Monitoring of active layer dynamics at two transects on Svalbard using multi-channel ground-penetrating radar, supplement to: Westermann, Sebastian; Wollschläger, Ute; Boike, Julia (2010): Monitoring of active layer dynamics at a permafrost site on Svalbard using multi-channel ground-penetrating radar. The Cryosphere, 4, 475-487


Multi-channel ground-penetrating radar is used to investigate the late-summer evolution of the thaw depth and the average soil water content of the thawed active layer at a high-arctic continuous permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. Between mid of August and mid of September 2008, five surveys have been conducted over transect lengths of 130 and 175 m each. The maximum thaw depths range from 1.6 m to 2.0 m, so that they are among the deepest thaw depths recorded for Svalbard so far. The thaw depths increase by approximately 0.2 m between mid of August and beginning of September and subsequently remain constant until mid of September. The thaw rates are approximately constant over the entire length of the transects within the measurement accuracy of about 5 to 10 cm. The average volumetric soil water content of the thawed soil varies between 0.18 and 0.27 along the investigated transects. While the measurements do not show significant changes in soil water content over the first four weeks of the study, strong precipitation causes an increase in average soil water content of up to 0.04 during the last week. These values are in good agreement with evapotranspiration and precipitation rates measured in the vicinity of the the study site. While we cannot provide conclusive reasons for the detected spatial variability of the thaw depth at the study site, our measurements show that thaw depth and average soil water content are not directly correlated.

Metadata Access
Creator Wollschläger, Ute;Westermann, Sebastian;Boike, Julia
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2010
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY)
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (79N-79N,12E-12E)
Temporal Point 2008-08-14T11:59:59Z