The Argentine and South American Association of Permafrost (AASP) grew with more cryo-scientists who are working in different parts of the Andes. The Association was also active at the NICOP in Siberia, where South American research projects were presented, e.g. about permafrost modelling in the Patagonian Andes (L. Ruiz) or rock glaciers inventories of the Central Andes of Mendoza (D. Trombotto, G. Lenzano, M. Castro). A new geomorphological periglacial map of Mendoza was also displayed in Salekhard (D. Trombotto and V. Alonso). 


The year 2012 was a very active and successful year in permafrost research and activities in Austria. This positive situation is also very much linked to the collaboration of the different members of the Austrian Permafrost Working Group which was found in October 2010 consisting of A. Kellerer-Pirklbauer, G.K. Lieb (both Graz), K. Krainer (Innsbruck), L. Schrott (Salzburg) and H. Hausmann (Vienna).
In the first part of this report I want to list and describe general permafrost activities, events and publications of permafrost researcher in Austria in a chronological order. In the second part I will summarise permafrost research activities carried out by the different relevant research groups in Austria based on brief reports from the individual groups.


The Canadian permafrost community continues to be active in a number of research initiatives. For example, a new project led by Laval, Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition (ADAPT), has been initiated. This project involves a team of researchers with the goal to define how changing permafrost and snow conditions affect tundra landscapes, water and wildlife and implications for northern communities and industries depending on these resources.

The research activities of the Finnish permafrost community are going on both in Eurasia and Greenland. The studies are based on large empirical field studies and on spatial modelling. Permafrost investigations in Finland are covering a wide range of different activities: e.g. bedrock borehole investigations, spatial modelling of vegetation-frost dynamics, climate change scenario based permafrost modelling and greenhouse gas emissions from high-latitude wetlands.

During 2012, the activities of the French permafrost community are going on Spitsbergen, Central Norway and Central Yakutia (Russia). Permafrost studies in France are covering a wide range of different activities: e.g. geomorphological field study, field monitoring, laboratory simulation in cold chambers and numerical modelling of water/permafrost interactions.

The annual German-language workshop for permafrost scientists and PYRN members was held on October 15 to 17 at the Potsdam Congress Hotel, the anticipated location of the 11th International Permafrost Conference (ICOP 2016). About 60 scientists and students participated in this small meeting covering a wide range of topics, including alpine permafrost, modern and past periglacial environments, organic matter in permafrost and microbiological processes, remote sensing and landscape dynamics, subsea permafrost and coastal dynamics. This meeting functioned as the kickoff for preparations of the ICOP 2016.

The Italian research in the permafrost and periglacial environments was focussed on the entire Alpine arch, the Patagonia coast, the Antarctic and the Svalbard.

In Alaska, K. Harada (Miyagi University), K. Narita (Akita University), K. Saito (JAMSTEC) and G. Iwahana (IARC, UAF) have carried out researches since 2005 in order to monitor permafrost conditions after severe wildfire. In summer 2012, observations were carried out at the Kougarok site near Nome. Thaw depths, surface roughness were measured from the ground surface. Ground temperatures have been measured since 2007 by data logger. Boring and vegetation surveys were also made. Continuous data of thaw depth and ground temperature could be obtained and the effect of the wildfire to permafrost condition and vegetation recovery will be clarified. K. Saito, G. Iwahana and B. Busey (IARC, USA) installed a fiber-optic distributed temperature monitoring system (DTS) in Poker Flat, which can measure and log the temperature along the cable continuously in time (e.g., every half hour) and space (e.g., 0.5m). The 3-km sensor cable, laid horizontally under different canopy covers and vertically above and below the surface, is expected to provide high-resolution temperature data to evaluate spatial and temporal variations and to bridge scales in observational and modeling research.

In the spring of this year, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of Dr N.Lonjid. He was the founder of geocryology in Mongolia. Although tourists and travelers have reported about the existence of permafrost in Mongolia the systematic study of permafrost was launched in 1950s.

The Landcare Research team, led by Dr Jackie Aislabie, have continued their "Environmental Domains" work.  An ongoing soil mapping programme in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica is being led by Malcolm McLeod to improve the soil data-layer.