Department of Physical Geography, University of Oslo (http://www.geografi.uio.no/) continues its activities continues its activities within the EU-PACE project. The first deep PACE borehole (102 m) was drilled in May 1998 at Janssonhaugen (78°12' N, 16°28' E at 250 m asl.) on Svalbard. The first year of data collection from Janssonhaugen shows seasonally temperature variations down to a depth of 18.0 m, equivalent to the depth of zero annual amplitude. The depth of the active layer in the first summer was 1.55 m, with a maximum depth on 4 September. At both 0.2 m and 0.8 m there are high-frequency variations throughout the entire year. Below the permafrost table, high-frequency temperature variations diminish rapidly, as revealed from theory, and closely follow a sinusoidal curve at 5.0 m depth. The permafrost thickness is estimated to be approximately 220 m. Analyses reveals an increasing temperature gradient with depth. Using a heat conduction inversion model a palaeoclimatic reconstruction shows a warming of the surface temperature over the last 60-80 years. The temperature profile represents a regional signal on Svalbard, which shows an inflection associated with near surface warming of 1 ° to 2 °C in the last century.
In August 1999 a 129 m deep PACE borehole was drilled on Juvvasshøe (61°41' N, 8°22' E at 1894 m asl.), Jotunheimen, in southern Norway. The preliminary results indicate 250 to 300 m deep mountain permafrost, and a very low upper geothermal gradient, which probably reflects a pronounced surface warming in the last part of this century. The Norwegian Meterological Institute will install a complete meterological station close to the drill site. Juvvasshøe has a relatively gentle slope from 1700 down to 1300 m asl., where geophysical investigations such as 2D-resistivity soundings, seismic and electromagnetic measurements (EM31) were carried out along a 600 m long profile. This was done together with ETH/Zürich and Terradat/Cardiff. The result is a detailed picture of the transition from continuous to patchy permafrost situated about 1450 m asl., with an increasing active layer thickness.
In connection with the PACE project, mapping of mountain permafrost has been intensified using geophysical methods, and by establishing spatial models of permafrost distribution by means of GIS. Field efforts were concentrated on the mountain areas of Jotunheimen and Dovrefjell, where several hundred BTS-measurements have been carried out. Based on a topographical, spatial-distributed radiation model (SRAD), the radiation balance was calculated in both areas. This showed nearly identical relationships between altitude, potential radiation and BTS temperatures. The BTS temperatures are mainly controlled by altitude, whereas topographic effects, such as slopes aspect seem to be of minor importance, chiefly due to the maritime macroclimatic conditions. A small-scale map of permafrost distribution in southern Norway has recently been established, based on temperature data provided by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and a spatial regression model. In the areas of Dovrefjell and Jotunheimen empirical spatial models of large-scale permafrost distribution were established using GIS. Relationships between relief, radiation and partly snow were applied. These data will be incorporated into the PACE documentation. Studies of periglacial processes are undertaken at Finse in southern Norway, where GIS methods have been used to analyse the relationship between the distribution of periglacial landforms and topograhical parameters. For a number of years, slow slope movements (i.e. ploughing boulders, solifluction lobes and debris in general) were monitored using standard surveying techniques. Recently, DGPS has been employed for this purpose, and a test of DGPS for continuous measurement of slope deformation has been performed. In the autumn 1998, a joint project with PACE, between University of Wales (Charles Harris), University of Dundee (Michael Davis) and the University of Oslo (Johan Ludvig Sollid) was started at Finse. The equipment used in the laboratory experiments on solifluction processes, performed by Harris and his co-workers, was installed at one of the Finse sites (Jomfrunut)The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, NGI (http: //www.ngi.no/) has recently started a five year research programme “Permafrost response to environmental and industrial loads”. The objective is to investigate how permafrost responds to different loads such as terrestrial pollution and industrial activity, and to establish reliable, effective and environmentally safe solutions for construction on permafrost and clean-up operations at contaminated sites. Existing numerical models will be used in the investigations to predict and estimate permafrost response and optimise the field and laboratory testing programme. There will be a joint field and laboratory programme that aims at developing new methods for field investigations and, together with numerical analyses, gives input to the response analysis and model development. NGI’s permafrost research station at Sveagruva, Spitsbergen (77º54’N, 16º41’E) will be used for the field investigations. In addition, NGI’s existing field installations in Lonyearbyen and several contaminated sites on Spitsbergen will be utilised. The Research Council of Norway finances the programme. For more information, see http://www.ngi.no/SIP/SIP7.htm, or contact the programme coordinator Arne Instanes (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Johan Ludvig Sollid (J.L.Sollid@geografi.uio.no)
Kaare Flaate (firstname.lastname@example.org)