2005

New Zealand was delighted to be accepted as a full member of the IPA at the council meeting held at the EUCOP II. We thank Antarctic New Zealand for the financial support that made this possible. Ian Campbell and Megan Balks from New Zealand attended the meeting and appreciated the warm welcome from the IPA.

The Norwegian Geotechnical Society has established a Committee on Frost in Ground chaired by Ivar Horvli (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), with members from the scientific and the engineering community.

The project «Structure, Evolution and Dynamics of the Lithosphere, Cryosphere and Biosphere in the Antarctic and the European Arctic» started at the beginning of 2005 within the Committee for Scientific Research (No. PBZ-KBN-108/P04/2004).

Research on periglacial processes and landforms in the Serra da Estrela is being carried out by the University of Lisbon group. Current focus is on the study of the Pleistocene permafrost and periglacial landforms, their relationship to the glacial landforms and palaeoenvironmental significance. In the Limestone Massif of Estremadura the group is studying relict stratified slope deposits. The University of Coimbra group is studying the Serra do Caramulo area with a focus on relict periglacial slope deposits.

The research program entitled «Geographical risk phenomena in the alpine belt of the Southern Carpathians. Utilization of GIS technique and the achievement of maps of risk phenomena» run by the team from West University of Timisoara and led by Mircea Voiculescu will continue with the financial support of the National Council for Scientific Research in Superior Education (CNCSIS). The main monitoring program of periglacial slope processes is focused on the Parâng and Fagaras Mountains in the next season.

In 2005, Russian research covered all important topics of modern-day permafrost science and engineering.

Several activities took place in 2005 at the GeoBiosphere Science Centre of the Lund University and in the Abisko area. The CALM-grids along the east-west transverse from Bergfors to Riksgransen were monitored as usual (Jonas Åkerman, Margaretha Johansson).

PERMOS, the «Permafrost Monitoring Switzerland» (www.permos.ch) reached its last year within the pilot phase.

During the Alterra (Wageningen) expedition to Taimyr (northern Siberia) by Bart Ebbinge, the depth of active layer was investigated. On August 13 to 15, 200 depth measurements were made with a simple steel probe at 10- m intervals over a straight 2-km long N-S transect on nearly level tundra at Cape East (Wostochny), Taimyr, northern Siberia (74° 06' N, 86° 44' E). Due to stoniness in the soil at some places, the frozen soil was not always reached.

The British periglacial and permafrost community is in the process of formally developing as an association affiliated to the IPA, the British Periglacial and Permafrost Association (BPPA). Its inaugural meeting was planned for December 14, 2005 at Cardiff University, organised by Charles Harris and Julian Murton.