Predictive ecosystem mapping (PEM) in west-central Yukon and east-central Alaska effectively defines the location of larger, contiguous wetlands; however, it does not provide an accurate estimate of wetland. A quality control comparison between detailed mapping in the Indian River drainage and a regional PEM data set indicates that wetland area is underestimated by approximately two thirds within the PEM data set. Despite this, the PEM is useful at locating areas of wetland abundance from a regional perspective. Within the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory, the Ogilvie Mountains and Tintina Trench contain the largest concentrations of wetlands, whereas the Klondike Plateau has approximately 50% less wetland density due to topographic characteristics. When analyzing wetland distribution for the Klondike Plateau ecoregion that spans the border between Yukon and Alaska, the largest wetlands are located distal to the Yukon River in valleys that have not been affected by Pleistocene base level change. Overall average wetland coverage, for all study areas, is estimated to be upwards of 10% of the landscape. Their abundance is attributed to a combination of suitable terrain, Pleistocene aeolian sedimentation, periglacial processes and a climate supporting extensive discontinuous permafrost. Understanding regional wetland distribution through PEM can help frame significance when considering land management decisions that weight the placer mining economy and environment.
||Yukon Geological Survey
||Yukon Exploration and Geology 2018