4 xzc

Physical Environment


The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge spans 9.6 million acres and lies on the edge of the Artic Ocean and, bordered by Prudhoe Bay to the West and the Canada to the East. The 1002 area, 1.5 million acres of northeastern ANWR, lies on the Coastal Plain of ANWR and is situated in the 100 miles between the Aichilik River to the east at 142º 10' W and the Canning River to the west at 146º 15' W. It is trapped between the Brooks Range Mountains located at 69º 35' N and the Beaufort Sea at 0º 10' N, and its close proximity to the two ecoregions produces a variety of ecological conditions and habitats which support a wide spectrum of vegetation.

The entirety of ANWR spans many regions, including the Arctic coast, the tundra plain, the Brooks Range Mountains, and the Yukon basin forests. It contains over 20 rivers, including National Wild Rivers the Sheenjek, Ivishak, and Wind; North America's largest and most northerly alpine lakes Peters and Schrader; warm springs; lagoons; and glaciers. In the 1002 area, specifically, there are also many rivers that run northward and a few large lakes which freeze all the way to their bottoms by winter. Polygonal patterns on the ground across the region are formed by the seasonal thawing of the surface which will be explained in greater detail in the hydrology section. The disturbance of the surface tundra results in permanent alteration of the terrain, including the creation of ponds, ice wedges, vegetative cover and erosion.

Soil Microbial Processes
Nutrient Cycles


6yyyyy jkllllll