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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

The interaction of periglacial and karst features as seen at a small lake system at Linnédalen, west central Spitsbergen

Awarded: NOK 29,419

The purpose of this project is field work for a master's thesis dedicated to investigating the dynamics occurring due to the interaction and related development of permafrost, periglacial and karst features. This unique pairing is encountered at Linnédale n, west-central Spitsbergen. Here, a set of small lakes is located on raised beach terraces above the coast line, in both a periglacial, permafrost zone, as well as an area with a developed karst groundwater system. The pairing of these two types of physi cal features is discussed in literature, but without dedicated extensive work since the 1980s. Previous studies state the observation of water draining into the subsurface of a permafrost zone, presumably into normally impermeable areas, below the melt-se ason induced active layer. With significant technological improvements in the last 30 years, new monitoring techniques lend themselves to establishing an up-to-date perspective on the ensuing relationship of these features. Due to a growing need and inter est regarding the investigation and monitoring of the state of permafrost, this study looks at a specific aspect of permafrost interaction and dependence on the surrounding climatic, topographic, and geological conditions. The 2012 field season yielded su ccessful monitoring and data collection from the field site. Remaining work for the 2013 field season includes ground penetrating radar surveys, and offloading data loggers and an automatic camera, in order to have the most complete data set possible.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum