Utilising a Suite of Isotopic and Elemental Tracers to Constrain Cryoturbation Rates and Patterns in a Non-sorted Circle

Nicolas A. Jelinski, Kyungsoo Yoo, Jonatan Klaminder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The empirical quantification of rates of material movement in cryoturbated soils has lagged behind the physical and chemical characterisation of these materials. We applied a novel suite of elemental (C, Hg), stable isotope (13C) and radioisotope (137Cs, 210Pb, 14C, 10Be) tracers in conjunction with analytical and numerical models to constrain the rates and patterns of soil movement due to cryoturbation in a non-sorted circle (NSC) near Abisko, Sweden. We present the first observations of the variability of 10Be across a patterned-ground feature, which facilitate the interpretation of subsurface peaks in soil organic carbon, Hg and 13C and provide constraints on the surficial histories of cryoturbated materials. Apparent rates of surficial lateral movement across the NSC estimated from 137Cs and 210Pb (0–2.55 cm year−1) decreased with distance from its centre and were an order of magnitude greater than rates of subduction and subsurface movement estimated from 14C (0.04–0.27 cm year−1). Novel estimates of the original surficial residence times of cryoturbated parcels based on excess 10Be and Hg inventories ranged from 238 to 3940 years. Our results demonstrate the utility of the spatially explicit application of elemental and radioisotopic tracer suites to constrain cryoturbation rates in Arctic patterned ground.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-648
Number of pages15
JournalPermafrost and Periglacial Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* Correspondence to: N. A. Jelinski, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA. E-mail: jeli0026@umn.edu Contract/grant sponsor: National Science Foundation; contract/grant number: EAR-1253198. Contract/grant sponsor: Swedish Research Council; contract/grant number: Project No. 2009-3282.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Science Foundation DOI:10.13039/100000001 Graduate Research Fellowship to N.J. AMS DOI:10.13039/100005498 analysis of soil samples for 10Be was generously provided by a Seed Grant from Purdue University DOI:10.13039/100006377 ?s PRIME Lab. K.Y. was supported by the National Science Foundation DOI:10.13039/100000001 (EAR-1253198) for the development of surface transport model. Funding for this study to J.K. was partly provided by the Swedish Research Council, project no. 2009?3282. The authors wish to extend sincere gratitude to two anonymous reviewers and Permafrost and Periglacial Processes editor Dr Julian Murton for their insightful comments and suggestions, which dramatically improved the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Be
  • C
  • Cs
  • Pb
  • cryoturbation
  • non-sorted circle


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