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Pre-ABoVE: Vegetation Types and Physiographic Features, Kuparuk River Basin, Alaska

Documentation Revision Date: 2017-06-20

Data Set Version: 1

Summary

This data set provides a collection of vegetation, landscape, geobotanical, elevation, hydrology, and geologic maps for the Kuparuk River Basin, North Slope, Alaska. The maps cover either (1) the entire Kuparuk River Basin, from the headwaters on the north side of the Brooks Range to the Beaufort Sea coast, or (2) the selected Upper Kuparuk River Region including the Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek research areas. The maps were produced from imagery and existing geobotanical maps covering the period 1976-08-04 to 2008-12-31.

The Upper Kuparuk River Region was selected to focus on the Toolik Field Station and Imnavait Creek research areas as part of the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Toolik Lake.

There are 12 data files with this data set. This includes six files in GeoTIFF (.tif) format and six compressed shapefiles (.zip). In addition, 6 companion files are provided which contain the shapefile data in .kmz format for viewing in Google Earth.

Figure 1. Upper Kuparuk River Region glacial geology map showing locations of Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek research areas.

Citation

Walker, D.A., and M.K. Raynolds. 2017. Pre-ABoVE: Vegetation Types and Physiographic Features, Kuparuk River Basin, Alaska. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1378

Table of Contents

  1. Data Set Overview
  2. Data Characteristics
  3. Application and Derivation
  4. Quality Assessment
  5. Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods
  6. Data Access
  7. References

Data Set Overview

This data set provides a collection of vegetation, landscape, geobotanical, elevation, hydrology, and geologic maps for the Kuparuk River Basin, North Slope, Alaska. The maps cover either (1) the entire Kuparuk River Basin, from the headwaters on the north side of the Brooks Range to the Beaufort Sea coast, or (2) the selected Upper Kuparuk River Region including the Toolik Lake Field Station and Imnavait Creek research areas. The maps were produced from imagery and existing geobotanical maps covering the period 1976-08-04 to 2008-12-31.

Upper Kuparuk River Region maps were developed to focus on the Toolik Field Station and Imnavait Creek research areas as part of the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Toolik Lake.

Project: Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment

The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign that will take place in Alaska and western Canada between 2016 and 2021. Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.

Related Data Sets:

Walker, D.A. 2017. Pre-ABove: Vegetation Types and Physiographic Features, Toolik Lake Area, Alaska. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1380

Walker, D.A. 2016. Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Vegetation Plots at Toolik Lake, Alaska, 1989. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1333

Walker, D.A. 2016. Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Vegetation Plots at Imnavait Creek, Alaska, 1984-1985. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1356

Raynolds, M.K., A.L. Breen, and D.A. Walker. 2017. Pre-ABoVE: Land Cover and Ecosystem Map Collection for Northern Alaska. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1359

Acknowledgements:

These data were obtained from the Alaska Arctic Geoecological Atlas (http://agc.portal.gina.alaska.edu), which provides access to existing Arctic vegetation plot and map data in support of the ABoVE campaign.

Data Characteristics

Spatial Coverage:  Kuparuk River Basin, North Slope, Alaska

ABoVE Site Designation:

Domain: Core ABoVE region

State/territory: Alaska (Kuparuk River Basin)

Grid cells: Ahh1Avv0

Spatial Resolution: The maps are provided at 5, 30, and 50-m resolution; one map is provided in 0.000370721 degrees (~15 m)

Temporal Coverage: 1976-08-04 to 2008-12-31

Temporal Resolution: One time

Study Area (All latitude and longitude given in decimal degrees)

Site West East North South
Kuparuk River Basin, Alaska, including the Upper Kuparuk River Region -151.1959 -148.085 70.54222 68.2881

 

Data File Information

There are 12 data files with this data set. This includes six files in GeoTIFF (.tif) format and six compressed shapefiles (.zip).

The data files and data characteristics for the entire Kuparuk River Basin are described first followed by the files for the Upper Kuprauk River Region.

Companion Files: Six .kmz files are provided which contain the shapefile data for viewing in Google Earth.

 

Kuparuk River Basin data files and descriptions

Table 1. Data file names and descriptions

File Names Description
 kuparuk_basin_vegetation.tif A vegetation map of the Kuparuk River Basin region with eight land cover categories provided in GeoTIFF (.tif) format. The map includes Barrens, moist non-acidic tundra, moist acidic tundra, shrublands, wet tundra, water, clouds and ice, and shadows. Watershed boundaries are also provided.
 kuparuk_basin_landsat_mss_cir.tif A false-color infrared image of the Kuparuk region from the SPOT satellite provided in GeoTIFF (.tif) format
 kuparuk_basin_elevation.zip An elevation map of the entire Kuparuk region in shapefile format (.shp). These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format
 kuparuk_basin_hydrology.zip A hydrology map of the entire Kuparuk region in shapefile format (.shp). These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format
 kuparuk_basin_landscape.zip A landscape map of the entire Kuparuk region in shapefile format (.shp). These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format

 

Kuparuk River Basin GeoTIFF files

Table 2. Properties of the GeoTIFF files. The spatial extent of the GeoTIFF files is West: -151.186, East: -148.08472, South: 68.38972, North: 70.54222.

File Name Map units Resolution Fill Value Data Type Range of values
 kuparuk_basin_vegetation.tif meters 50 255 Byte 1-8
 kuparuk_basin_landsat_mss_cir.tif meters 50   Byte 0-255

 

Kuparuk River Basin shapefiles

   Attributes of the shapefiles are provided in tables 4, 5, and 6 below.

Table 4. kuparuk_basin_elevation.shp

Attribute Name Description
CONTOURS_1 50-m contour intervals

 

Table 5. kuparuk_basin_hydrology.zip

Attribute Code and Description
DNLNTYPE 0= Clipped, incomplete features
1= Streams, rivers, channelized rivers
2= Inland shorelines (lakes)
5= Glacial limits
8= Tidal connectors
9= Image boundaries

 

Table 6. kuparuk_basin_landscape.shp

Attribute Code and Description
LANDUNITS1 1=Ocean
2=Thaw-lake plain
3=Hills with glacial kames and kettles
4=Hills
5=Floodplains
6=Mountains
7=Mountain valleys

 

Table 7:  Extents of the shapefiles

Filename West East South North
 kuparuk_basin_elevation.shp -151.177711 -148.095773 68.386032 70.53023
 kuparuk_basin_hydrology.shp -151.164712 -148.093344 68.387552 70.483116
 kuparuk_basin_landscape.shp -151.195911 -148.09374 68.383158 70.540864

 

 

Upper Kuparuk River Basin Area

Table 8. Data file names and descriptions

Data File Description
 upper_kuparuk_elevation.tif An elevation map derived from a digital elevation model (DEM) of the Kuparuk River watershed 
 upper_kuparuk_landsat_ndvi_trend_1985-2007.tif This image for the study area (823 km2) shows the results of a slope of linear regression of NDVI for 1985, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2007 from Landsat TM and ETM data
 upper_kuparuk_spot_cir.tif A false-color infrared image of the upper Kuparuk region from the SPOT satellite
 upper_kuparuk_spot_ndvi.tif NDVI of the upper Kuparuk region from the SPOT satellite. The satellite data were obtained on 28 July 1989
 upper_kuparuk_hydrology.zip The Upper Kuparuk River Region Hydrology and Watershed Boundary map showing the Upper Kuparuk River and tributary areas. These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format
 upper_kuparuk_glacialgeol.zip A surficial-geologic map with 20 legend units arranged approximately from oldest to youngest. A layer file (.lyr) is included. These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format
 upper_kuparuk_geobotanical.zip A geobotanical map with the attributes of landcover, vegetation,  surficial geology, surficial geomorphology, and landunits. Three layer files are included (.lyr) for the attributes of  vegetation, surficial geomorphology, and landforms. These data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format

 

Upper Kuparuk River Basin area GeoTIFF files

Table 9. Properties of the GeoTIFF files

File Name Map Units Resolution Data Type Fill Value Range of values
 upper_kuparuk_elevation.tif meter 5 UInt16 0 573 - 1519
 upper_kuparuk_landsat_ndvi_trend_1985-2007.tif ** meter 30 Float32 -999 -349.9 - 234.5
 upper_kuparuk_spot_cir.tif meter 50 Byte   0 - 211
 upper_kuparuk_spot_ndvi.tif *** degree 0.000370721 Byte 256 0 - 255

Data Notes:

** The NDVI trend pixel values in “upper_kuparuk_landsat_ndvi_trend_1985-2007.tif” were multiplied by 1000. So dividing by 1000 gives the true NDVI annual trend.

*** The NDVI pixel values in "upper_kuparuk_spot_ndvi.tif  were indexed from 0-256 and saved as 8-bit data. The original range of NDVI values could not be recreated. 

 

Table 10. Extents of the GeoTIFF files

Filename West East South North
 upper_kuparuk_elevation.tif -149.695 -149 68.47444 68.74556
 upper_kuparuk_landsat_ndvi_trend_1985-2007.tif -149.712 -149 68.47444 68.74556
 upper_kuparuk_spot_cir.tif -150.458 -148.153 68.28806 69.05083
 upper_kuparuk_spot_ndvi.tif -150.356 -148.203 68.32194 69.01694

 

Upper Kuparuk River Basin area Shapefiles

    Attributes of the shapefiles are provided in tables 11,12, and 13 below.

Table 11. upper_kuparuk_basin_hydrology.shp

Attribute Name Code and Description
Hydro 1= Kuparuk River tributaries
2 = Upper Kuparuk River
3 = Toolik Lake tributaries
4 = Itkilik River tributaries
5 = Imnavait Creek
6 = Upper Imnavait Creek
7 = Toolik River tributaries
8 = Oksurukuyik Creek tributaries
9 = Sagavarnirktok River tributaries
10 = Atigun River tributaries

 

Table 12. upper_kuparuk_glacialgeol.shp

Note that there are a few Codes enclosed in ( ) and several Codes and Descriptions that include a "?". These values are as provided in the original shapefile.

Attribute: Glacial Geology
Code Description
(B) Bedrock with discontinuous cover
(id) Drift of Itkillik age, undifferentiated
(sd2) Drift of Sagavanirktok River age, late advance
al Alluvium, undifferentiated
al1 Low alluvial terrace deposits
al2 Modern alluvium
al-auf Alluvial aufeis facies
al-sp Alluvial sand and peat facies
B Bedrock
b Undifferentiated gravel and beach deposits
c Undifferentiated colluvium
f Undifferentiated fan deposits
fd-gr Undifferentiated fan deposits
fd-sa Undifferentiated fan deposits
f-i Undifferentiated fan deposits
fiA Undifferentiated fan deposits, older
fiB Undifferentiated fan deposits, younger
fl Undifferentiated colluvium
gr Undifferentiated gravel and beach deposits
i-c Ice-contact deposits
id Drift of Itkillik age, undifferentiated
id1 Drift of Itkillik I age
id1? Drift of Itkillik I age?
id1A Subunit of Itkillik I age, older
id1A? Subunit of Itkillik I age, older?
id1B Subunit of Itkillik I age, younger
id1B? Subunit of Itkillik I age, younger?
id1-E Subunit of Itkillik I age
id2 Drift of Itkillik Phase II
id2A Drift of Itkillik Phase II, older
id2A? Drift of Itkillik Phase II, older?
id2B Drift of Itkillik Phase II, younger
id3 Drift of latest Itkillik readvance
id3A Drift of latest Itkillik readvance, older
id3B Drift of latest Itkillik readvance, younger
igl? Glacial lake deposits?
ika Active kettles
io1 Outwash of Itkillik Phase I
io1-E Outwash of Itkillik Phase I
io2? Outwash of Itkillik Phase II?
io2A Outwash of Itkillik Phase II, older
io2A? Outwash of Itkillik Phase II?
io2-E Outwash of Itkillik Phase II
io3 Outwash of latest Itkillik advance
io3? Outwash of latest Itkillik advance?
ls Undifferentiated colluvium
s Undifferentiated colluviium
sa Undifferentiated lacustrine deposits
sd Drift of Sagavanirktok River, undifferentiated
sd? Drift of Sagavanirktok River, undifferentiated?
sd2 Drift of Sagavanirktok River, late advance
sd2? Drift of Sagavanirktok River, late advance?
sd2-E Drift of Sagavanirktok River, late advance
sd2-E? Drift of Sagavanirktok River, late advance?
sd-E Drift of Sagavanirktok River
si Ice-rich silt deposits and colluvial basins
so2 Outwash of late Sagavanirktok River advance
so2? ?Outwash of late Sagavanirktok River advance
tg Alluvial terrace gravel
tg1 Alluvial terrace gravel, older
tg2 Alluvial terrace gravel, younger
tr Undifferentiated colluvium

 

Table 13. upper_kuparuk_geobotanical.shp.

This shapefile contains eight attributes. The attributes are described in the following five tables.

Vegetation Attributes: PRI_VEG, SEC_VEG, and TER_VEG

where PRI_VEG=primary vegetation, SEC_VEG= secondary vegetation, and TER_VEG=tertiary vegetation

Code Vegetation Unit Description
0 < 30% of a secondary or tertiary vegetation unit type (SEC_VEG and TER_VEG attributes only)
4 Fen complex
5 Riparian shrublands
6 Water
11 Barren rocks
12 Lichen covered siliceous rocks (community type Cetraria nigricans-Rhizocarpon geographicum
15 Partially vegetated non-sorted circles (community type Anthelia juratzkana-Juncus biglumis
21 Dry areas with acidic soils (pH < 5.0) dominated by prostrate and dwarf shrubs (Arctous alpina, Betula nana, Cassiope tetragona, Dryas octopetela, Ledum decumbens, Salix phlebophylla, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, V. uliginosum), and fruticose lichens (Bryocaulon divergens, Cladina spp., Cetraria spp., Thamnolia spp.) Bryophytes (Polytrichum piliferum, Dicranum elongatum) are not abundant. Typically found on dry glacial till and outwash deposits, steep south facing slopes, and alpine areas in the mountains.
22 Areas on nonacidic soils (pH > 5.0) dominated by Dryas integrifolia, other dwarf and prostrate shrubs (e.g. Salix arctica, S. reticulata), mat and cushion plants (Saxifraga oppositifolia, Oxytropis bryophila and lichens (Lecanora epibryon, Cetraria spp.) Bryophytes (Ditrichum flexicaule, Distichium capillaceum) are not abundant. Includes vegetation on nonacidic stripes (community type Astragalus umbellatus-Dryas integrifolia)
23 Areas dominated by Cassiope tetragona, and other dwarf shrubs (Ledum decumbens and Diapensia lapponica in acidic sites and Dryas integrifolia, Salix reticulata and S. rotundifolia in nonacidic sites) and fruticose lichens (Cladina spp. Cetraria spp., Nephroma arctica). Usually with significant components of bryophytes (Hylocomium splendens, Tomentypnum nitens) and the conspicuous forbs Boykinia richardsonii and Novosieversia glacialis
24 Well-drained slopes and terraces (community type Oxytropis bryophila-Dryas integrifolia) often with significant inclusions of moist nonacidic tundra (Assoc. Dryado integrifolia-Caricetum bigelowii Walker et al. 1994, code 321
31 Moist acidic tundra complex
32 Moist nonacidic tundra complex
41 Poor fen complex, wetland areas with dysic organic soils (pH < 4.5) and dominated by sedges (Carex rariflora, C. rotundata, Eriophorum scheuchzeri) and mosses (mainly Sphagnum spp.).
41 Wetland areas with euic organic soils (pH > 4.5) dominated by sedges (Carex chordorrhiza, Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum angustifolium) and mosses (mainly Drepanocladus spp., Scorpidium scorpioides, Tomentypnum nitens). Wet sites have rich fen communities (e.g. community types Carex aquatilis-Carex chordorrhiza and Carex aquatilis-Eriophorum angustifolium)
42 Rich fen complex
43 Aquatic vegetation (community types Hippuris vulgaris-Arctophila fulva, and Hippuris vulgaris-Sparganium hyperboreum
51 Areas dominated by willows along watertracks, streams and rivers.
52 Dense shrub thickets on slopes and drainages dominated by Salix glauca and Alnus crispa
131 partially vegetated limestone (community type Saxifraga oppositifolia-Saxifraga eschscholtzii
141 Barren and partially vegetated river alluvium (community type Epilobium latifolium-Castilleja caudata
142 Revegetated gravel mines and construction pads (community type Festuca rubra
211 Usually includes a mosaic of communities typical of windblown areas (Assoc. Selaginello sibiricae-Dryadetum octopetalae Walker et al. 1994)
212 and Assoc. Salici phlebophyllae-Arctoetum alpinae Walker et al. 1994
213 Community type Hierochloe alpina-Betula nana
214 Vegetation on acidic nonsorted stripes (community type Calamagrostis inexpansa-Cassiope tetragona)
215 Also includes uncommon fruticose-lichen dominated areas (community type Cladina arbuscula-Stereocaulon tomentosum)
231 Usually with significant components of bryophytes (Hylocomium splendens, Tomentypnum nitens) and the conspicuous forbs Boykinia richardsonii and Novosieversia glacialis. Includes moderately deep acidic snowbeds (Assoc. Carici microchaetae-Cassiopetum tetragonae Walker et al. 1994)
232 Nonacidic snowbeds (community type Dryas integrifolia-Cassiope tetragona)
233 Communities of deep snowbeds (community type Salix rotundifolia)
311 Areas on acidic soils (pH < 5.0) dominated by tussock-sedges (Eriophorum vaginatum), nontussock sedges (Carex bigelowii), dwarf shrubs (Betula nana, Salix pulchra, Ledum decumbens, Vaccinium spp.) and mosses (Sphagnum spp, Hylocomium splendens, Aulocomnium turgidum). The dominant vegetation of most acidic hillslopes and moderately drained acidic sites. Includes tussock tundra and other graminoid dominated facies of Assoc. Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati Walker et al. 1994
312 Betula nana shrublands in basin wetlands and marginal to watertracks
321 Areas on nonacidic soils (pH > 5.0) dominated by nontussock sedges (Carex bigelowii, C. membranacea, Eriophorum triste), prostrate and dwarf shrubs (Dryas integrifolia, Rhododendron lapponicum, Salix arctica, S. reticulata, S. lanata), and mosses (Tomentypnum nitens, Hylocomium splendens, Aulacomnium turgidum). The dominant vegetation of most nonacidic hillslopes. Includes all facies of Assoc. Dryado integrifolia-Caricetum bigelowii Walker et al. 1994
322 snowbed subassociations and facies of Dryado integrifolia-Caricetum bigelowii Walker et al. 1994
324 Areas with open canopies of low-shrubs (Salix lanata, Salix glauca, Alnus crispa) includes rich communities found in a few drained lake basins on glacial outwash surfaces (community type Deschampsia caespitosa- Carex saxatilis)
411 Raised microsites are consistently acidic with Sphagnum-rich communities (community type Sphagnum lenense-Salix fuscescens)
412 Relatively acidic poor fen complex (community type Sphagnum orientale-Eriophorum scheuchzeri)
413 Relatively acidic poor fen complex  (community type Carex aquatilis-Sphagnum spp.)
421 Raised microsites are consistently nonacidic (e.g.  community type Tomentypnum nitens-Trichophorum caespitosum)
511 Willow communities in water tracks (community type Eriophorum angustifolium-Salix pulchra
512 Willow communities along larger streams (community types Salix alaxensis-Salix richardsonii spp. Lanata)
513 Shrub communities along larger streams (community types Betula nana)
514 Willow communities along larger streams (community type Salix pulchra-Calamagrostis canadensis)
515 Shrublands are usually mixed with significant components of graminoid and forb dominated areas (e.g; community type Carex podocarpa-Dodecatheon frigidus, code 515
3111 Areas on acidic soils (pH < 5.0) dominated by tussock-sedges (Eriophorum vaginatum), nontussock sedges (Carex bigelowii), dwarf shrubs (Betula nana, Salix pulchra, Ledum decumbens, Vaccinium spp.) and mosses (Sphagnum spp, Hylocomium splendens, Aulocomnium turgidum). The dominant vegetation of most acidic hillslopes and moderately drained acidic sites. Includes tussock tundra and other graminoid dominated facies of Assoc. Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati (Walker et al., 1994)
3112 Poorly developed water tracks (shrub facies of Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati Walker et al. 1994
3113 Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati Walker et al. 1994
5121 Most shrubs are less than 1 m tall, but along the larger streams, the willows may exceed 2-3

 

Attribute: Landform
Description
Code Landform Units
1 undifferentiated hills
2 Mountains
3 Talus slope -Accumulation of mass-wasted boulders forming an apron below bedrock exposures
4 Basin- colluvial basins (Kreig and Reger 1985) between hills usually filled with wetlands and broad watertracks
5 glaciofluvial outwash
6 active floodplains
7  nonactive floodplains
8 Lake or pond
9 ancient floodplains
10 Bluff or cliff - Very steep slopes usually associated with bedrock areas or eroded lake and river margins
11 wide drainages filled with watertracks
12 Drained or filled lakes - includes drained glacial kettle lakes in outwash deposits, drained glacial moraine-damned lakes such as the ancient Lake Galbraith, and filled lakes and pond margins.
13 abandoned sloughs, point bars, oxbows
14 gravel mines
15 gravel construction pads
16 Debris flow- Includes areas of melting ground ice with debris flows
17 Flat - Undifferentiated flat areas
18 Alluvial fan - Includes nearly flat alluvial fans associated with existing and ancient lakes and steep alluvial fans at the base of steep valleys that are products of debris flows

 

Attribute: PRI_SGEOL, where PRI_SGEOL= primary surficial geology
Description
Code Surficial Geology Units
1 Glacial till deposit - Glacial till in the region was deposited during the Sagavanirktok and Itkillik glaciations (mid and late Pleistocene). Till surfaces are generally rocky and gently undulating with block fields, and nonsorted circles. Till on most surfaces has been covered by fine-grained colluvium that has been transported from upslope.
2 Glaciofluvial deposit - Outwash deposited by melt waters from the Pleistocene glaciers. Glaciofluvial deposits cover large areas marginal to many modern floodplains. Outwash deposits have irregular, rocky microrelief with a wide variety of landforms including kames, kame terraces, and flat terraces with high-centered polygons.
3 Other alluvial deposits - Stream deposits occur on modern and ancient floodplains, water tracks, and alluvial fans.
4 Colluvial deposit- Hill slope deposits whose origin is due primarily to downslope movement of material under the force of gravity, but often also in association with forces due to water movement. Colluvial materials often cover other deposits and bedrock.
5 Organic deposit - Organic deposits greater than 50 cm deep occur in colluvial basins and in some areas with wide water tracks
6 Lacustrine deposits - Lake sediments occur in association with drained glacial lakes such as Galbraith Lake and along the Sagavanirktok River, and a few much smaller drained glacial kettles and ponds.
8 Water - Includes lakes, ponds and rivers.
9 Disturbed - Includes all anthropogenic disturbances, such as gravel pads, gravel mines, and airstrips.
10 Eolian deposit- Windblown fine sand and silt associated with drained lakes and loess from rivers
71 Bedrock - areas of Lisburne limestone bedrock occurs in the southeast portion of the ma
72 Most bedrock is a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate (Kanyute Formation)

 

Surficial Geomorphology Attributes: PRI_SGEOM and SEC_SGEOM

where PRI_SGEOM = primary surficial geomorphology and SEC_SGEOM = secondary surficial geomorphology

Description
Code Surficial Geomorphology Units
0 < 30% of a secondary geomorphology unit type (SEC_SGEOM attribute only)
1 Nonsorted circles (code 1). Roughly circular 1-2-m diameter slightly convex barren features, spaced from two to many meters apart. They are composed of fine-grained mineral material that periodically undergo freezing and heaving. Nonsorted circles, or frost scars, are ubiquitous features on most hill slopes, and are not differentiated here unless they cover more than 50% of a surface.
2 Stripes (code 2). Hill slopes with a striped pattern consisting of elongated relatively dry well-drained elements 1-3 m wide oriented down the steepest available slope, alternating with intervening moister interstripe elements 1-3 m wide. They are caused by combination of cryoturbation, erosion, and gelifluction. The dry elements usually are covered by nonsorted circles. Most stripes are nonsorted with similar grain size of material in the stripe and interstripe areas; sorted stripes and circles occur in rocky alpine areas.
3 Upland turf hummocks (code 3). Small regularly spaced hummocks (<50 cm high) and 25 to 50-cm wide, thought to be caused by a combination of runoff, thermal erosion and gelifluction. They are common on steep well-drained slopes, often found in association with snowbeds and gelifluction lobes and terraces
4 Wetland microrelief (code 4). Wet areas with a mixture of strangmoor, disjunct ice-wedge polygon rims, aligned hummocks, nonaligned hummocks, and lowland water tracks. Strangmoor consists strangs, which are sinuous ridges many meters long that form perpendicular to the direction of the local hydrologic gradient. Aligned hummocks are shorter features also oriented perpendicular to the hydrologic gradient. The strangs are up to 0.5-m wide and 0.5-high. Disjunct polygon rims are associated with incompletely formed or eroded low-centered polygons.
5 Gelifluction features (code 5). Areas of slow downslope movement of the active layer caused by saturated soils moving over permanently frozen ground. Includes gelifluction lobes, benches, and streams mostly greater than 50 cm high. Common on steep hill slopes.
6 High-centered ice-wedge polygons and palsas (code 6). Ice-wedge polygons with a raised center portion that is raised above the trough element. Relief between the center and the trough is normally about 0.5-1.0 m, and polygon diameters are usually 10-15-m in diameter. High centered polygons occur marginal to larger streams and rivers, especially on outwash terraces. On some upland surfaces, the polygons are poorly developed or totally masked by tussock-tundra vegetation. Some raised features, particularly in colluvial palsas, which are small peaty mounds with perennial ice lenses.
7 Low-centered ice-wedge polygons (code 7). Ice-wedge polygons composed of a central low "basin", a raised "rim", and a "trough" between polygons. The basins are usually 8-10-m in width and circular to weakly polygonal in plan. The raised rims of the polygons may be as much as 1-2-m wide, as much as 0.5-m higher than the basin and may compose over 30% of the total polygonal unit. The troughs of polygons occur over the tops of underlying ice wedges, are usually less than 1-m wide. The basins and troughs are usually wet all summer. Thermokarst ponds commonly occur at the junctions of polygon troughs. Low-centered polygons are not abundant in the region but occur in association with flat drained lake basins and river floodplains. pads.
8 Thermokarst land (code 8).  Three situations: (1) Areas with eroding subsurface ice that may be buried glacial ice or ice-rich permafrost; this occurs marginal to several kettle lakes on Itkillik-age glacial surfaces. (2) Thermokarst pits that occur at ice-wedge junctions and often associated with ice-wedge polygons. (3) Beaded streams that have regularly spaced circular pools that have formed where the stream has eroded out ice-wedge junctions; between "beads" the stream often follows a linear channel along eroded ice-wedges.
9 Featureless (code 9). Areas with no discernible pattern at the mapping scale. However, nonsorted circles, small gelifluction features, and/or poorly-developed water tracks commonly occur in these areas.
10 Well-developed hill slope water tracks (code 10). Shallow subparallel drainages normally spaced tens of meters apart, with well defined channels giving many slopes distinctive "horsetail" patterns. Well-developed water tracks carry runoff and melt water through most of the summer and are usually filled with shrubby vegetation. They are most abundant on long lower hill slopes, particularly slopes that have deep snow accumulation to provide melt water throughout the summer.
11 Poorly-developed hill slope water tracks (code 11). Water tracks with poorly defined channels that normally carry runoff only during the snowmelt season and immediately after rainfall events. They are discernible on aerial photographs because of somewhat shrubbier vegetation in the water tracks. Poorly defined water tracks often occur on upper hill slopes and may turn into well-developed water tracks on the lower slopes.
12 Irregular microrelief (code 12). This unit is used for a wide variety of situations where there is considerable microrelief that cannot be ascribed to any of the above features, such as rolling topography common on till and outwash surfaces, hill slopes and bluffs with irregular erosion features, and floodplains with a mixture of channels, bars, ponds, etc.
13 Stony surface (codes 13). Areas covered by cobbles and stones such as river gravels.
14 Disturbed (code 14). Includes gravel mines and construction pads.
15 Water (code 15). Includes lakes, ponds, and rivers.
16 Thermokarst water (code 16). This code is used in three situations: (1) Areas with eroding subsurface ice that may be buried glacial ice or ice-rich permafrost; this occurs marginal to several kettle lakes on Itkillik-age glacial surfaces. (2) Thermokarst pits that occur at ice-wedge junctions and often associated with ice-wedge polygons. (3) Beaded streams that have regularly spaced circular pools that have formed where the stream has eroded out ice-wedge junctions; between "beads" the stream often follows a linear channel along eroded ice-wedges.
17 Stony surface (codes  17). Areas covered by  talus slopes, block fields, and bedrock areas.
18 Pond complex (code 18). Wetland areas with numerous ponds mixed with relatively well-drained areas.

 

Attribute: VEGCLASS
Description
Code Description
1 Barren and lichens on rock
2 Prostrate dwarf-shrub, forb, fruticose-lichen tundra (acidic)
3 Prostrate dwarf-shrub, sedge, forb, fruticose-lichen tundra (nonacidic)
4 Hemi-prostrate dwarf-shrub, fruticose-lichen tundra
5 Tussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra
6 Non-tussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra
7 Dwarf- to low-shrub, sedge, moss tundra
8 Low to tall shrublands
9 Sedge, moss tundra (poor fens)
10 Sedge, moss tundra (fens)
11 Water and herbaceous marsh

 

Table 14: Extents of the shapefiles

Filename West East South North
 upper_kuparuk_hydrology.shp -149.669337 -149.023548 68.480014 68.739009
 upper_kuparuk_glacialgeol.shp -149.669309 -149.023521 68.480014 68.739019
 upper_kuparuk_geobotanical.shp -151.1863889 -148.0847222 68.480015 68.73902

 

Application and Derivation

These data could be of value to studies of landscape change in the Arctic.

Quality Assessment

Refer to the publications for each individual map product.

Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods

Kuparuk River Basin

The entire Kuparuk River watershed was mapped from the headwaters on the north side of the Brooks Range to the Beaufort Sea coast. The maps are based on a modified unsupervised classification of a portion of a Landsat MSS composite created by the National Mapping Division, U.S. Geological Survey EROS data center, Anchorage, Alaska. Geobotanical maps and earlier Landsat-derived maps of the region were used for supplementary information to interpret the spectral classes. The vegetation of the watershed was mapped for several US National Science Foundation projects. Refer to the related data sets listed in the Overview Section of this document.

vegetation map of kuparuk river basin

Figure 2. Kuparuk River Basin Vegetation Map.

Map Themes and Descriptions

Elevation (kuparuk_basin_elevation.zip): Data are taken from the GTOPO30 global digital elevation model (DEM) and are at approximately 1-km spacing (Gesch et al., 1999).

Hydrology (kuparuk_basin_hydrology.zip): Hydrology of the Kuparuk River basin, including streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and coastline.

Landscape (kuparuk_basin_landscape.zip): Generalized landscape units for Kuparuk River basin. Polygon coverage of landscape units for the Kuparuk River watershed with seven units. This map was derived by interpreting the CIR version of the GTOPO30 Landsat MSS image created in 1999.

Lansdsat False Color-Infrared (CIR) image (kuparuk_basin_landsat_mss_cir.tif): Registered and rectified CIR image created in ENVI from the MSS image.

Vegetation (kuparuk_basin_vegetation.tif): The Kuparuk Basin map is a raster (tif) map, with 50-m pixels, and eight land cover categories. The boundaries of the map form a rectangle that encompasses the entire Kuparuk River watershed, from the headwaters on the north side of the Brooks Range to the Beaufort Sea coast (Muller et al., 1998).

 

The Upper Kuparuk River region

The upper Kuparuk River region has terrain typical of the Southern Foothills of the Brooks Range, including landscapes affected by three major glacial events. The upper-Kuparuk region maps were developed to support research at the Toolik Field Station and Imnavait Creek research areas, Alaska. The maps were produced from  satellite data from SPOT (false-color infrared (CIR) and NDVI) and Landsat (NDVI trend 1985 – 2007). 

Environmental, soil, and vegetation data were collected in August 1989 at the Toolik Lake research site and during August 1984 and August-September 1985 at the Imnavit Creek site. Refer to the related data sets listed in the Overview Section of this document.

Map Themes and Descriptions

Elevation (upper_kuparuk_elevation.tif): An elevation map produced in 2002 by resampling the Kuparuk River watershed DEM at 10 meters (Walker et al., 2008).

Upper Kuparuk River Region SPOT (CIR) (upper_kuparuk_spot_cir.tif): The French SPOT satellite data were obtained on 28 July 1989 and provides a view of the mapped region from space. The false-color infrared image shows more densely vegetated areas as brighter red tones. When compared with the glacial geology map, the older Sagavanirktok-age glacial landscapes have few lakes and redder tones indicating more dense vegetation, and the younger Itkillik-age glacial surfaces that have more lakes and grayer colors (Shippert et al., 1995).

This image includes SPOT bands 1 (green, 0.50 – 0.59 µm), 2 (red, 0.61 - 0.68 µm), and 3 (near infrared, 0.78 - 0.89 µm).

Upper Kuparuk River Region SPOT NDVI (upper_kuparuk_spot_ndvi.tif): The French SPOT satellite data were obtained on 28 July 1989 and provides a view of the mapped region from space. NDVI is an index of vegetation greenness that can be linked to plant biomass and other biophysical properties of the vegetation, such as CO2 and photosynthesis. The NDVI = (NIR - R)/(NIR + R), where NIR and R are the spectral reflectance values of the near-infrared (790-890 nm) and red (610-680 nm) bands, respectively. It is modified from an earlier version (Shippert et al. 1995). Water and barrens are generally displayed as black. Dry tundra and sparsely vegetated areas are displayed in gray. Vegetation density increases with darker shades of green.

Landsat NDVI Trend (upper_kuparuk_landsat_ndvi_trend_1985-2007.tif): Landsat TM and ETM data were used to calculate NDVI for the study area (823 km2). This image shows the results of a slope of linear regression of NDVI for 1985, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2007. Only pixels with significant trends (p < 0.05) area shown. The research was funded by NSF grants for studying the Greening of the Arctic and Seasonality: NSF grants OPP-0120736, ARC-0531180, and ARC-0902175 (Raynolds et al., 2013).

NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) calculated from coarse-resolution sensors has shown strong increases since the 1980s on Alaska’s North Slope. This study showed that the homogeneous greening at coarser scales was very heterogeneous at 30-m pixel resolution, with a strong influence due to glacial history.

Hydrology (upper_kuparuk_basin_hydrology.shp): The Upper Kuparuk River Region Hydrology and Watershed Boundary map showing the Upper Kuparuk River and tributary areas.

Glacial Geology (upper_kuparuk_glacialgeol.shp): A surficial-geologic map in the Dalton Highway area, from the Sagavanirktok to the Itkillik Rivers, in the west-central Philip Smith Mountains quadrangle. The map area extends from the northern flank of the Endicott Mountains into the Arctic Foothills province. Glacial deposits within the upper Kuparuk River region are assigned to Sagavanirktok (middle Pleistocene, about 780-125 kya), Itkillik I (late Pleistocene, about 120-50 kya) and Itkillik II (late Pleistocene, about 25-11.5 kya) glaciations of the central Brooks Range glacial succession (Hamilton 2003). The 20 legend units are arranged approximately from oldest to youngest (Hamilton, 2003).

Geobotanical (upper_kuparuk_geobotanical.shp): A geobotanical map with the attributes of landcover, vegetation,  surficial geology, surficial geomorphology, landunits. The base map was a 1:25,000-scale black and white orthophoto-topographic map prepared in 1994 from stereo pairs of 1:60,000-scale, 9 x 9-inch color infrared aerial photographs obtained by NASA in 1982. The base map was prepared without ground-control points, but was registered as closely as possible to the 1:62,260 USGS map of the region. The geobotanical features were mapped by photo-interpretation onto 1:25,000-scale enlargements of the 1982 NASA aerial photographs. In 2007, the map boundaries were modified to register with a recent digital elevation model (DEM) of the Kiparuk River region (Nolan 2003) and the 1989 SPOT image of the region.

Data Access

These data are available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

Pre-ABoVE: Vegetation Types and Physiographic Features, Kuparuk River Basin, Alaska

Contact for Data Center Access Information:

References

Gesch, D. B., K. L. Verdin, and S. K. Greenlee (1999), New land surface digital elevation model covers the Earth, Eos Trans. AGU, 80(6), 69–70, http://doi.org/10.1029/99EO00050

Hamilton, T. D. 2003. Glacial geology of the Toolik Lake and upper Kuparuk River regions. 26, Institute of Arctic Biology, Fairbanks.

Muller, S. V., Walker, D. A., Nelson, F. E., Auerback, N. A., Bockheim, J. G., Guyer, S., & Sherba, D. 1998. Accuracy assessment of a land-cover map of the Kuparuk river basin, Alaska: considerations for remote regions. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 64(6): 619-628.

Nolan, M. 2003. Distribution of the Stari3 DEM of the Kuparuk River watershed (on CD ROM), Joint Office of Scientific Support Boulder, CO.

Raynolds, M. K., D. A. Walker, D. Verbyla, and C. A. Munger. 2013. Patterns of change within a tundra landscape: 22-year Landsat NDVI trends in an area of the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 45:249–260. http://doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-45.2.249

Shippert, M. M., D. A. Walker, N. A. Auerbach, and B. E. Lewis. 1995. Biomass and leaf-area index maps derived from SPOT images for Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek areas, Alaska. Polar Record 31:147–154.

Walker, D. A., and H. A. Maier. 2008. Vegetation in the Vicinity of the Toolik Lake Field Station, Alaska. Biological papers of the University of Alaska, No. 28, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.