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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Monitoring Active Layer Thickness from Space – Creating a Validation Dataset around Ny-Ålesund, RiD ID 12361

Tildelt: kr 0,11 mill.

The active layer thickness is one of the most important variables characterizing the state of permafrost, but we still lack the possibility to determine it over large areas, especially from satellites. Seasonal thawing and freezing cycles of the active layer cause the ground surface to heave in winter and subside again during summer. The amplitude and timing of this displacement is related to both the climatic conditions and the properties of the active layer, such as the thickness, soil porosity and soil moisture. The applicant has developed a novel model scheme to determine active layer thickness from satellite-derived surface subsidence in her PhD work. The goal of this project is to obtain a dedicated validation data set comprising active layer thickness and soil properties (porosity, water content, organic content) from promising field sites with largely varying conditions on Brøgger Peninsula, Svalbard. The fieldwork therefor validate and promote the developed satellite-based active layer monitoring scheme, which will advance a novel understanding of soil processes in permafrost terrain.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum