And Permafrost Variation and Underlying Mechanisms

In this section, our own data (Panikov 1999a, b; Panikov and Dedysh 2000; Panikov et al. 2006; Panikov and Sizova 2007) on the spatial variation of below-zero micro-bial activity in Alaskan tundra are summarized, followed by the analysis of the major environmental factors restricting subzero microbial activity. Among these factors, there will be a focus on (i) the porosity of frozen soils, which affects masstransfer (mainly diffusion) rates within frozen soils, (ii) deficiency of available water, (iii) low temperature per se (low kinetic energy of reactants), and (iv) long-term damage caused by gamma radiation.

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