Effects of Permafrost Thawing on Land Use and Structural Integrity in the Polar and Sub-Polar Region of North America

Publication Year:
2011
Usage 20
Abstract Views 20
Repository URL:
https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/ssd/2011/Presentations/54
Author(s):
James Scott Maginity
article description
Historically, land use in the polar regions of the North American continent has been limited to nomadic hunter-gatherer indigenous people. The 20th century saw an influx of outside settlement in the region that has drastically changed the population dynamics of the area. Novel designs using permafrost as an element of design were created that allowed settlements to develop. Because of these changes in infrastructure, two-thirds of people living in the arctic now live in settlements of 5,000 or more. I used MAGICC/SCENGEN climate modeling software to determine areas where significant warming could result in thawing of permafrost. I also used demographic information to find the areas of greatest population. I entered the collected data into the GIS software ArcMap to locate regions of greatest vulnerability based on population and type of structures present. This forecast can be used to target areas that will require preemptive action to prevent such catastrophes.