MOSES Rapid Permafrost Thaw

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, environmental monitoring, methane, ground truth survey, thermokarst

Principal Investigator: Boike, Julia (3)
Licence Number: 16489
Organization: Alfred Wegener Institute
Licensed Year(s): 2021 2020 2019 2018
Issued: Feb 04, 2019

Objective(s): To test new equipment for characterizing the energy fluxes from and around thermokarst slumps; to establish a baseline for future subsidence measurements; and, to quantify lake and atmospheric methane concentrations in relation to thermokarst slumps.

Project Description: The goals for this expedition are to test new equipment for characterizing the energy fluxes from and around thermokarst slumps and to establish a baseline for future subsidence measurements. Additionally, lake and atmospheric methane concentrations in relation to thermokarst slumps will be quantified.

The research team will conduct ground-truth surveys using a differential GPS. Small GPS observation stations will be installed, approximately 2 meters above the surface, to collect GPS data for the analysis of reflected GPS signals. Analysis of these signals will allow us to observe any surface movement that might be due to ground subsidence. The research team will deploy one environmental monitoring station to measure air temperature and relative humidity, wind, net radiation, soil temperature and moisture, and soil heat flux. A portable environmental monitoring station will be used to monitor outgoing solar radiation over different vegetation communities. Distributed soil temperature and heat flux stations will be deployed to monitor energy fluxes in the ground at different locations. Measurements of methane concentrations will be taken in lakes and atmosphere using a portable greenhouse gas analyser.

All installations will be performed in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment, "leave no trace", as it is also important for the research team that our measurements come from undisturbed areas. The results will be freely available for everybody. The community will be informed via meetings about the projects and results.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019.