The main IPA related research activities in Sweden during this reporting period were those under the PACE project which is reported elsewhere. Other universities have additional projects dealing with permafrost in alpine, arctic and antarctic environments. The Department of Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Uppsala University carries out cold climate research concerning landforms, processes and dynamics, and their relationship to environmental conditions in the past and present.
Else Kolstrup has set up a research programme on boundary constraints of geomorphological forms and processes in past and present periglacial environments. Subprojects include studies of boundary constraints of thermal contraction cracking and a research student, Frieda Zuidhoff, works with a subproject on palsa dynamics in Lapland. Further, investigation of ‘stone growth’ in a boreal environment with winter frost is underway. Relict periglacial forms are being investigated in formerly periglaciated areas in Europe. Phil Wookey, Else Kolstrup and Göran Possnert are conducting a Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR) funded project: Climate change, soil organic matter lability and decomposer metabolism in high latitude soils, with fieldwork in northern Iceland. Wookey is also participating in an EU project: Dynamic response of the forest-tundra ecotone to environmental change (DART). As a component of this project, research student, Sofie Sjögersten is investigating soil processes and trace gas fluxes in relation to tree-line dynamics in Fennoscandia. Phil Wookey remains chair of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Jan Boelhouwers, recently moved from South Africa to Uppsala, has completed a five-year project on past and present periglacial processes on the Subantarctic Marion Island. A new proposal has been submitted to continue the Subantarctic work, while a separate project aims to expand the study on environmental controls on solifluction and frost heave to seasonal frost and discontinuous permafrost areas in Lapland. Achim A. Beylich, funded by the post doctoral programme of Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) carries out process geomorphological research within the project ‘Recent sediment budget and relief development in Latnjavagge, Swedish Lapland’. This project is combined with the interdisciplinary NFR-project ‘Tundra landscape dynamics’. It is in cooperation with Else Kolstrup, Christer Jonasson (Abisko Scientific Research Station), Ulf Molau (Botanical Institute, Göteborg University), Johan Kling (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), and Laust Pedersen (Uppsala University). Financial support is from the DAAD, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, NFR, and Uppsala University.
At the Department of Physical Geography, Lund University, no major projects dealing with permafrost have received funding for the last four years and only minor activities have been continued through private funding initiatives and through basic departmental funds and staff input. Prof. emeritus J.O. Mattsson continue editing the Geografiska Annaler from Lund. Active projects are;
- Abisko area active layer transect. In co-operation with The Abisko Research Station J. Åkerman is maintaining the CALM sites along the east-west transect in the Abisko area. The ten active layer sites have now been monitored since 1978, and annual basic data is presented within the CALM reporting system.
- Active periglacial procesess and their climatic significance in the Kapp Linne’ area, Svalbard. J. Åkerman is maintaining a limited monitoring programme of the processes and the climate within this area, with an annual visit.
- Active layer monitoring in the Kapp Linne’ area, Svalbard. This monitoring programme, which started in 1972, is still maintained and now within the CALM network. It is run in cooperation with UNIS, Ole Humlum.
- Vegetation mapping over the Kapp Linne’ area, Svalbard. A MSc study by T. Josefsson and I. Martensson supervised by J. Åkerman is in its finals stages of reporting.
- A digital elevation model with analyses of the vertical and horizontal distribution of vegetation and geomorphological forms and processes in the Kapp Linne’ area, Svalbard.
A MSc study supervised by J. Åkerman was finished in 1998 and awaits publication.Rolf Nyberg of the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Karlstad is maintaining serveral projects in the Abisko area. One involves dynamics of the Kårsa glacier and one on permafrost and slope processes in the Pallenvagge and Nissunvagge valleys, assessing the importance of extreme erosional events as geomorphological hazards and as climatic indicators in the Abisko area.
Jonas Åkerman (email@example.com)