ORGANISATION OF CRYOSPHERE SCIENCE IN NORWAY CRYONOR, the network of Cryosphere scientists at Norwegian universities, had its first annual workshop at the Finse Research station, Southern Norway in September 2005, with 16 persons attending a two-day meeting with field excursions and presentations on ongoing research.
The main purpose of CRYONOR is to facilitate cooperation and exchange of data relating to research and education on all cryospheric themes. CRYONOR is led by four representatives from the main Norwegian universities, including UNIS. At the 2005 workshop it was decided to invite members also from other Norwegian research and educational institutions with cold-climate research interests. Now the number of active Norwegian geoscientists in the CRYONOR network is around 30. The 2006 workshop was held at Folldal, Hedmark, September 20-22, focusing on the extent of permafrost, glaciers and periglacial environments in the Rondane mountain area in southern Norway during the Weichselian.
Based on the CRYONOR collaboration the IPY application TSP NORWAY was coordinated by Hanne H. Christiansen, UNIS, together with 17 scientists from six Norwegian research, education or private institutions, and government agencies. It was submitted to the Research Council of Norway (RCN). In autumn the TSP NORWAY project was partly funded by RCN, and hopefully also in the future from other sources to complete the project.
The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) has expanded into new space in the Svalbard Science Park, which was officially opened in April 2006 by the Norwegian King HM King Harald V of Norway. This expansion has significantly improving the logistics facilities, and the amount of scientific field equipment and laboratory facilities. UNIS now has a new freezing laboratory, among the largest in Europe. The Secretariat of the IPA is still located at UNIS, funded by the Research Council of Norway. The Secretariat is led by Hanne H. Christiansen, with A. Prick operating it on part-time basis.
The Secretariat is working with IPY education and outreach, in particular developing the IPY initiative called the University Courses on Permafrost, IUCP (see page 7).
PERMAFROST BOREHOLE TEMPERATURES IN SOUTHERN NORWAY AND SVALBARD On Dovrefjell, southern Norway, temperature data was collected from 11 boreholes (9 m deep) along an altitudinal transect across the mountain permafrost transition zone. These boreholes were drilled and instrumented in October 2001. The objective of the study is to model the trend and variability of mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) and to evaluate the influence of the snow cover on mean annual ground surface temperature (MAGST) in a high mountain terrain. The trend and variability of MAGT and MAGST are of particular relevance in the interpretation of ground temperature measurements from just a few seasons. This work is also relevant to understand the climate/cryosphere interactions in general. An additional deep (> 100 m) borehole is planned to be drilled on Dovrefjell in the near future (R.S. Ødegård, K. Isaksen, T. Eiken and J.L. Sollid). Also at Dovrefjell data from temperature data loggers was collected as part of a Norwegian monitoring programme for palsa peatlands, coordinated by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (A. Hofgaard, K. Isaksen and J.L. Sollid). In Jotunheimen, southern Norway, temperature data from the Juvvasshøe PACE borehole (established in 1999) was collected and in Svalbard data from the Janssonhaugen PACE borehole (established in 1998) was collected. Collection of the temperature data from the PACE boreholes is organized in a long-term monitoring programme for climatic research. The programme is run by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen) and the national databases are linked to the GTN-P database.
PERMAFROST AND ROCK SLOPE STABILITY In the Møre and Romsdal area of southern Norway and in the Troms and Finnmark areas of northern Norway, temperature data are collected as part of a permafrost and climate monitoring project on unstable rock slopes in Norway. The project was established in 2001 and is organized by the Geological Survey of Norway (L.H. Blikra). A series of temperature data loggers monitor the ground, surface and air temperature. Exposed sites with minimal winter-snow accumulation are preferred to optimise comparability and to ensure that the thermal properties are not extensively complex (K. Isaksen, L.H. Blikra, T. Eiken and J.L. Sollid). In the mountains of Troms and Finnmark the temperature data from two new 30 m deep boreholes were collected in August 2006 (K. Isaksen, L. H. Blikra, H. Farbrot, R. Frauenfelder). DGPS monitoring of the unstable rock slopes in Troms were continued in cooperation with University of Oslo (T. Eiken). The first full year of continuous monitoring data on movement, crack temperatures and daily photographs of snow conditions in an unstable rock slope in Troms was collected in cooperation with UNIS (H.H. Christiansen).
PERMAFROST AND PERIGLACIAL ACTIVITIES Permafrost and periglacial activities of the Geology Department at UNIS (H.H. Christiansen, O. Humlum, L. Kristensen & H. Juliussen) centre around various basic types of field data on snow cover dynamics, geomorphic activity and active layer (UNISCALM) and permafrost borehole temperatures in the Longyearbyen and Adventdalen valleys, and surrounding mountains. All field data are available for research and education. During summer a new portable permafrost drill was constructed and tested drilling several shall boreholes. In the summer and autumn of 2006 two new online mountain meteorological stations were installed at Janssonhaugen next to the PACE 102 m borehole, and at Gruvefjellet were a new shallow borehole will be drilled enabling for the first time ever on Svalbard online borehole permafrost temperatures. A new avalanche research and education site above Longyearbyen airport was added to the UNIS interdisciplinary funded research, education and monitoring programme, Observations on Snow avalanches in Svalbard (OSS). In OSS the focus is on acquiring data on the meteorological control on snow avalanches, avalanche types and to provide updated webpage information on the occurrence of avalanches in central Svalbard. The permafrost monitoring programme at Kapp Linné, on the west coast of Spitsbergen, was extended to also include a shallow 2 m deep borehole with temperature recording. N. Matsuoka (University of Tsukuba, Japan) and H.H. Christiansen added new field instrumentation to the icewedge study site in Adventdalen in Summer 2006. A. Lewkowicz (University of Ottawa, Canada) installed new experimental equipment to measure soil creep at two sites in the Adventdalen area, one close to the solifluction station operated by C. Harris (University of Cardiff ). Thermal conditions of ice-cored moraines deposited by late Holocene surges of the Paulabreen Glacier are investigated by L. Kristensen, by means of several boreholes and geoelectrical resistivity.
The IPY EoI 24 called the International University Course on High Arctic Permafrost Landscape Dynamics in Svalbard and Peary Land, which is part of the TSP Project 50, held a planning workshop at UNIS in August. Scientists from Denmark, Canada, Japan, UK, U.S.A. and Norway planned on establishing and running in summer 2008 this special IPY permafrost university course, starting in Svalbard and going to Pearyland in North Greenland. Two logistics employees from UNIS and the Danish Polar Centre joined the workshop logistics planning. In northern Norway and on Svalbard, A. Prick continued research on rock temperature monitoring and weathering processes across Troms, in cooperation with UNIS. In addition, extensive ground surface temperature measurements and DC resistivity soundings were continued in the Lakselv region, Finnmark (H. Farbrot, B. Etzelmüller, Univ. of Oslo), as part of a larger survey of permafrost distribution in Finnmark in collaboration with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (K. Isaksen). The work was extended to rock glacier surveys in northern Troms this year (H. Farbrot, R. Frauenfelder, K. Isaksen). In southern Norway, research on mountain meteorology, snow cover and ground temperatures initiated in 2004 were extended by a number of supplementary research sites, making use of automatic digital cameras and data loggers (H. Juliussen, O. Humlum, Univ. of Oslo). The project now covers a transect ranging from the maritime environment at the west coast (Sognefjorden - Ålesund) to more continental regions near the Swedish border (Femunden - Trysil). Data from this research scheme are used for validation of a numeric model (VW4W: O. Humlum, Univ. of Oslo), being developed for calculating the dimensions and temporal-spatial distribution of permafrost and seasonal frost in complex, mountainous terrain, as well as in lowlands. Two research sites specifically addressing the interaction between permafrost and glaciers were established in western Jotunheimen and near Finse, respectively. At Finse, special attention is paid to the importance of permafrost for rapid growth of small glaciers during periods of reglaciation (K.S. Lilleøren, O. Humlum, Univ. of Oslo). Investigations on the ground surface thermal regime above and below the natural tree limit has been extended with new sites (O. Humlum). In the Folldal area (Hedmark), ground temperatures in palsa areas are monitored since September 2006 (M. Ferbarlein, O. Humlum, Univ. of Oslo). At the Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), investigations regarding process dynamics and sediment transfer were initiated in the Vinstradalen catchment on the northern part of Dovrefjell (I. Berthling, A. Beylich, G. Vatne). Studies on rock fall frequency started in Erdalen summer 2006 (I. Berthling, A. Beylich). In South-Central Norway, thermal regime of a lowland coarse block slope system is being investigated since 2005 (I. Berthling). Currently, we have also initiated cooperation with the Department of Structural Engineering, NTNU (S. Jacobsen) aiming at utilizing expertise on frost action in concrete for studies of frost weathering of bedrock.
At the Geological Survey of Norway, the long-term research continued on mass transfers, denudation, sediment budgets and relief development in four catchments in subarctic and arctic environments in Iceland and Lapland (A. Beylich). Research is focussed on an integrated study of source-to-sink-sediment fluxes, including monitoring of surface processes, analysis of sinks, permafrost analysis, analyses of surface processes-vegetation coverpermafrost interactions. The research is carried out in cooperation with several partners in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany and Finland. A. Beylich is coordinating the ESF Network SEDIFLUX and Chair of the IAG/AIG Working Group SEDIBUD.
In Iceland, the University of Oslo (B. Etzelmüller, H. Farbrot, T. Eiken) continued studies on permafrost distribution and slope dynamics in the permafrost zone in collaboration with A. Gudmundsson (Jardfrædistofan EHF, Iceland) and H. Björnsson (Univ. of Iceland). Four shallow boreholes are equipped with temperature dataloggers, and ground surface temperatures are measured at approximately 40 sites in northern and eastern Iceland. Velocity, mass flux and age estimates are obtained for rock glaciers in northern Iceland (B. Wangensteen). In the Yukon Territory, northern Canada, B. Etzelmüller (Univ. of Oslo) participated in field work headed by A. Lewkowicz (Univ. of Ottawa) to study mountain permafrost distribution. DC resistivity surveys were carried out in numerous locations mostly related to palsa sites and in source zones of large debris flows, which were triggered in the mountain permafrost zone. The latter work was in co-operation with the Yukon Geological Survey.
ARCTIC TECHNOLOGY The Department of Arctic Technology at UNIS, monitors ground temperatures in the permafrost zone at many profiles in Svalbard, mainly around Longyearbyen and Svea. Information about coordinates, installation dates and on storage and operations of the strings installed by different organizations in Svalbard was gathered and assembled in a report this summer. A number of thermistor strings are installed below the new Svalbard Science Centre along some of the construction piles for the building, and in the field outside the building for reference. These strings will be connected to the computer network for easy access to the data.
Understanding the physics and mechanics of different sea ice phenomena is extremely important for marine activities in cold regions. The formation and the mechanical properties of one year rubble ice are studied as well as ice forces on quays and other structures, partly with foundations in the permafrost zone. Large scale experiments have been performed on ice ridges hitting the seabed and on sea ice sheets hitting a steel pile. The rock material found in Svalbard is of low strength and is thus not well suited for construction of erosion barriers. Tests are in progress on other structures which are utilizing local materials rather than imported blasted rock from mainland Norway.