A recently opened thermokarst pit
A recently opened thermokarst pit caused by the melting of ground ice in a region underlain by permafrost shows where upwelling shallow ground water is flowing through another thermokarst feature. Note a moose carcass in the base of the thaw feature. It is not clear how this moose died but it was a healthy young moose that not predated. The working hypothesis is it got stuck in deep snow or it broke a leg on the uneven fallen trees below. Researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility in Alaska are working to address the challenges with building on permafrost as the region begins to warm due to climate change. (Photo by Dr. Tom Douglas, US Army, CRREL)