Analysis of Pond and Lake Quantifies Size-Class Distribution of Water Bodies in High-Latitude Ecosystems

September 1st, 2017
The Science: 

Quantify spatial heterogeneity of lakes and ponds provides a resource that can be used to benchmark land surface models

The Impact: 

Time-series analysis of data sets from 1948 to 2013 and from a variety of airborne and satellite imagery. High-resolution maps and classification scheme for lakes and ponds covering a wide range of landscapes from tundra to boreal regions and from continuous to discontinuous permafrost zones.


Small waterbodies (<10 ha) represent a large fraction of Arctic landscapes and focuses on their role in regulating CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Application of size class distributions in land surface models (i.e., ALM) will improve projections of surface inundation and carbon fluxes in permafrost lowlands.

Lakes and ponds of variable size and distribution influence physical and biogeochemical processes