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Gorge Creek photo pair
Photo Credits: Fred Dean (1976), Carl Roland (2005)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Changing shrublines
Changing shrublinesAnimation is available
This pair of photos was taken from the air looking east between Gorge and Sunrise creeks in the upper Thorofare R. drainage. The photos show a pond and small drainage on an alpine terrace two miles south of the Eielson Visitors Center. One vegetative change visible is an increase in shrubs at the base of the bluff in the lower right corner of the photos and in the drainage features on the terrace surface. Alder shrubs tend to remain green later in the fall than willows, so this increase in shrub abundance is likely from alders colonizing these areas (particularly in the drainage areas). Recent studies have documented alder expansion over wide areas of arctic Alaska.