Permafrost mapping and monitoring within the framework of the Global Environmental Facility project at Lake Hovsgol National Park continued for the second year in the six valleys entering the eastern shore of the lake.

Yearround recording and periodic measurements of ground temperatures in shallow boreholes and at ground level were obtained. In addition, there are three automatic recording weather stations in the project area. These observations are made in cooperation with Bernd Etzelmuller, Eva Heggam, and Vladimir Romanovsky, and with the overall direction of Clyde Goulden (see Frozen Ground No. 26, pp.47–48). To monitor dynamics of the active layer, permafrost thermal state, and some cryogenic processes (pingo, thermokarst and solifluction), N. Sharkhuu drilled eight additional 5–10 m deep boreholes in these six valleys during spring 2003.

Permafrost studies within the framework of the Joint Japanese and Mongolian FRONTIER project continued for a second year in the Nalaikh and Terelj areas located about 35 and 70 km east of Ulaanbaatar, respectively. M. Ishikawas and others monitored the dynamics of permafrost with ground temperature recordings in the Nalaikh borehole (30 m deep), in Terelj boreholes (7 and 10 m deep) and in more than ten shallow holes (1.5-m) located along a cross-valley transect. He also made monthly electric resistivity soundings at two sites where three automatic weather stations are located.

At present there are 17 CALM and 13 GTN-P active boreholes with permafrost in the Khangai, Hovsgol and Khentei mountain regions. The dynamics of cryogenic processes and seasonal frost are monitored at some sites. Following the recommendations of the International Symposium on Mountain and Arid Land permafrost (Ulaanbaatar, 2001), Sharkhuu started observations to observe changes in active layers and altitudinal surface temperatures in the Tsengel mountains, Altai region. These observations are important for mapping Central Asian permafrost. It is planned next year to install two CALM holes at two new mountain sites and to drill one 15-m deep borehole in the Tsagaannuur valley of the Altai mountain region. In addition, it is important to monitor dynamics of some periglacial processes, especially rock glaciers in the Altai mountains. The plan is to organise an international project to study permafrost conditions in the Altai mountains, where very little information on permafrost exists.

N. Sharkhuu (