Research in Disko Island (70°N) relating to rock glacier dynamics and surface climate has been continued by Ole Humlum, University of Copenhagen. Both air temperatures, ground surface temperatures, as well as active layer temperatures, are being measured. The snow cover duration has been studied at two rock glaciers by use of automatic digital cameras.
Measurements of precipitation close to the rock glacier initiation line (RILA) are carried out on an experimental basis. Also the headwall weathering rate and the rock glacier role as a transport agent in high-relief arctic regions is investigated. Five active rock glaciers located in various meteorological settings in Disko Island are now included in this general monitoring programme. A CALM site near the Arctic Station (Disko Island) has been in operation since 1997.
In the Ammassalik area in SE Greenland (65°N) a similar programme on periglacial geomorphology and climate was initiated in 2000 by Ole Humlum. In 2001, this programme was extended with additional dataloggers measuring air temperature, ground temperatures and BTS. Also precipitation is being measured at various sites within the study region. Additionally, an automatic digital camera was installed in September 2001, in order to obtain insight in the importance of wind for redistributing snow. The Ammassalik area is of special interest, as MAAT at sealevel is close to 0°C and various types of permafrost therefore may be expected in transects from sea level to the highest summits (around 1100 m asl).
At the Faroe Islands periglacial research is continued as part of the LINK research project (http://www. geogr.ku.dk/link) carried out by Hanne H. Christiansen, University of Copenhagen and Lis Mortensen, Geological Survey of the Faroe Islands together with students. Mapping is carried out on the lower limit and the dynamics of active patterned ground, a very widespread periglacial landform in the islands. Preliminary permafrost modelling indicates small patches of permafrost to exist in the northern side of the highest mountain Slættaratindur (882m asl). During the summer 2001 a subhorisontal borehole was drilled 5m into the northern top of Slættaratindur, enabling ground temperture registration in the modelled permafrost patch. Data from the first complete year (2000) of operation of the mountain meteorological station at Sornfelli (740 m asl.) show a MAAT of 1.7°C and a MAGT at 11 m depth in a borehole of almost a constant 3°C. The Sornfelli station is the only mountain meteorological station in the Faroe Islands. A new project called ´Measuring Arctic Climate on the Faroe Islands´ started in the summer of 2001. This will enable the continued operation of the Sornfelli Station in cooperation with Faroese institutions until 2004. This new project is financed by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as part of the environmental support programme Dancea – Danish Cooperation for Environment in the Arctic. The Sornfelli station has together with the Zackenberg station in NE Greenland become part of the SCANNET EU project (see description of SCANNET in Other News).
At the Danish Meteorological Institute, Martin Stendell and Jens H. Christensen have analysed the ability to simulate the global permafrost distribution with the coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model ECHAM4/OPYC3. They have found good agreement between modelled and observed distribution of permafrost zonation for this course resolution model. Analysis of the ability to describe the distribution of the active-layer depth also appears promising. Projections of possible future distributions of permafrost have succesively been analysed in two transient climate change simulations with the same model.
The Danish Technical University has in co-operation with Sanaartornermik Ilinniarfik (The Building Educational Centre of Greenland) started a Center for Arctic Technology in Sisimiut in West Greenland ARTEK (www.arktiskcenter.gl). In September 2001 ARTEK initiated the education of Arctic Engineers in Civil and Environmental Engineering at BSc and MSc levels. Half of the teaching is carried out in Greenland in Sisimiut, while the rest takes place in Denmark at the Danish Technical University. As part of the ARTEK major geoscience research topics are the activities of Niels Foged and coworkers. They are studying geotechnical and engineering geological properties of Quaternary marine sediments in uplifted basins (and in the sea) that were subjected to variable permafrost conditions due to changing climatic conditions during the Holocene, and the implication to foundation design and major constructions. Arne Villumsen and Francois Baumgartner , also from ARTEK, are studying ground water resources in sediments and fracture zones in bedrock below the permafrost and seasonal frost layers, using geophysical methods i.e. MEP (multi-electrode geoelectrical profiling) and georadar in time and frequency domain. Water resource prospecting has been carried out in Kangerluk (Disko Island) and Sisimiut in the discontinuous permafrost zone and at Nuuk (Godthåb) and Narsarsuaq in Southern Greenland. ARTEK intends to establish and maintain a fruitful co-operation with other research institutes in fields of common interests.
Hanne H. Christiansen (email@example.com)