The Norwegian Geotechnical Society has established a Committee on Frost in Ground chaired by Ivar Horvli (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), with members from the scientific and the engineering community.
The committee is in contact with institutions within research, education and practical applications. The focus is on «Science and technology in cold regions» covering permafrost and seasonal frost. Planned activities include lectures, short courses, conferences and to issue an annual publication. The first publication Frost in Ground 2005 was printed with support from the Norwegian Public Road Administration. It contains 11 articles mainly in Norwegian with English summaries. The committee acts as the Norwegian adhering body to the IPA.
Cryosphere scientists in Norwegian universities have initiated the organisation CRYONOR, to cooperate and exchange data relating to research and education on themes ranging from permafrost and periglacial geomorphology to glaciology and Quaternary geology. CRYONOR was presented to the IPA Council at EUCOP II in Potsdam, and has since established contacts with cryosphere scientists in other Nordic countries. CRYONOR organises an annual workshop on permafrost and other cryospheric themes in Norway, and will be involved in the Norwegian IPA presentation together with Frost in Ground.
The International Permafrost Associations Secretariat at the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS has received funding from the Research Council of Norway, and Angélique Prick is hired on part-time basis to operate the Secretariat, which is led by Hanne H. Christiansen. The Geological Survey of Norway organises permafrost and climate monitoring as part of its activities on unstable rock slopes in Norway (L.H. Blikra). In Møre and Romsdal, southern Norway, and in Troms and Finnmark, northern Norway, temperature data are collected in cooperation with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen). A series of temperature data loggers are installed to monitor ground, surface and air temperatures on exposed sites with minimal snow accumulation. In Troms, the first temperature data from two 30-m deep boreholes were collected in September 2005 and indicated the presence of permafrost. The national databases are linked to the GTN-P database. Differential GPS measurements of the unstable rock slope in Troms are carried out in cooperation with the University of Oslo (T. Eiken). In 2005 mini shock loggers were installed on unstable rock slopes in Troms and in Møre and Romsdal for imroved registering of timing of movement. This was done in cooperation with UNIS (H.H. Christiansen).
The Geological Survey of Norway also continues longterm research on mass transfer, denudation, sediment budget and relief development in four catchments in subarctic and arctic environments in Iceland and Lapland (A. Beylich). Research is focussed on an integrated study of source-to-sink-sediment fluxes, including monitoring of surface processes, analysis of sinks, permafrost analysis, analyses of surface processes and vegetation cover. A new monitoring programme is started in Erdalen, Norway. A. Beylich is coordinating the ESF Network SEDIFLUX (see: www.ngu.no/sediflux).
In Jotunheimen, southern Norway, temperature data from the Juvvasshøe PACE borehole (established in 1999) are collected, and on Dovrefjell, southern Norway, temperature data are collected along a transect through the permafrost transition zone, from 11 boreholes drilled and instrumented in October 2001 in cooperation between the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the University of Oslo (K. Isaksen, R.S. Ødegård, T. Eiken and J.L. Sollid). Borehole temperature data are collected within a long-term climatic monitoring programme run by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen). In August 2004, six temperature data loggers were established on Dovrefjell in connection with a Norwegian monitoring programme of palsa peatlands, co-ordinated by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (A. Hofgaard, K. Isaksen and J.L. Sollid).
In Svalbard data from the Janssonhaugen PACE borehole (established in 1998) are collected in cooperation between the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen), University of Oslo (O. Humlum) and UNIS (H.H. Christiansen). Data from a shallow 2-m deep borehole on Janssonhaugen (established in October 2003) are analysed and compared with the PACE borehole data from the same site (S. Hansson and K. Isaksen).
Permafrost and periglacial activities at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) focus at collecting various types of field data for research and education (H.H. Christiansen, O. Humlum and L. Kristensen). This basic monitoring goes on in the area around UNIS, in the valleys of Longyeardalen and Adventdalen, and in the surrounding mountains. Two mountain meteorological stations are operated at 260 m asl. at Janssonhaugen, and at 470 m asl. at Gruvefjellet. Snow cover thickness, geomorphic activity and active layer temperatures are monitored at various sites. Active layer thaw progression data have been collected for six years at the UNISCALM site, where shallow borehole (10 m) permafrost temperatures are also recorded. Avalanche research in the permafrost environment around Longyearbyen is carried out to determine the meteorological control on snow avalanching, and for improved geomorphologic process understanding.
The monitoring program was extended in 2005 to the Kapp Linné area, at the west coast of Spitsbergen, well known from the work of Jonas Åkerman. This is integrated into a new UNIS course AG-327 «Holocene and recent climatic change in the high arctic Svalbard landscape », which ran for the first time in summer 2005. By this, similarities and contrasts between the more continental setting at Longyearbyen and the maritime setting at Kapp Linné will be investigated especially with regard to ground temperatures and permafrost.
H.H. Christiansen is conducting studies of ice-wedge dynamics in collaboration with Norikazu Matsuoka (University of Tsukuba, Japan), with additional field instrumentation installed in summer 2005. A 15-m borehole in a rock glacier in Longyeardalen was established and instrumented by N. Matsuoka during summer 2005 to measure ground temperature and deformation, in collaboration with O. Humlum and L. Kristensen. Collaboration with Charles Harris (University of Cardiff ) on solifluction process measurements was initiated by H. H. Christiansen, and in the late summer 2005 a new solifluction monitoring station was established in Adventdalen (see photograph in the UK report). Thermal conditions of the ice-cored moraines deposited by late- Holocene surges of the glacier Paulabreen are studied by L. Kristensen, by means of several boreholes. A. Prick has continued her research on rock temperature monitoring and weathering processes both on Svalbard and across Troms, in cooperation with UNIS.
In southern Norway, the research initiated in 2004 on mountain meteorology, snow cover and ground temperatures were extended to a number of new research sites, making use of automatic digital cameras and data loggers (O. Humlum, H. Juliussen, University of Oslo). The project covers a transect from the humid west coast (Sognefjorden - Ålesund) to the more continental regions at the Swedish border to the east (Femunden - Trysil). About 80 data loggers are placed at individual sites. In addition to investigating the modern environmental conditions also past conditions are investigated. The detailed deglaciation and dynamic behaviour of the last remnants of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet is studied to reconstruct the occurrence of permafrost in the Norwegian mountains during the early Holocene. The ground surface thermal regime above and below the natural tree limit is being studied to obtain information on the influence of past and future tree line changes on permafrost distribution.
In northern Norway, extensive ground surface temperature measurements and DC resistivity soundings were carried out in the Lakselv region, Finnmark (H. Farbrot, B. Etzelmüller, University of Oslo), as part of a larger survey of permafrost distribution in Finnmark in collaboration with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen).
In Iceland, the University of Oslo (B. Etzelmüller, H. Farbrot, T. Eiken) works in collaboration with A. Gudmundsson (Jardfrædistofan EHF, Iceland) and the University of Iceland (H. Björnsson) on permafrost disdistribution and slope dynamics in the permafrost zone. Four shallow boreholes are equipped with temperature dataloggers, and ground surface temperatures are measured at approximately 40 sites in northern and eastern Iceland. Velocity, mass flux and age estimates are obtained for rock glaciers in northern Iceland (B. Wangensteen).
The University of Oslo (B. Etzelmüller) continued its cooperation in northern Mongolia with the GEF/World Bank financed Hövsgöl project (C. Goulden, B. Mendee, N. Sharkhuu), aiming to assess the relationship between permafrost thermal dynamics, vegetation pattern and nomadic pastorals. This year’s field visit aimed at obtaining DC resistivity tomograms describing permafrost and land cover transitions in the area. In addition further ground temperature measurements and modelling is carried out in cooperation with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (N. Sharkhuu) and its Institute of Geoecology.