Pingo BingoNovember 26, 2016
Tuktoyaktuk means “Land of the Caribou” in the Inuvialuit language, which explains the sculpture, but it’s the landscape that interests MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Lauren Kipp. Kipp traveled to the Northwest Territories, Canada, this summer to sample frozen soils from some of the 1,350 pingos—the hills in the background—that dot the horizon. Pingos are formed when water-saturated soils beneath a drained lake bed freeze and expand upward. As the pingos thaw, they release chemicals into rivers and the coastal ocean that may change the biology and chemistry of the region. Kipp is studying this release in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the carbon cycle and climate change impacts in the Arctic. (Photo by Lauren Kipp, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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