resources, vegetation, and surface stability of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Metadata Updated: December 11, 2019

Winter seismic exploration in 1984 and 1985 left visible trails on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Thirty-four permanent intensive study plots (30 x 4 m) were established to quantify the effects of this disturbance and to study recovery rates. Sixty-eight photo-trend plots (10 x 4 m) were sampled less intensively to assess a wider variety of sites. Study plots were selected to represent the range of disturbance which occurred in each of 7 major vegetation types. Vegetation type, disturbance levels, and soil profiles were described for each plot. Ice contents in the top 30 em of permafrost were measured and found to be highly variable within and between plots, ranging from 2 to 58%. The 1 and 2-year-old trails were generally visible in all vegetation types. Visibility improved slightly between 1984 and 1985 on some plots due to weathering of litter and soil to a lighter color, the lack of water on trails in 1985, and an increase in standing dead leaves on trails. Plant cover was generally lower on disturbed plots than on adjacent control plots. Little recovery of plant cover occurred between 1984 and 1985. Disturbance caused only small increases in exposed soil at most plots; statistically significant increases in exposed soil occurred most often on plots with high micro-relief (tussocks, hummocks, and polygon rims). Bare patches were mainly recolonized by vegetative shoots, but seedlings were common at a few plots. Graminoids were the most important recolonizers in most vegetation types, except for riparian shrubland and Dryas terrace where shrubs were the most important. Overall, recolonizing shoots made up only a small percentage of ground cover, and bare patches changed little in appearance between 1984 and 1985. Plant productivity, as measured by mass of ~ants, twig length of shrubs, and number of leaves per sedge plant, was generally higher on disturbed plots than on adjacent controls. Statistically significant changes in nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations occurred in some plant species on disturbed plots. Significantly greater thaw depths were found in nearly half of all study plots. Only 4 plots had increased differences between disturbed and control measurements in 1985 compared to 1984. Measurable track depression (5-12 em) occurred on 4 plots, which were all on narrow trails in moist sedge-shrub tundra.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date May 1, 2019
Metadata Updated Date December 11, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI CKAN Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date May 1, 2019
Metadata Updated Date December 11, 2019
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_87266
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:18
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Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
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Harvest Source Id 34ce571b-cb98-4e0b-979f-30f9ecc452c5
Harvest Source Title DOI CKAN Harvest Source
Data First Published 1985-01-01
Homepage URL https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/87266
Data Last Modified 1985-01-01
Program Code 010:094, 010:028
Related Documents "https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/87266"
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Category "Unpublished Report"

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