Real-time permafrost monitoring
Juvvasshøe, southern Norway (1894 masl)
|Near surface (0.2 m depth)||Permafrost surface (2.5 m depth)|
Snøheim, southern Norway (1475 masl)
|Near surface (0.2 m depth)||Permafrost surface (5.5 m depth)|
Iskoras, northern Norway (591 masl)
|Near surface (0.2 m depth)|
Janssonhaugen, Svalbard (270 masl)
|Near surface (0.2 m depth)||Permafrost surface (2.0 m depth)|
Areas underlain by permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, constitute of soil or rock and included ice and organic material that remains at or below 0 ºC for at least two consecutive years. In Norway permafrost is widespread in the higher mountains. In northern Norway, some of the permafrost is located in mires, often producing palsas and peat plateaus. Measurements show that the permafrost in Norway is "warm", typically between -3 and 0 °C.
In 1999, the European Union-funded Permafrost and Climate in Europe (PACE) project provided deep boreholes at Juvvasshøe in southern Norway and on Janssonhaugen in Spitsbergen (Svalbard). These boreholes boosted mountain permafrost research in these areas, and a shallow borehole monitoring network was established on Snøheim (Dovrefjell) in southern Norway in 2001. During the International Polar Year (2007-2009), monitoring networks were also built up in northern Norway, along with Svalbard.
Juvvasshøe, Snøheim and Iskoras are the name of the first operational permafrost stations in mainland Norway, with ground temperature data in real time used for operational permafrost monitoring products presented here. There are also established official weather stations at these sites. Two instrumented permafrost boreholes, 102 m and 15 m deep, were established at Janssonhaugen, western Svalbard, and the latter provides data for the present monitoring products on Svalbard. The boreholes penetrate sandstone bedrock with low ice content overlain by a thin (0.2–0.5 m) weathering layer containing no organic material, the ground surface has no vegetation, and during winter snow cover is thin or completely absent due to deflation. Thus, a high correlation is observed between air temperature and ground surface temperature and the climate signal that penetrates the ground shows little disturbance by near-surface latent heat effects. The sites are run in co-operation with University of Oslo, University Centre in Svalbard and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.