Suspended sediment deposition and sediment yields at Lake Peters, northeast Brooks Range, Alaska: Fluvial- and lake-based approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lake-based studies can provide seasonal- to millennial-scale records of sediment yield to improve our understanding of catchment-scale sediment transfer and complement shorter fluvial-based sediment transport studies. In this study, sediment accumulation rates at 40 coring locations in Lake Peters, Brooks Range, Alaska, over ca. 42 years, calculated using fallout radionuclides and sediment density patterns, were spatially modelled based on distance from the primary inflow and lake water depth. We estimated mean interdecadal specific sediment yield (Mg km−2 year−1) using the spatially modelled sediment accumulation rates and compared that result to fluvial-based sediment delivery for 2015–2016 open-channel seasons, as well as to yields reported for other Arctic catchments. Using the lake-based method, mean yield to Lake Peters between ca. 1973 and 2015 was 52 ± 12 Mg km−2 year−1, which is comparable with fluvial-based modelling results of 33 (20–60) Mg km−2 year−1 in 2015 and 79 (50–140) Mg km−2 year−1 in 2016 (95% confidence intervals), respectively. Although 2016 was a year of above average sedimentation, the last extreme depositional event probably occurred between ca. 1970 and 1976 when a basal layer of fine sand was deposited in a broadly distributed, relatively thick and coarse bed, which we used for lake-wide correlation. The dual lacustrine–fluvial method approach permits study of within-lake and catchment-scale processes. Within Lake Peters, sedimentation patterns show decreasing fluxes down-lake, sediment bypassing near the primary inflow, the influence of secondary inflows and littoral redistribution, and a focusing effect in the deep proximal basin. At the watershed scale, sediment yield is largely driven by intense summer rainfall and strong seasonal hydroclimatic variability. This research informs paleo-environmental reconstruction and environmental system modelling in Arctic lake catchments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2521-2535
Number of pages15
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Arctic catchments
  • Lake Peters
  • lake sediment
  • sediment yield
  • suspended sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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