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Data Set ID:

Annual Thaw Depths in Illisarvik, Northwest Territories, Version 1

Thaw-depth data were collected annually in August from 21 August 1979 to 18 August 1999, from 400-m, 600-m, and tundra transects at Illisarvik lake, Richards Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Coordinates are 69 deg 30 min N, 134 deg 32 min W. Data are in tab-delimited ASCII text format, and are available via FTP.

Geographic Coverage

  • Frozen Ground > Active Layer
  • Snow/Ice > Freeze/Thaw
  • Frozen Ground > Seasonally Frozen Ground
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 69.5, S: 69.5, E: 134.5333, W: 134.5333

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 21 August 1979 to 18 August 1999
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s): Not specified
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Chris Burns

Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Burn, C. 2003. Annual Thaw Depths in Illisarvik, Northwest Territories, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in tab-delimited ASCII text format, listed by date (row) and sampling location (column). Column headers indicate benchmark numbers at 25-m intervals along the bottom of the lake in the following directions:

  • NE-SW direction along a 600-m course ("ggd642_thawdepth_600m.txt")
  • NW-SE direction along a 400-m course ("ggd642_thawdepth_400m.txt")
  • E-W direction along a 600-m tundra course ("ggd642_thawdepth_tundra.txt")

Geographic coordinates of sites are not available. Empty fields indicate missing data.

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File Naming Convention

ggd642_thawdepth_400m.txt: Thaw depths (cm) along 400-m transect
ggd642_thawdepth_600m.txt: Thaw depths (cm) along 600-m transect
ggd642_thawdepth_tundra.txt: Thaw depths (cm) along tundra transect

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File Size

ggd642_thawdepth_400m.txt: 2 KB
ggd642_thawdepth_600m.txt: 2 KB
ggd642_thawdepth_tundra.txt: 1 KB

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Spatial Coverage

Data were collected from Illisarvik, 69° 30' N, 134° 32' W. Illisarvik is a small, drained tundra lake on Richards Island, 130 km north of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, at the Beaufort Sea coast. Illisarvik is northern Canada's longest-running field experiment. The lake was drained on 13 August 1978, and field studies have been conducted there continuously since. Illisarvik is 600 m long by 300 m wide. Before drainage it was up to 5 m deep, but most of the lake was between 2 m to 3 m deep. Lake-ice thickness on Richards Island is less than 2 m, so most of the lake bottom was unfrozen throughout the year. In the middle of the lake, unfrozen ground extended to 32 m depth. Permafrost started to develop in lake sediments in winter 1978-79, following drainage (Burns 2003).

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Temporal Coverage

Data were collected once annually each August from 21 August 1979 to 18 August 1999.

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Chris Burn
Department of Geography
Carleton University
1125 Colonel by Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K2S 5B6  Canada

Document Information

Document Creation Date:

May 2003

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