Previous photo pair1964 - 2005: Glaciated Uplands near East Fork Toklat River16/17Next photo pair
East Fork Toklat pond photo pair
Photo Credits: Technical aerial photo (USGS) (1964), Natural Color IKONOS-2 Satellite Imagery Mosaic (USDA NRCS) (2005)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Shrinking ponds
Shrinking ponds
There are many reasons why a particular pond may shrink over time. Perhaps the pond was formed by a beaver dam, which has since collapsed? Perhaps consistently warm and dry summers or low snow years have decreased precipitation inputs and/or increased evaporation? When looking at a single photo pair representing only two "snapshots in time", one cannot be certain. Park scientists working near this pond, suspect subsurface instability due to melting permafrost may be to blame for several recent landslides and slumps in the area. Could melting permafrost influence this pond draining? Permafrost is soil that remains frozen year-round and would inhibit water drainage in ponds such as this one. As the permafrost degrades, water may begin to seep lower into the soil column, causing the water on the surface to be less. Interestingly, even 1964 photo shows that the pond previously had a larger extent. What will a photo taken in 2064 show?