Distribution and Character of Naleds in Northeastern Alaska

  • Deborah Harden
  • Peter Barnes
  • Erk Reimnitz
Keywords: Formation, River ice, Alaska, Northern, Kongakut River


Satellite imagery and high- and low-altitude aerial photography of the North Slope of Alaska indicate that naleds (features formed during river icing) are widespread east of the Colville River but less abundant to its west. Where naleds occur, stream channels are wide and often braided. Their distribution can be related to changes in stream gradient and to the occurrence of springs. Large naleds, such as occur on the Kongakut River, often survive the summer melt season to form the nucleus of icing in the succeeding winter. Major naleds also are likely to significantly influence the nature of permafrost in their immediate vicinity. A map of naleds may serve as a guide to sources of perennially flowing water.