The Hovsgol GEF/WB (Global Environment Facility/ World Bank) project was completed successfully after implementing its investigations during the last four and half years in the six valleys along the eastern shore of Lake Hovsgol.
Permafrost studies within the framework of this project have been carried out by Norwegian and Mongolian permafrost researchers (B. Etzelmuller, E.S.F. Heggem, Sh. Anarmaa and N. Sharkhuu). Permafrost conditions in the project area have been studied, mapped and monitored on the basis of initial data from characteristics of 20, 5-10 m deep boreholes, surface and ground temperature recordings (for four years) from more than 40 data loggers, resistivity tomography soundings at 23 sites and leveling measurements. Field studies in summer 2006 were focused on experimental observations for estimating thermal insulation effect of vegetation cover on active layer and soil moisture content at six sites. Main results from the permafrost studies are published in proceedings of abstracts and in international journals. The results show that the permafrost in the Hovsgol Mountain region is degrading more intensively than in the Hangai and Hentei mountain regions. This region, especially including Darhad depression, is very suitable for conducting permafrost studies and monitoring in the southern fringe of Siberian continuous permafrost zone. Therefore, permafrost studies and monitoring in this region will be continued within the frameworks of the LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) and CALM projects.
During the last ten years, permafrost monitoring in Mongolia has been conducted by N. Sharkhuu within the frameworks of CALM and GTN-P projects. There are currently 37 CALM and GTN-P boreholes in the country, with depths ranging mostly from 5 to 15 m. Twelve boreholes are equipped with temperature data loggers; in most of the other boreholes, ground temperatures are measured monthly by permanent thermoresistor strings. In addition, we found this year both a 135 m and a 200 m deep dry boreholes, drilled in the mid 1980’s on the northfacing slope of Burenkhan Mountain (at 1715 m asl) and on a watershed (at 2095 m asl) of Ardag Mountain, in the Hovsgol region. Ground temperatures are measured by movable thermistor strings. Permafrost thicknesses in the boreholes were 58 and 148 m, respectively. The boreholes are protected from damage and are used for further monitoring of permafrost thermal state. These temperature curves seem suitable to reconstruct palaeotemperatures.
Every year, initial data of permafrost monitoring in Mongolia are submitted to the web based international database <http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/permafrost/gtnp/ index.html>, which is part of GTN-P project. Mongolian Expression of Intent #1129, is of the Thermal State of Permafrost IPY Project 50.
The joint Japanese and Mongolian IORGC (Institute of Observational Research for Global Change) project continues for its fifth year in the Nalaikh and Terelj areas near Ulaanbaatar. D. Battogtokh and N. Sharkhuu participate in collaboration with M. Ishikawa and T. Kadota. G. Davaa and N. Sharkhuu organize the National Committee for CliC activities in Mongolia. Mongolian Initial data compilation for thepermafrost map of Central and Eastern Asia is being developed by N. Sharkhuu.
Natsagdorj Sharkhuu (email@example.com)