Growth Slumps: Melting permafrost shapes Alaskan lakes

11:44am, July 6, 2005

Thousands of fast-growing, egg-shaped lakes—most with their pointy ends aimed toward the northwest—pepper the landscape of northern Alaska. A new study suggests that these enigmatic waters expand when their permafrost banks melt, rather than when wind-driven currents cause erosion, as scientists had proposed for decades.

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