Stockholm University

At the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, G. Hugelius presented his PhD thesis entitled “Quantity and quality of soil organic matter in permafrost terrain” in February. Within the project “Permafrost and thermokarst lake dynamics in a subarctic peat plateau, northern Sweden” (B. Sannel), monitoring of ground temperatures in the peat plateau-thermokarst lake complex in Tavvavuoma (68°28’ N, 20°54’ E, 550 m a.s.l.) has continued. The year-round monitoring of meteorological parameters and ground temperatures started in 2005 and is now performed at ten locations within the peat plateau complex down to a maximum of 6 m depth (Figure below). A Stockholm team (G. Hugelius, J. Palmtag and J. Ramage) carried out fieldwork to assess total storage and landscape partitioning of soil organic carbon on Taymir Peninsula (August 2011), as part of the ESF Cryocarb project.

 

 


The monitored peat plateau-thermokarst lake complex in Tavvavuoma, northern Sweden. Lund University

GeoBiosphere Science Centre of Lund University has undergone structural changes. We are now two separate departments – a) Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Sciences and b) Department of Geology. Separate or in joint projects we continued and expanded activities in the Abisko area and in Greenland. The “Nordic centre for Studies of Ecosystem Carbon exchange and its interaction with the Climate system”.(NECC) has got two monitoring sites in the Stordalen area. The CARBOMONT project-“Effects of land-use changes on sources, sinks and fluxes of carbon in European mountain areas” and the ELSA project “Exchange processes between the land surface and the atmosphere” have intensive and important field activities in the Abisko area, especially in and around the Stordalen bog. For these projects the status and dynamics of the active layer and the permafrost in the bogs are of great importance.
LUCID, is a new Linnaeus programme sponsored by The Swedish Research Council for the period 2008-2018. LUCID is gathering seven disciplines from four faculties for together developing the scientific field “Sustainability Science” and it is coordinated by LUCSUS.

Linnaeus Grants are awarded to exceptionally strong environments performing research of the highest international quality and aiming at innovative research.LUCID aims at creating completely new and unique synergies across natural and social sciences in order to develop new integrated theories and methods for addressing complex sustainability issues. The research will offer theoretical, methodological and practical contributions to the broad and emerging field of sustainability science.

The old “IPA Abisko area active layer transect” is maintained within the CALM system by J. Akerman and Margareta Johansson. We are maintaining 6 of the mires sites along the 100 km east-west transect. Two sites have been abandoned as all permafrost has disappeared. The three mountain sites have been checked occasionally when helicopter transport were available but for these sites there are gaps in the records The active layer sites have now been monitored since 1978 and annual basic data is presented within the CALM reporting system.

The snow manipulation experiment, where we simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation, is still up and running. After six years the results are visible by eye in spring, summer and autumn. The increased active layer thickness detected at the plots with additional snow is accompanied with surface subsidence, increased moisture and more graminoids compared to the control plots. Five boreholes ranging from 6 to 13 meters have recorded ground temperatures since 2008. Late this summer, the equipment from three of the boreholes was stolen (see figure below). The great advantages of being in an area easy to access now became a disadvantage. New loggers and sensors will be installed in February next year to keep up the monitoring in the boreholes.

 

 


Loggers at three of the boreholes in Abisko were stolen in late summer. (Photograph provided by S. Olsson.