In the Austrian Alps permafrost research takes place at selected sites of the Hohe Tauern Range and the Tyrolean Alps. Special emphasis is placed on annual measurements of the following parameters on active rock glaciers: temperature measurements on the surface and within the active layer of permafrost areas, hydrological investigations (temperature, water storage and discharge, hydrochemical characteristics), and geodetic and photogrammetric monitoring of surface velocity and vertical changes of active rock glaciers.

Ongoing, newly funded, as well as recently completed permafrost research activities are highlighted in this report, with major contributions by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and the Centre d’Etudes Nordiques, Laval University.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is now under construction on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Construction of the railway at its northern and southern sections, which are within non-permafrost regions, is being conducted by a number of construction companies of China.

Research in Disko Island (70°N) relating to rock glacier dynamics and surface climate has been continued by Ole Humlum, University of Copenhagen. Both air temperatures, ground surface temperatures, as well as active layer temperatures, are being measured. The snow cover duration has been studied at two rock glaciers by use of automatic digital cameras.

The Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover, and the Centre d’Ètudes Nordiques, Université Laval, Québec (Georg Delisle), joint-project on investigation of the permafrost development in emerged marine sediments near the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay continues into its second year.

Olafur Arnalds, Agricultural Research Institute, Department of Environmental Science, attended the Third International Conference on Cryopedolgy in Copenhagen, and expressed Iceland’s interest in becoming a member of the IPA.

The wildfire research experiments named Frostfire (Alaska) and Icefire (Siberia) were safely and successfully completed in the summer of 1999 and 2001. The research group from Japan was based in Hokkaido University (M. Fukuda).

The Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory of the Permafrost Institute SD, RAS continued monitoring of the thermal regime of the permafrost and the depth of seasonal freezing ground in the northern Tien Shan (basin of river Bolshaya Almatinka, Transili Alatau Ridge).

Several New Zealand programmes were commenced or continued during the past year in the area of permafrost and periglacial processes in both New Zealand and Antarctica. M. B. Scott, K. J. M. Dickinson, A. F. Mark, B. I. P. Barratt, B. J. Sinclair (University of Otago) initiated a study of the invertebrate diversity of threetypes of alpine patterned ground on the Old Man Range of Central Otago.

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) has continued the research project ‘Arctic oil spills on Russian permafrost soils’ which is a co-operation project between NGI, Moscow State University and the Earth Cryosphere Institute.