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Matts of alpine tundra hang over the edge of a thermokarst meltpool adjacent the Denali Highway, Central Alaska. These melt pools rapidly form in a permafrost melt feedback. Most permafrost is mostly water. When the permafrost begins to melt, depressions form and water pools on top of the ice yet to melt. This accumulated meltwater soaks up more heat than the tundra, vegetation and soil and the pool rapidly expands until enough collapse has occurred to allow the water to drain away, leaving an empty depression, often littered with upturned vegetation, trees, brush and shrubs.
The Denali Highway in Central Alaska is 139 miles of mostly gravel, no towns, no gas, virtually no people and with the constant backdrop of the glaciated Alaska Range. This image was taken on the MaClaren River Bridge, the biggest bridge on the route, a good half-way to nowhere.