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.

 

Finland is an active member of the Perma-Nordnet research network. The Perma-Nordnet will address the relation between thermal, bio-geochemical and hydrological processes in permafrost in Nordic countries. Perma-Nordnet will initiate and catalyse such efforts, as well as to build, carry forward and tighten existing co-operations between the network members. The key instruments are courses on PhD level, and workshops, where both established researcher and students can meet for scientific exchange.

The Top-level Research Initiative (TRI) is the largest joint Nordic research and innovation initiative to date. The initiative aims to involve the very best agencies and institutions in the Nordic region, and promote research and innovation of the highest level, in order to make a Nordic contribution towards solving the global climate crisis. The initiative comprises six sub-programmes, two of which will focus on climate change research. Nordic research collaboration is expected to contribute to responding to challenges in the management of climate change in northern regions. Finnish research teams are strongly represented in the new Nordic Centres of Excellence and research projects of the Top-level Research Initiative launched by the Nordic prime ministers. The Finnish teams studying permafrost in the project “Impacts of a changing cryosphere - depiciting ecosystem-climate feedbacks from permafrost, snow and ice” (DEFROST)” are headed by Pertti Martikainen (University of Eastern Finland) and Timo Vesala (University of Helsinki).

In northern Finland, temperature monitoring of permafrost and active layer continued in Vaisjeaggi palsa mire close to the Kevo research station (J. Hjort from the Department of Geography, University of Oulu). Temperatures are monitored in two shallow boreholes (3 m deep, temperature sensors at 50 cm intervals). Temperatures of active layer are monitored at four depths. In addition, a new palsa monitoring site was instrumented in northwestern Finland close to the Kilpisjärvi research station. The boreholes and active layer are instrumented using Onset TMC-HD temperature sensors and HOBO 8 U12 data loggers.

The project ‘Spatial modelling of periglacial processes under environmental change’ (2008–2012) (J. Hjort and M. Luoto (University of Oulu and University of Helsinki) continued. This project has focused on spatial modelling of periglacial processed based on remote sensing and GIS data. Additionally, Hjort and Luoto have investigated interaction of periglacial processes and ecologic features across altitudinal zones in subarctic landscapes. Moreover, Luoto has continued to investigate dynamics and the main drivers of recent changes in the Arctic vegetation. He has combined vegetation distribution models with periglacial process information in high-latitude landscapes. This project led by Luoto is part of the consortium Impacts of climate change on Arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE) funded by the Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA), Academy of Finland.

Geological Survey of Finland (Timo Ruskeeniemi) investigated recharge of subglacial meltwaters into bedrock within the international Greenland Analogue Project (GAP) initiated by the Finnish (Posiva) and Swedish (SKB) nuclear waste management companies in collaboration with the NWMO from Canada. So far two bedrock boreholes have been drilled into the study area in western Greenland. Moreover, Geological Survey of Finland (P. Lintinen, H. Vanhala, J. Jokinen) and Mining Geological Company MIREKO continued co-operation in a field of geophysical characterisation of permafrost and talik structures in Northern part of Komi Republic and Nenets Autonomous Region.

Miska Luoto (miska.luoto@helsinki.fi)