The monster lobe
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The Monster Lobe! - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Monster Lobe!. Duhn , Duhn , Duuhn !. This is a STEM Problem!. How do we stop the Monster Lobe? Build a wall? Build a tunnel? Refreeze it? Deflect it? Bury it in concrete? Move the Road? Raise the pipeline ? Minimize Climate Change?. This a STREAM Teaching Moment!. Science

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The monster lobe

The Monster Lobe!

Duhn, Duhn, Duuhn!

This is a stem problem
This is a STEM Problem!

  • How do we stop the Monster Lobe?

  • Build a wall?

  • Build a tunnel?

  • Refreeze it?

  • Deflect it?

  • Bury it in concrete?

  • Move the Road?

  • Raise the pipeline?

  • Minimize Climate Change?

This a stream teaching moment
This a STREAM Teaching Moment!

  • Science

  • Technology

  • Reading

  • Engineering

  • Art

  • Math

Your resources
Your Resources

  • Your teacher colleagues and their students

  • AK Problem-Solving Bibliography

  • UAS faculty

  • Maps of Alaska

  • Scientific papers and the scientists who authored them

  • DOT scientists and regional managers

  • The Monster Lobe Wiki

  • The rest of this PPT

Engineering design challenge
Engineering Design Challenge

  • Form a team

  • Design a tower to hold two tennis balls

  • Build it using scissors and:

    • Straws and tape

    • Index cards and tape

    • Pasta and marshmallows

  • Test it

  • Optimize it

Location dimensions rate
Location, Dimensions, Rate

  • Frozen debri lobe less than 70 meters from Dalton Highway and 300 m from Pipeline (buried in this section)

  • 67◦48.669′N/149◦49.185′W

  • Chandalar D-6, AK (1975) 1 888 627 3325 USGS

  • 65 km north of Coldfoot, 170 km south of Deadhorse

  • 100 m wide, 20 m tall, 1000 m long moving 1 cm per day


  • Definition: Mass movement of soil and regolith affected by alternate freezing and thawing. Characteristic of saturated soils in high latitudes, both within and beyond the permafrost zone.

  • A solifluction lobe in Alaska. Solifluction is the slow downslope movement of waterlogged soil. A solifluction lobe is an isolated, tongue-shaped feature, formed by more rapid solifluction on certain sections of a slope showing variations in gradient. It commonly has a steep front and a relatively smooth upper surface.

A variety of earthflow called solifluction is the flow of watersaturated earth material over an impermeable surface such as permafrost. It occurs frequently in bitterly cold regions such as in Alaska or Canada. Springtime temperatures thaw only the first few feet of the frozen ground (the active layer), which becomes saturated quickly and slowly flows over the ever-frozen permafrost below. Solifluction can occur on even the gentlest of slopes. Not forceful enough to break apart the surface vegetation, the migrating material drags it along like a wrinkled green rug. The soil finally settles on level ground at the base.

Key terms
Key Terms

  • Climate change, Alaska, mystery lobe, solifluction, haul road, Alaska pipeline:

  • Sliding friction, permafrost, permeable and impermeable, porosity, viscosity, density, buoyancy, saturated and unsaturated, moisture, mixture

  • Freeze thaw cycle, soil profile, cross section, core sample, slope gradient, topography

  • Distance, rate, time, temperature

  • Two and three-D modeling, Glog poster


  • Distance Time Graphs

  • Distance Time Velocity Time graphs

  • Porosity Simulator

  • Viscosity Simulator

  • Phet simulation of permeable, impermeable and semi-permeable membranes:

  • Bridge design website: