The following is a brief survey of groups having activities and interests in frozen ground and related topics.
Department of Physical Geography, Uppsala University:
The department has begun to emphasize research in cold climates concerning landforms, processes and dynamics, and their relationship to environmental conditions in the past and present.
Else Kolstrup has set up a research program on boundary constraints of geomorphological forms and processes in past and present periglacial environments. Several faculty and partly-NFR-funded subprojects involve a thesis study by Bo Westin on boundary constraints of thermal contraction cracking and research student Frieda Zuidhoff’s project on palsas in Lapland.
Philip Wookey, Else Kolstrup and Göran Possnert have recently begun an NFR-funded project Climate Change, Soil Organic Matter Lability and Decomposer Metabolism in High Latitude Soils in northern Iceland. Wookey is participating in an EU project Dynamic Response of the Forest–Tundra Ecotone to Environmental Change (DART). A research student, Sofie Sjögersten, is investigating soil processes and trace gas fluxes in relation to tree-line dynamics in Fennoscandia.

Department of Physical Geography, Lund University:
As a result of recent administrative decisions research in Arctic and alpine geomorphology has been greatly reduced. Some activities continue through personal initiatives of professors emeriti Harald Svensson, Anders Rapp and J.O. Mattsson, and others. Svensson is maintaining field work and observations on fossil periglacial features on the southwest Swedish lowlands. Rapp is maintaining field observations in the Abisko area and is also organizing workshops and field symposia in the northern Swedish mountains. Mattsson continues editing the Geografiska Analer from Lund.
Other projects that remain active, essentially on a voluntary basis, are:

  • Kärkevagge: Through international cooperation and funding and the support of the Abisko Research Station and its staff, A. Rapp and P. Schlyter continue geomorphological monitoring in the Kärkevagge valley. A number of field workshops have been organized in cooperation with the Abisko Research Station.
  • Abisko area: In cooperation with the station, J. Åkerman is maintaining the CALM active layer sites along the east-west transect in the Abisko area. The ten active layer sites have been monitored since 1978 and annual basic data are presented within the CALM reporting system. Summary data appear on the IPA CAPS CD.
  • Kapp Linne area, Svalbard: J. Åkerman is maintaining a limited monitoring program on periglacial processes and their climatic significance. The active layer monitoring program was started in 1972 and is now maintained within the CALM network. A vegetation map and a digital elevation model of vegetation and geomorphology forms and processes of the Kapp Linne area were completed as M.Sc. projects and await publication.
  • Permafrost distribution in Sweden: Revisions to the IPA Circum-Arctic Permafrost Map, including more details, are planned by Åkerman.

The Department and Åkerman remain responsible for the Swedish IPA.

Abisko Research Station, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences:
The station has a number of permafrost-related research activities, many in cooperation with other institutions in Sweden and elsewhere. Personnel presently involved in permafrost-related research include: Christer Jonasson, Deputy Director, and Johan Kling, Abisko Scientific Research Station; Ph.D. students Markus Lundqvist and Markku Pyykönen, and M.Sc. student Karin Aune, Uppsala University; Gunhild Rosqvist, Ph.D. student Lena Johansson and M.Sc. students Johan Rytters, Ann-Helen Kronfjäll and Camilla Hansen, Stockholm University.
Ongoing projects include:

  • Monitoring of present-day geomorphological processes
  • Slope process variations during the Holocene
  • Lake sediment studies and paleogeomorphology
  • Base-line geomorphological studies in the Torneträsk area
  • Present-day fluvial delta formation
  • Permafrost studies in the Torneträsk region
  • Avalanche monitoring and prediction
  • Eolian deposition in mountain areas

International cooperation involves fieldwork on snow-melt processes in the Kärkevagge valley with colleagues from Switzerland (Dieter Scherer, Basel University) and Germany (Martin Gude, Jena University), and collaboration with the Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow (slope processes), and Krknose National Park, Czech Republic (nature conservation–geomorphology).

  • Several conferences with common interests were held:
  • Research for Mountain Area Development–Europe, September 1997, report published in AMBIO Volume XXVII, June 1998
  • Research for Mountain Area Development–Africa and Asia, September 1998
  • Past Climates and Environment in Northern Scandinavia: Reconstruction from Multiple Sources, October 1998

Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University:
A number of activities are associated with projects financed or organized by the Swedish Polar Secretariat that include both the Antarctic and the Arctic. Reports of department activities are found in Reports and Newsletter of the Swedish Polar Secretariat ( Periglacial and permafrost research have been carried out at the Tarfala Research Station, and field courses and workshops have been conducted. Stockholm is a partner in the EU-funded Permafrost and Climate in Europe (PACE) project, utilizing the excellent facilities in Tarfala. Contact Per Holmlund (

Lulea University of Technology:
The engineering and geotechnical aspects of frozen ground in Sweden are covered by the Department of Civil Engineering. The department is represented in IPA engineering working groups and many international organizations dealing with applied aspects of frozen ground. The International Symposium on Ground Freezing and Frost Action in Soils washeld in Lulea in April 1997. Contact Sven Knutsson (; (http://

Report compiled by Jonas Åkerman ( with contributions by Anders Rapp, Else Kolstrup ( Christer Jonasson (