2003

IANIGLA: 30 Years of Basic and Applied Research on Environmental Sciences was published by IANIGLA (Argentine Institute for Snow Research, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences), “Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales.” The book, edited by Dario Trombotto and Ricardo Villalba, is dedicated to the scientific work of Arturo Corte and contains, among the many multidisciplinary topics, seven contributions on geocryology. The book is intended for a wide community of readers. The same Cuyo University Press of Ediunc, Mendoza, published the book written by Juan Schobinger, The Incaic Sanctuary of Mount Aconcagua, about the mummy found in the permafrost at an elevation of 5300 on Mount Aconcagua (6959 m asl, Central Andes of Mendoza.

The Institute of Geodesy of Graz, University of Technology has carried out in close cooperation with the Institute of Image Processing (Joanneum Research) several studies on detection and quantification of rock glacier movement using various measuring techniques, i.e., geodesy, digital photogrammetry, terrestrial laser scanning, and SAR interferometry.

Like many of our international colleagues, the 8th International Conference in Zurich was a highlight for the Canadian permafrost community, and an opportunity to renew friendships, exchange ideas and discuss new collaborations. This Canadian report is thus brief and touches upon a few select news items and recent developments.

In addition to construction of the Qinghai-Tibet and the Qinghai-Kangding highways, construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railroad is one of the main projects in the permafrost region of China.

A number of new projects related to morphodynamics in periglacial environments were investigated at the CNRS UMR 6143, Caen, France (D. Amorese, J. P. Coutard, A. Dubois, M. Font, G. Guillemet, J.L. Lagarde, J.C. Ozouf). Laboratory simulation of scarp degradation under periglacial environments was carried out in a cold laboratory where temperature (freeze–thaw cycles), precipitation, and lithology (heterogeneous cryoclasts) were controlled. This experiment was funded by the French “Programme National Risques Naturels”.

A coastal permafrost drilling transect was undertaken in the western Laptev Sea in April 2003 under the framework of the Russian-German cooperation in the Laptev Sea (Hubberten, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam). The Russian team was headed by M.N. Grigoriev (Permafrost Institute, Yakutsk).

Having finished a four-year research activity of the Mountain Permafrost Research Group in the Association of Japanese Geographers, the members of the research group are extending their research areas from the Japanese mountains to the Asian mountains.

Permafrost and periglacial research in Tien Shan continues both with borehole monitoring and research on periglacial processes. Within the discontinuous permafrost zone of the Zusalykezen Mountain Pass area (3300 m asl) the borehole temperature observations show significant variation of permafrost thickness within a short distance.

Permafrost mapping and monitoring within the framework of the Global Environmental Facility project at Lake Hovsgol National Park continued for the second year in the six valleys entering the eastern shore of the lake.

Ian Campbell, Megan Balks and Christine Eliot participated in the 8th ICOP. Megan Balks, Mauro Guglielmin (Italy) and Ron Paetzold (U.S.A.) presented a joint paper relating to the permafrost monitoring that is being undertaken in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica. Christine Eliot presented a paper summarising her Ph.D., a study on rock weathering processes in Antarctica.