The GeoBiosphere Science Centre of the Lund University continued and expanded its activities in the Abisko area. The ‘Nordic Centre for Studies of Ecosystem Carbon Exchange and its Interaction with the Climate System’ (NECC) has two monitoring sites in the Stordalen area.
The CARBOMONT project Effects of land-use changes on sources, sinks and fluxes of carbon in European mountain areas and the ELSA project Exchange processes between the Land Surface and the Atmosphere have intensive and important field activities in the Abisko area, especially in and around the Stordalen bog. For these projects the status and dynamics of the active layer and the permafrost in the bogs are of great importance.
The old “IPA Abisko area active layer transect” is maintained in co-operation with the Abisko Research Station. J. Akerman and M. Johansson are maintaining 10 of the original 12 CALM sites along the 100 km east-west transect. Two sites have been abandoned as all permafrost has disappeared. The active layer sites have been monitored since 1978, and annual basic data is presented within the CALM reporting system. A full status report will be given at the NICOP conference in Fairbanks. The trend of a deepening active layer is continuing at all sites, and at one of the mountain sites (at 900 m asl) substantial thawing is observed, and the large pingo-like features have collapsed. At 975 m asl the pingos shows substantial subsidence. A new low level air photo survey of the sites was performed in September 2007.
M. Johansson is continuing her PhD project Permafrost dynamics and its implications for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (supervisors: T. R. Christensen, J. Akerman). The snowfences, simulating predicted future increases in snow depth at a peat mire in the Abisko area, were now used for two years. In addition to the increases in active layer depth that was detected after the first year, as was the case in the second year, also differences in the vegetation in late autumn were detected. When all the surrounding vegetation had turned into its yellowish autumn colours, the vegetation in the plots with snow fences was still green. The snow fences are reinstalled for another season. Ground temperatures at three of the CALM sites were analyzed and a paper submitted to NICOP. A new vegetation removal experiment was initiated at the Storflaket mire, where different vegetation types (dwarf shrubs, gramanoids and mosses) were removed and the influence of different vegetation types on active layer and ground temperatures are now being investigated. This project is jointly financed by the Abisko Research Station and Lund University. Installations of snow cover manipulation plots, snow cover depth, soil temperature measurements, a daily camera survey and a complete microclimatic station are operating next to one of the old CALM grids.
R. Nyberg (Dep. of Earth Sciences, University of Karlstad) is maintaining several small projects in the Abisko area concerning the dynamics of the Kårsa glacier, permafrost and slope processes in the Pallenvagge and Nissunvagge valleys, and the assessment of the importance of extreme erosional events as geomorphological hazards and as climatic indicators in the Abisko area.
The Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology of Stockholm University is conducting permafrost research in northern Sweden, the Central Canadian Arctic and Northeast European Russia, funded by grants from the Swedish Research Council and the European Union (to P. Kuhry) and private foundations (to B. Sannel and G. Hugelius). Sannel started her PhD studies in August 2004 (supervisor P. Kuhry) on the topic of temporal and spatial dynamics of peat plateau/ thermokarst lake complexes, which includes plant macrofossil studies, remote sensing and ground monitoring of peat plateau areas in Scandinavia, Canada and Russia. A first publication is now in press. Sannel has maintained a new permafrost monitoring site in a remote peat plateau/thermokarst lake complex in the Tavvavuoma Region, northernmost Sweden since 2005. Now the setup consists of a meteorological station, a camera, nine boreholes and nine snow stakes. Hugelius started his PhD studies in November 2006 (supervisor P. Kuhry) on the topic of Landscape patterns of soil organic matter quantity and quality in permafrost terrain. At present, field data collected in summer 2006 from the Tulemalu Lake Area (Central Nunavut), located in continuous permafrost terrain, are being analyzed by Hugelius in cooperation with C. Tarnocai, Ottawa. In summer 2007, a considerable number of new pedons were collected in discontinuous permafrost terrain near Vorkuta, Northeast European Russia in cooperation with G. Mazhitova. R. Garcia (supervisor P. Crill) from the Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University will conduct detailed geochemical studies on the lability of soil organic matter in permafrost terrain. The latter activities are conducted in the framework of the EU-funded CARBO-North project (coordinated by P. Kuhry). This European project (www.carbonnorth.net
), with additional partners from Russia and USA, aims at quantifying carbon pools and fluxes in northern Russia in the past, present and future under conditions of climate warming and permafrost thawing. New results will be presented at NICOP. These studies represent a significant contribution to the IPA and IPY CAPP project on Carbon Pools in Permafrost Regions (co-chaired by P. Kuhry).
Jonas Akerman ([email protected]