Since 1996, CALM and GTN-P programs in Mongolia were continued by N. Sharkhuu in close collaboration with F. Nelson and N. Shiklomanov from University of Delaware. At present, there are 44 CALM sites and GTN-P boreholes in Mongolia. Most of the boreholes are located in the Hövsgöl and Hentei mountain regions. Seventeen boreholes are equipped with temperature dataloggers. Initial data on continuous temperature measurements and movable thermistor strings in all the boreholes were compiled by Sh. Anarmaa and included in international permafrost databases. Some results on permafrost monitoring in Mongolia were published in the JGR journal (Sharkhuu, A., et al, 2007).
The Mongolian IPY Expression of Intent no. 1129 is the main components for CALM and GTN-P programs in Mongolia, as part of the Thermal State of Permafrost IPY Project 50. Accordingly, in 2007 we carried out the following activities: 1) In the Hangai mountain region we drilled four, 10-15 m deep boreholes adjacent to old ones that were investigated 25-35 years ago. Next year we plan to drill 2-4 boreholes in the Altai mountain region; 2) To improve the borehole measurements, we increased the number of temperature dataloggers in the boreholes, calibrated logger sensors and thermistors; 3) To extend observations at six borehole sites near Ulaanbaatar we measured plant biomass and soil moisture content at depths of 0.1-0.3-0.5 m monthly during the summer and thickness and density of the snow cover monthly during winter. At other monitoring sites we measured plant biomass and soil moisture in September and October; 4) In respect to the new generations of permafrost researchers, we have good contact with PYRN. Sh. Anarmaa defended her MSc thesis and continues her studies on permafrost. Jambaljav has prepared his PhD thesis on mapping and modelling the distribution of permafrost in the Ulaanbaatar area.
Within the framework of the IPA project on mapping and modelling of mountain permafrost in Central and Eastern Asia, N. Sharkhuu and Sh. Anarmaa prepared catalogues of data from more than 100 geocryological boreholes, with mean annual permafrost temperature measurements at a depth of 10-15 m, and also from more than 100 hydrogeological boreholes with permafrost in Mongolia. We studied and established values of regional changes in mean annual ground/permafrost temperatures depending on altitudes, latitudes, slope aspect, vegetation and snow covers, ground texture and moisture content, rockfall and groundwater. The values of the ground temperature regime are the main parameters for mapping and modelling distribution and thickness of permafrost. The main results of these studies will be presented in our paper for NICOP.
The joint Japanese and Mongolian LORGC project continues for its sixth year in the Nalaikh and Terelj areas. Researchers are conducting long-term observations for studying changes in climate, soil thermal and hydrologic conditions. In addition, Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian researchers have organized to implement a project on Integrated Environmental Monitoring at another site in the Terelj area, located about 50 km northeast of Ulaanbaatar. The project includes long-term observations for studying mechanisms of permafrost degradation under the influence of recent climate warming. In this connection, two, 20 m deep boreholes for permafrost monitoring were drilled and equipped in a valley bottom and on a north-facing slope of the study area.
Within the framework of permafrost monitoring in Mongolia, we have started to collaborate with K. Yoshikawa from University of Alaska Fairbanks. He visited Mongolia for a week in May and provided us with eight HOBO U-12 dataloggers with sensors on cables. Our collaboration of permafrost monitoring is presently with school students from Nalaikh and Terelj villages near Ulaanbaatar. This collaboration will be extended next year.
Natsagdorj Sharkhuu ([email protected])