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USING MULTI-TEMPORAL AERIAL AND SPACE IMAGERY FOR COASTAL DYNAMICS INVESTIGATIONS AT KARA AND PECHORA SEAS, RUSSIAN ARCTIC

D. Aleksyutina, A. Novikova, A. Baranskaya, O. Shilova, S. Ogorodov
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

The Arctic coasts are complex and actively changing systems, their erosion rates varying in time and space. Due to global warming and its thermal and wind-wave effects, there is a tendency of increase in coastal erosion rates. Understanding of the interaction between permafrost and sea is important to disclose the background of active development of natural resources in the Arctic coastal zone (construction of coastal facilities, offshore pipelines, etc). In the present study, coastal dynamics of the Western Russian Arctic coasts are studied, including Varandey (Pechora Sea), Ural and Yamal coasts near the underwater gas pipeline “Bovanenkovo-Ukhta” across Baydaratskaya Bay (Kara Sea). Kara Sea key-sites are characterized by continuous permafrost, with annual ground temperature of -4…-6 ºC and permafrost thickness of up to 50-100 m. Varandey key-site is located in the zone of sporadic permafrost. Estimations of coastal retreat rates were based on high resolution multitemporal space imagery analysis together with data of airborne surveys. All satellite images were orthorectified to decrease uncertainties. During fieldwork, DGPS mapping of some points with the constant position were made for accurate coastal erosion rates estimations. The study revealed that long-term (1960s-2010s) average annual retreat rates for coasts of different key-sites ranged from 0.5 to 2 m per year: at Varandey – 2.2 m/a; Ural coast of Baydaratskaya Bay – 2 m/a, and Yamal – 0.4 m/a. Coastal erosion rates were calculated for different time intervals, they depend on coastal morphology (cliff height, beach presence), slope exposure, permafrost features (sediment composition, ice content, etc). Studies on coastal dynamics and understanding their various aspects are very important for the attractive Arctic region under the conditions of climate change. The obtained results allow for a better understanding of coastal retreat processes and forecasting of Russian Arctic coastal dynamics in the future.

Keywords: coastal erosion, Russian Arctic, aerial and space imagery, permafrost


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