Stockholm University


During 2013, Stockholm University conducted permafrost related research in the framework of the EU-FP7 PAGE 21 project, the EU COST action PERGAMON, the EU INTERACT program, the NordForsk Nordic Centre of Excellence DEFROST project, the NordForsk Nordic Permafrost Network PERMA-NORDNET, the Swedish Research Council-supported ESF CRYOCARB project, the Bolin Centre for Climate Research (Stockholm University), the US-NSF Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon Research Coordination Network, the US-DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the US-NSF Macrosystems Biology program.



The Periglacial Research Group in the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology conducted soil carbon inventories in permafrost terrain of the Lena Delta (Russia), the Tarfala catchment and Stordalen Mire areas (Sweden), and Adventdalen (Svalbard). Ground temperature monitoring is conducted near Tarfala Research Station (Sweden) in two boreholes, PACE12 (100 m deep at 1550 m a.s.l.) and PACE3 (15 m deep at 1130 m a.s.l.), for data see Additionally, monitoring of meteorological parameters and ground temperature is also maintained in 10 shallow boreholes in a peat plateau complex in Tavvavuoma (Sweden). The Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database is currently maintained by Stockholm University. The database on estimated soil carbon storage across the northern circumpolar permafrost region, recently expanded down to 3 m depth, is freely available for online download (

The Hydrology and Water Resources Research Group in the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology carried out ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) studies in the Tavvavuoma region (Sweden), and monitored hydrology and dissolved carbon in the streams around the Stordalen Mire area (Sweden). The Group also conducted investigations on the interactions between surface and subsurface hydrology with permafrost change using numerical modeling tools for partially frozen ground. Field sites considered included Tarfala (Sweden) and Kangerlussuaq (Greenland).

The Trace Gas Biogeochemistry Laboratory of the Department of Geological Sciences continued its research into the effects of permafrost thaw on the greenhouse gas exchange of disintegrating permafrost palsa peatlands, and adjacent ponds and lakes in the Stordalen Mire area (Sweden). Detailed chemistry and isotope studies of the peat deposits and lake sediments are ongoing as are molecular microbial investigations. The Stordalen Mire has also been included as an ecosystem site within ICOS-Sweden. All data are or will be available through the ICOS Carbon Portal and/or EU-INTERACT website. All amplicon and metagenomic sequencing data are archived in the read sequence archive (accession number SRA096214).

The climate-related Biogeochemical Modeling Research Group at the Department of Applied Environmental Science led an initiative of scaling information on permafrost temperature and active-layer thickness based on the Yakutsk geocryological map from fine-scale polygons to a 0.5x0.5 degree grid, a spatial resolution comparable to global modeling results and therefore useful for evaluation of global permafrost models.

For more information on permafrost research at Stockholm University, please contact




Project. "The sensitivity of carbon in Arctic permafrost soils to climate change" Mats P. Björkman and  Robert Björk


 This project explores and evaluates the potential release of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) in permafrost soils from Zackenberg (Greenland) and Adventdalen (Svalbard), with respect to climate change. Specifically, the aim is to a) examine the temperature sensitivity of SOC that is likely to be released, as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4), to the atmosphere, b) explore if physical protection or chemical recalcitrance of SOC could attenuate the temperature sensitivity of the permafrost C pool, c) estimate the age of the SOC, dissolved organic C, and the respired CO2 and CH4 using AMS radiocarbon dating, and d) investigate the active part of the microbial communities and their role in degradation of new vs. old SOC. This will be accomplished during a 1.5 years incubation study (starting spring 2014), where initial and final soil conditions will be investigated along with greenhouse gas and soil microbial monitoring throughout the study period.


Report prepared by Jonas Åkerman (