ABoVE Permafrost Dynamics Observatory

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, North Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, permafrost, air quality, climate change, remote sensing, soil moisture, aerial survey, vegitation

Principal Investigator: Miller, Charles E (4)
Licence Number: 16601
Organization: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Licensed Year(s): 2019
Issued: Jul 24, 2019
Project Team: Taylor Sullivan; Kevin Schaefer; Roger Michaelides; Andrew Parsekian

Objective(s): To collect physical and geophysical measurements quantifying permafrost susceptibility to ABoVE's internationally-available dataset.

Project Description: The objective of this project is to collect physical and geophysical measurements quantifying permafrost susceptibility to ABoVE's internationally-available dataset. Researchers can access these data to bolster understanding of environmental processes and the ability to remotely-sense these on a regional scale.

Airborne remote sensing missions from August 2017, 2018, and August of 2019 by NASA's Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) help to inform climate models and ecosystem projections. This research will measure environmental parameters including soil moisture, vegetation characteristics, and depth of permafrost thaw. These measurements will calibrate and validate large-scale models of permafrost extent and susceptibility to a changing global climate.

A thaw depth probe will be used to measure thaw depth. A metered metal rod with a handle is inserted in the soil down to the permafrost table, and measurements will be taken. Ground Penetrating Radar will be used. This is a one-man-operated, non-destructive and non-invasive geophysical technique that measures subsurface soil moisture by timing the echoes of electromagnetic waves. A hand-held soil moisture probe is a 12 or 20cm pair of electronic probes that are inserted into the ground to measure soil moisture between the two. These measurements will be conducted every meter for 40 to 100m within the area of airborne flight swaths.

Results will be made available to international researchers through NASA's ABoVE project. The research team aim to publish the results in internationally available scientific journals, and, ideally, the students with whom work with the team over the summer will be able to share results of the measurements with their communities at their leisure or in an academic setting.