What is IPY
Sunday, 07 September 2008 20:27
Investigating the permafrost in NE Greenland – and comparing it to the permafrost in Svalbard!Written by Svalbard Students
Permafrost research makes you happy Photo: Dominik Langhamer
Thanks to Hanne H. Christiansen from UNIS for the text of this clog, sent from the field. To follow their adventures or get more details about the course have a look at www.tspnorway.com !
In just one long day 10 m of mainly frozen sediment cores were collected from 4 different parts of the landscape here in NE Greenland using hand held drilling machines. Thermistor strings were installed down to 3.2 m below the terrain surface in the deepest hole. This was done by the International University Course on High Arctic Permafrost Landscape Dynamics in Svalbard and Greenland, which is run by the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS. To our knowledge these are the only thermistor strings installed for permafrost temperature monitoring in East Greenland.
We have also probed the active layer thickness both in Svalbard and here in East Greenland. We see that the active layer generally is thicker in Svalbard than here in Zackenberg, despite that we are here located more than 450 km south of Svalbard. This shows directly the overall climatic control on the ground temperatures, with maritime Svalbard being much warmer than continental East Greenland, where the East Greenlandic current generally causes much colder conditions.
DC6869: Thermistor string being installed in a 2.7 m deep borehole in the ZEROCALM2 site in the Zackenberg lowland for permafrost temperature monitoring. You see the drilling machine that we use for drilling the hole, a permafrost core just being retrieved from the hole, and the thermistor string that just went into the newly drilled hole. Photo: Bo Elberling
We are now working in the Zackenberg valley at 74ºN in Greenland, but before we arrived here some 3 days ago, we investigated the permafrost around Longyearbyen and at Kapp Linne in Svalbard. We are three Norwegian, three Danish, one Icelandic, one German and two Swiss students, in addition to Professor Bo Elberling (University of Copenhagen & UNIS) and Associate Professor Hanne H. Christiansen (UNIS), the two course lecturers.
This is the final week of our 3 week intensive field course, focusing on combining research with education to investigate high arctic landscape variability across the steepest high arctic climatic gradient on the northern hemisphere, from maritime Svalbard (78ºN) to continental NE Greenland at Zackenberg (74º30’N).
The aim is to provide data to models for quantifying the sensitivity of maximum active layer depths in different landforms with respect to climate change and the corresponding changes in soil element cycling, including emission of greenhouse gasses. The main goal is to integrate field-based teaching and key research questions addressing current and future sensitivity of polar permafrost landscapes to climate changes and to produce datasets that are relevant for teaching Earth system science.
Only thanks to funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers, the TSP Norway IPY project and UNIS are we able to run this course. We also appreciate the support from the Zackenberg Research Station, allowing us to run a university course at this station, which has active layer thickness monitoring data available for us.
Next week we will fly to Iceland and finish the course with a 3 day data workshop at the University of Iceland, Department of Geosciences, before we all fly home again.
If you want to follows us or get more details about the course have a look at www.tspnorway.com !
Ice-rich permafrost from the Zackenberg lowlands. Photo: Hanne H. Christiansen.
- Add to Delicious
- Digg this
- Add to Reddit
- Add to StumbleUpon
- Add to Facebook
- Add to MySpace
- Add to Technorati
Login to post comments
Calendar of Events
Friends of IPY
Fri, 25 Nov 2011XEFS
Fri, 25 Nov 2011Segona edició de la festa...
Fri, 25 Nov 2011Concurs "Cristal·lització a l'Escola"
Fri, 25 Nov 2011Per què envellim?
Thu, 24 Nov 2011Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Not the Time...