Assessing Risk to Alaska National Parks

An image of the headwaters of the Noatak river in slightly cloudy weather.

Air temperatures are rising above freezing across Alaska’s national parks decades earlier than expected. This accelerates soil subsidence, increases landslide frequency, and threatens the activities and infrastructure of Alaska’s parks. In partnership with the National Parks Service, and the UAF Geophysical Institute’s Permafrost Laboratory this project is producing park-level risk assessments from near and long-term warming for the Denali Park Road, McCarthy Road and the proposed Ambler Road.

Why are we doing this?

High-resolution dynamically downscaled climate data from the AK CASC and an array of high elevation weather stations from the NPS are being used to identify locations that are vulnerable to landslides from rising temperatures. These data are integrated with known landscape level products such as permafrost maps, landslide assessments, and digital elevation models to collaboratively map vulnerable areas along the park corridors.

End Products


National Park Service
UAF Geophysical Institute’s Permafrost Laboratory