Korea Polar Research Institute
A new research project starts on June 2011, which is supported by Korea MEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology): Establishment of Circum Arctic Permafrost Environment Change Monitoring Network and Future Prediction Techniques (CAPEC Project, PI Dr. Bang Yong Lee) Through this project, we have a plan to establish Arctic monitoring nodes to study environmental changes and develop the state-of-the-art observation techniques for terrestrial permafrost region. This monitoring project includes atmosphere-geosphere-biosphere monitoring system with Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN) and GPS monitoring. The research aim of this project is (1) Understanding the correlation between carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes with soil properties, (2) Estimating the contribution of microbial respiration, and plant photosynthesis and respiration to the CO2 production from soil (3) Understanding geophysical and mechanical behavior of frozen ground correlated with environmental change. On the basis of KAMP (Korea Arctic Multidisciplinary Program) and CAPEC project, we did Arctic exploration on four different research sites in this summer: Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago; Zackenberg, Greenland; Council, Alaska; and Cambridge Bay, Canada.

Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago
We collected soil samples to study microbial community and soil organic carbon (SOC) in the area down from Vestre Lovénbreen where different vegetation types were established. We also set plots to study the succession of vegetation in this area. We also have a plan to analyze the spatial distribution of vegetation and microbes along chronosequence of Austre glacier retreat, and the effects of glacier melting water on the both organisms’ establishments and soil development.



Korean Research Team (Dr. Yoo Kyung Lee and Dr. Ji Young Jung from KOPRI, Prof. Eun Ju Lee from Seoul National Univeraity and students)


Zackenberg, Greenland
In Northeast Greenland, as collaboration with Prof. Anders Michelsen (Univ. of Copenhagen), we visited Zackenberg Research Station (74°30'N / 21°00'W) to collect soil samples at the experimental plots (treatments: summer warming, shaded, added snow, removed snow, and control). We are interested in microbial community and SOC (soil organic carbon) responses to warming. We appreciate Dr. Morten Rasch (Univ. of Aarhus) supporting our visit to Zackenberg Station.



Field trip in Zackenberg Station (Dr. Yoo Kyung Lee and Dr. Ji Young Jung from KOPRI)


Council, Alaska
We managed an automatic carbon dioxide (CO2) chamber system to monitor CO2 exchange between surface soil and atmosphere in this area. Chamber system consists of 15 chambers (40 cm × 30 cm), soil temperature and water content sensors, and solar and wind power generators. Main objective of this study is to investigate roles of vegetation and soil microbes in CO2 exchange. We also installed an automatic electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) monitoring system from June to September. The ERT monitoring system consists of a fixed array of 42 electrodes with a spacing of 1 m. The electrodes are connected by cable to resistivity meter (Terrameter LS). The array of ERT was dipole-dipole array. We expect ERT monitoring can reveal substantial ground ice degradation as a consequence of variation of air temperature and gas migration. We collected soil samples in order to characterize permafrost soil properties, microbial communities and their correlation. We appreciate Prof. Larry Hinzman (Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks) supporting our visit to Council site.



CO2 chamber system established in Council site



Korean Research Team (Dr. Ok-Sun Kim, Dr. Dockyu Kim from KOPRI and Prof. Hee Myung Noh from Seoul National University, ect.) at Council site.

Cambridge Bay, Canada
To pursue the possibility of collaborative research with Canadian partners in the area of long-term monitoring and assessments of the permafrost, we visited Cambridge Bay on July, 2011. We checked the candidate research area to set up an integrated permafrost monitoring package in Cambridge Bay area. The proposed working package will be the form of monitoring tower type, which will be composed of met observation, CO2 and/or CH4 (ambient concentration and/or flux), black carbon measurements, long-term permafrost monitoring bore-hole, soil temperature, radiation (solar, thermal albedo, etc), and so on.



Dr. Young Jun Yoon, Dr. Ok-Sun Kim from KOPRI with Canadian researchers at Cambridge Bay, Canada.

Yoo Kyung Lee (yklee@kopri.re.kr)