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Report from July 1990

A meeting on the techniques of permafrost study was held on 22 March 1990 at the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Sapporo. 25 members assembled and discussed boring techniques for permafrost and long term data logging methods under cold environment conditions. The performances of three different models of solid state memory type recording systems were reported. Kadec system of Kona System Co. in Sapporo was tested at the temperature of -70°C and verified its performance under severe conditions. At east Antarctica this model was used by the Japanese Antarctica Research Expedition. JARE reported that two years' temperature data at one-hour intervals were obtained by this model.

Dr. Fukuda of the Institute of Low Temperature Science and his group undertook a field survey on the topic of permafrost occurrence in the Antarctic peninsula area with special relationship to global climatic changes. This field expedition was financially supported by the Ministry of Education of Japan, and was organized in cooperation with the University of Chile and the Instituto Antarctico Argenlino. Four Japanese, two Argentine members and one Chilean member conducted their fieldwork at King George Island, Seymour Island and James Ross Island. At more than 30 locations, the electrical grounding surveys were made to locate the permafrost table there. The high solute concentration in permafrost layers was estimated from the results of the survey. Mr. T. Yoshikawa of the Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, conducted a field survey on the genesis of pingos in east Greenland.

Based on pollen analysis of the sediments at the site, he concluded that one of the pingos originated about 4000 years ago. Mr. T. Koaze of Meiji University, Tokyo and his group will conduct the field survey on permafrost at Reindillen and Adventalenin in central Spitzbergen from early July until the end of August 1990. The main objectives are field observation of pingo growth, ice wedge cracking processes and observation of the solifulaction rate on the slopes. Seven people will join the field survey. Dr. K. Fujino of the Institute of Low Temperature Science will conduct a field survey at Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula near MacKenzie delta both this summer and winter season. By previous survey, the distribution of massive ice in permafrost layers was estimated by means of boring exploration and ground radar profiling. They will collect frozen materials and ice cored samples for pollen analysis and fabric analysis. Based upon these data, they will attempt the reconstruction of palaeoenvironment at that region.

Dr. Sone, Dr. Ishizaki and Dr. Fukuda conducted the field survey of permafrost occurrence in a lowland area in central Hokkaido where a ground ice body was excavated 10 years ago. The ice body with dimensions 12m long, 10m wide and 2m deep was covered with talus debris. For these 10 years long term ground temperature monitoring has been conducted. Group tempcrature profiles suggest the permafrost may exist under the talus deposit a1 the depth of 3m. Ground radar profiling and electrical grounding surveys were made at the site. The origin of local permafrost was discussed and reported at the meeting. of the geocryological research group in Sapporo. The final report will be made in English in October. Dr. Takahashi and Dr. Sone made a bore hole survey at the site of palsas in Mt. Taisetsu. 6m long core samples were collected and subjected to dctailed cross sectional analysis.

Report from December 1990

Dr Fujino from the Institute of Low Temperature Science and his group, conducted a field survey at Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, near the Mackenzie Delta in August 1990. In this survey they collected frozen materials and ice samples from massive ice, which were examined for pollen analysis and isotopic contents under laboratory conditions. In the coming winter season, they will conduct another field study at the same site.

Mr Koaze and his group visited Svalbard for a permafrost study. A total of seven scientists stayed for five weeks at Reindalen and Adventdalenin. The active ice wedge cracking was observed by means of long term event recorders. Water samples from pingo ice were collected for chemical analysis in relation with the genesis of pingo ice.

A Japanese Antarctic Expedition will depart for Showa Station in Queen Maud Land this November. Drs Iwata and Hasashi are conducting a field survey at the Sor Rondane Mountains. The process of active periglacial phenomena will be studied in this expedition.