Articles | Volume 13, issue 11
28 Nov 2019
Research article | 28 Nov 2019
Geochemical signatures of pingo ice and its origin in Grøndalen, west Spitsbergen
Nikita Demidov et al.
No articles found.
Julia Chizhova, Maria Kireeva, Ekaterina Rets, Alexey Ekaykin, Anna Kozachek, Arina Veres, Olga Zolina, Natalia Varentsova, Artem Gorbarenko, Nikita Povalyaev, Valentina Plotnikova, Timofey Samsonov, and Maxim Kharlamov
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESSDShort summary
Empirical study of the isotopic features of river runoff were carried out at three hydrological posts in 3 different river basins Eastern Europe. Samples of river water, groundwater and precipitation for the October 2019–October 2021 were collected at weekly intervals. A significant supply of melted snow during spring freshet was the key factor influencing water regimes for these three river basins; varying degrees of anthropogenic flow regulation are also presented.
Charlotte Haugk, Loeka L. Jongejans, Kai Mangelsdorf, Matthias Fuchs, Olga Ogneva, Juri Palmtag, Gesine Mollenhauer, Paul J. Mann, P. Paul Overduin, Guido Grosse, Tina Sanders, Robyn E. Tuerena, Lutz Schirrmeister, Sebastian Wetterich, Alexander Kizyakov, Cornelia Karger, and Jens Strauss
Biogeosciences, 19, 2079–2094,Short summary
Buried animal and plant remains (carbon) from the last ice age were freeze-locked in permafrost. At an extremely fast eroding permafrost cliff in the Lena Delta (Siberia), we found this formerly frozen carbon well preserved. Our results show that ongoing degradation releases substantial amounts of this carbon, making it available for future carbon emissions. This mobilisation at the studied cliff and also similarly eroding sites bear the potential to affect rivers and oceans negatively.
Loeka Laura Jongejans, Kai Mangelsdorf, Cornelia Karger, Thomas Opel, Sebastian Wetterich, Jérémy Courtin, Hanno Meyer, Alexander I. Kizyakov, Guido Grosse, Andrei G. Shepelev, Igor I. Syromyatnikov, Alexander N. Fedorov, and Jens Strauss
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Large parts of Arctic Siberia are underlain by permafrost. Climate warming leads to permafrost thaw. At the Batagay megaslump, permafrost sediments up to ~650 ka old are exposed. We took sediment samples and analyzed the organic matter (e.g., plant remains). We found distinct differences in the biomarker distributions between the glacial and interglacial deposits with generally stronger microbial activity during interglacial periods. Further permafrost thaw enhances greenhouse gas emissions.
Michael Fritz, Sebastian Wetterich, Joel McAlister, and Hanno Meyer
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 57–63,Short summary
From 2015 to 2018 we collected rain and snow samples in Inuvik, Canada. We measured the stable water isotope composition of oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δ2H) with a mass spectrometer. This data will be of interest for other scientists who work in the Arctic. They will be able to compare our modern data with their own isotope data in old ice, for example in glaciers, and in permafrost. This will help to correctly interpret the climate signals of the environmental history of the Earth.
Armin Dachauer, Richard Hann, and Andrew J. Hodson
The Cryosphere, 15, 5513–5528,Short summary
This study investigated the aerodynamic roughness length (z0) – an important parameter to determine the surface roughness – of crevassed tidewater glaciers on Svalbard using drone data. The results point out that the range of z0 values across a crevassed glacier is large but in general significantly higher compared to non-crevassed glacier surfaces. The UAV approach proved to be an ideal tool to provide distributed z0 estimates of crevassed glaciers which can be used to model turbulent fluxes.
Stefanie Arndt, Christian Haas, Hanno Meyer, Ilka Peeken, and Thomas Krumpen
The Cryosphere, 15, 4165–4178,Short summary
We present here snow and ice core data from the northwestern Weddell Sea in late austral summer 2019, which allow insights into possible reasons for the recent low summer sea ice extent in the Weddell Sea. We suggest that the fraction of superimposed ice and snow ice can be used here as a sensitive indicator. However, snow and ice properties were not exceptional, suggesting that the summer surface energy balance and related seasonal transition of snow properties have changed little in the past.
Thomas Birchall, Malte Jochmann, Peter Betlem, Kim Senger, Andrew Hodson, and Snorre Olaussen
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Manuscript not accepted for further reviewShort summary
Svalbard has over a century of drilling history, though this historical data is largely overlooked nowadays. After inspecting this data, stored in local archives, we noticed the surprisingly common phenomenon of gas trapped below the permafrost. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and the Arctic is warming at unprecedented rates. The permafrost is the last barrier preventing this gas from escaping into the atmosphere and if it thaws it risks a feedback effect to the already warming climate.
Michael Krautblatter, Lutz Schirrmeister, and Josefine Lenz
Polarforschung, 89, 69–71,
Ines Spangenberg, Pier Paul Overduin, Ellen Damm, Ingeborg Bussmann, Hanno Meyer, Susanne Liebner, Michael Angelopoulos, Boris K. Biskaborn, Mikhail N. Grigoriev, and Guido Grosse
The Cryosphere, 15, 1607–1625,Short summary
Thermokarst lakes are common on ice-rich permafrost. Many studies have shown that they are sources of methane to the atmosphere. Although they are usually covered by ice, little is known about what happens to methane in winter. We studied how much methane is contained in the ice of a thermokarst lake, a thermokarst lagoon and offshore. Methane concentrations differed strongly, depending on water body type. Microbes can also oxidize methane in ice and lower the concentrations during winter.
Mikkel Toft Hornum, Andrew Jonathan Hodson, Søren Jessen, Victor Bense, and Kim Senger
The Cryosphere, 14, 4627–4651,Short summary
In Arctic fjord valleys, considerable amounts of methane may be stored below the permafrost and escape directly to the atmosphere through springs. A new conceptual model of how such springs form and persist is presented and confirmed by numerical modelling experiments: in uplifted Arctic valleys, freezing pressure induced at the permafrost base can drive the flow of groundwater to the surface through vents in frozen ground. This deserves attention as an emission pathway for greenhouse gasses.
Sebastian Wetterich, Alexander Kizyakov, Michael Fritz, Juliane Wolter, Gesine Mollenhauer, Hanno Meyer, Matthias Fuchs, Aleksei Aksenov, Heidrun Matthes, Lutz Schirrmeister, and Thomas Opel
The Cryosphere, 14, 4525–4551,Short summary
In the present study, we analysed geochemical and sedimentological properties of relict permafrost and ground ice exposed at the Sobo-Sise Yedoma cliff in the eastern Lena delta in NE Siberia. We obtained insight into permafrost aggradation and degradation over the last approximately 52 000 years and the climatic and morphodynamic controls on regional-scale permafrost dynamics of the central Laptev Sea coastal region.
Arthur Monhonval, Sophie Opfergelt, Elisabeth Mauclet, Benoît Pereira, Aubry Vandeuren, Guido Grosse, Lutz Schirrmeister, Matthias Fuchs, Peter Kuhry, and Jens Strauss
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
With global warming, ice-rich permafrost soils expose organic carbon to microbial degradation and unlock mineral elements as well. Interactions between mineral elements and organic carbon may enhance or mitigate microbial degradation. Here, we provide a large scale ice-rich permafrost mineral concentrations assessment and estimates of mineral element stocks in those deposits. Si is the most abundant mineral element and Fe and Al are present in the same order of magnitude as organic carbon.
Andrew J. Hodson, Aga Nowak, Mikkel T. Hornum, Kim Senger, Kelly Redeker, Hanne H. Christiansen, Søren Jessen, Peter Betlem, Steve F. Thornton, Alexandra V. Turchyn, Snorre Olaussen, and Alina Marca
The Cryosphere, 14, 3829–3842,Short summary
Methane stored below permafrost is an unknown quantity in the Arctic greenhouse gas budget. In coastal areas with rising sea levels, much of the methane seeps into the sea and is removed before it reaches the atmosphere. However, where land uplift outpaces rising sea levels, the former seabed freezes, pressurising methane-rich groundwater beneath, which then escapes via permafrost seepages called pingos. We describe this mechanism and the origins of the methane discharging from Svalbard pingos.
Jean-Louis Bonne, Hanno Meyer, Melanie Behrens, Julia Boike, Sepp Kipfstuhl, Benjamin Rabe, Toni Schmidt, Lutz Schönicke, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen, and Martin Werner
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 10493–10511,Short summary
This study introduces 2 years of continuous near-surface in situ observations of the stable isotopic composition of water vapour in parallel with precipitation in north-eastern Siberia. We evaluate the atmospheric transport of moisture towards the region of our observations with simulations constrained by meteorological reanalyses and use this information to interpret the temporal variations of the vapour isotopic composition from seasonal to synoptic timescales.
Torben Windirsch, Guido Grosse, Mathias Ulrich, Lutz Schirrmeister, Alexander N. Fedorov, Pavel Y. Konstantinov, Matthias Fuchs, Loeka L. Jongejans, Juliane Wolter, Thomas Opel, and Jens Strauss
Biogeosciences, 17, 3797–3814,Short summary
To extend the knowledge on circumpolar deep permafrost carbon storage, we examined two deep permafrost deposit types (Yedoma and alas) in central Yakutia. We found little but partially undecomposed organic carbon as a result of largely changing sedimentation processes. The carbon stock of the examined Yedoma deposits is about 50 % lower than the general Yedoma domain mean, implying a very hetererogeneous Yedoma composition, while the alas is approximately 80 % below the thermokarst deposit mean.
Lutz Schirrmeister, Elisabeth Dietze, Heidrun Matthes, Guido Grosse, Jens Strauss, Sebastian Laboor, Mathias Ulrich, Frank Kienast, and Sebastian Wetterich
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 69, 33–53,Short summary
Late Pleistocene Yedoma deposits of Siberia and Alaska are prone to degradation with warming temperatures. Multimodal grain-size distributions of >700 samples indicate varieties of sediment production, transport, and deposition. These processes were disentangled using robust endmember modeling analysis. Nine robust grain-size endmembers characterize these deposits. The data set was finally classified using cluster analysis. The polygenetic Yedoma origin is proved.
Mark J. Hopwood, Dustin Carroll, Thorben Dunse, Andy Hodson, Johnna M. Holding, José L. Iriarte, Sofia Ribeiro, Eric P. Achterberg, Carolina Cantoni, Daniel F. Carlson, Melissa Chierici, Jennifer S. Clarke, Stefano Cozzi, Agneta Fransson, Thomas Juul-Pedersen, Mie H. S. Winding, and Lorenz Meire
The Cryosphere, 14, 1347–1383,Short summary
Here we compare and contrast results from five well-studied Arctic field sites in order to understand how glaciers affect marine biogeochemistry and marine primary production. The key questions are listed as follows. Where and when does glacial freshwater discharge promote or reduce marine primary production? How does spatio-temporal variability in glacial discharge affect marine primary production? And how far-reaching are the effects of glacial discharge on marine biogeochemistry?
Andreas Alexander, Maarja Kruusmaa, Jeffrey A. Tuhtan, Andrew J. Hodson, Thomas V. Schuler, and Andreas Kääb
The Cryosphere, 14, 1009–1023,Short summary
This work shows the potential of pressure and inertia sensing drifters to measure flow parameters along glacial channels. The technology allows us to record the spatial distribution of water pressures, as well as an estimation of the flow velocity along the flow path in the channels. The measurements show a high repeatability and the potential to identify channel morphology from sensor readings.
Kirstin Hoffmann, Francisco Fernandoy, Hanno Meyer, Elizabeth R. Thomas, Marcelo Aliaga, Dieter Tetzner, Johannes Freitag, Thomas Opel, Jorge Arigony-Neto, Christian Florian Göbel, Ricardo Jaña, Delia Rodríguez Oroz, Rebecca Tuckwell, Emily Ludlow, Joseph R. McConnell, and Christoph Schneider
The Cryosphere, 14, 881–904,
Joseph M. Cook, Andrew J. Tedstone, Christopher Williamson, Jenine McCutcheon, Andrew J. Hodson, Archana Dayal, McKenzie Skiles, Stefan Hofer, Robert Bryant, Owen McAree, Andrew McGonigle, Jonathan Ryan, Alexandre M. Anesio, Tristram D. L. Irvine-Fynn, Alun Hubbard, Edward Hanna, Mark Flanner, Sathish Mayanna, Liane G. Benning, Dirk van As, Marian Yallop, James B. McQuaid, Thomas Gribbin, and Martyn Tranter
The Cryosphere, 14, 309–330,Short summary
Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is a major source of uncertainty for sea level rise projections. Ice-darkening due to the growth of algae has been recognized as a potential accelerator of melting. This paper measures and models the algae-driven ice melting and maps the algae over the ice sheet for the first time. We estimate that as much as 13 % total runoff from the south-western GrIS can be attributed to these algae, showing that they must be included in future mass balance models.
Sebastian Wetterich, Thomas A. Davidson, Anatoly Bobrov, Thomas Opel, Torben Windirsch, Kasper L. Johansen, Ivan González-Bergonzoni, Anders Mosbech, and Erik Jeppesen
Biogeosciences, 16, 4261–4275,Short summary
The effects of seabird presence on permafrost peat evolution in NW Greenland were studied by tracing changes in stable C and N isotope composition along the path from bird sources into permafrost peat. The permafrost growth was triggered by organic matter and nutrient input since the neoglacial cooling and concurrent polynya establishment. The study deals with the complex response of biologic and permafrost dynamics to High Arctic climatic and oceanographic conditions of the Late Holocene.
Boris K. Biskaborn, Larisa Nazarova, Lyudmila A. Pestryakova, Liudmila Syrykh, Kim Funck, Hanno Meyer, Bernhard Chapligin, Stuart Vyse, Ruslan Gorodnichev, Evgenii Zakharov, Rong Wang, Georg Schwamborn, Hannah L. Bailey, and Bernhard Diekmann
Biogeosciences, 16, 4023–4049,Short summary
To better understand time-series data in lake sediment cores in times of rapidly changing climate, we study within-lake spatial variabilities of environmental indicator data in 38 sediment surface samples along spatial habitat gradients in the boreal deep Lake Bolshoe Toko (Russia). Our methods comprise physicochemical as well as diatom and chironomid analyses. Species diversities vary according to benthic niches, while abiotic proxies depend on river input, water depth, and catchment lithology.
Julia Mitzscherling, Fabian Horn, Maria Winterfeld, Linda Mahler, Jens Kallmeyer, Pier P. Overduin, Lutz Schirrmeister, Matthias Winkel, Mikhail N. Grigoriev, Dirk Wagner, and Susanne Liebner
Biogeosciences, 16, 3941–3958,Short summary
Permafrost temperatures increased substantially at a global scale, potentially altering microbial assemblages involved in carbon mobilization before permafrost thaws. We used Arctic Shelf submarine permafrost as a natural laboratory to investigate the microbial response to long-term permafrost warming. Our work shows that millennia after permafrost warming by > 10 °C, microbial community composition and population size reflect the paleoenvironment rather than a direct effect through warming.
Thomas Opel, Julian B. Murton, Sebastian Wetterich, Hanno Meyer, Kseniia Ashastina, Frank Günther, Hendrik Grotheer, Gesine Mollenhauer, Petr P. Danilov, Vasily Boeskorov, Grigoriy N. Savvinov, and Lutz Schirrmeister
Clim. Past, 15, 1443–1461,Short summary
To reconstruct past winter climate, we studied ice wedges at two sites in the Yana Highlands, interior Yakutia (Russia), the most continental region of the Northern Hemisphere. Our ice wedges of the upper ice complex unit of the Batagay megaslump and a river terrace show much more depleted stable-isotope compositions than other study sites in coastal and central Yakutia, reflecting lower winter temperatures and a higher continentality of the study region during Marine Isotope Stages 3 and 1.
Josefine Walz, Christian Knoblauch, Ronja Tigges, Thomas Opel, Lutz Schirrmeister, and Eva-Maria Pfeiffer
Biogeosciences, 15, 5423–5436,Short summary
We investigate potential CO2 and CH4 production in degrading ice-rich permafrost in northeastern Siberia, deposited under different climatic conditions. With laboratory incubations, it could be shown that Late Pleistocene yedoma deposits generally produced more CO2 than Holocene deposits. Thus, OM decomposability needs to be interpreted against the paleoenvironmental background. However, OM decomposability cannot be generalized solely based on the stratigraphic position.
Janina G. Stapel, Georg Schwamborn, Lutz Schirrmeister, Brian Horsfield, and Kai Mangelsdorf
Biogeosciences, 15, 1969–1985,Short summary
Climate warming in the Arctic results in thawing of permafrost deposits. This promotes the accessibility of freeze-locked old organic matter (OM) accumulated during the past. Characterizing OM of different depositional ages, we were able to show that OM from last glacial Yedoma deposits possess the highest potential to provide organic substrates such as acetate for microbial greenhouse gas production and therefore to accelerate the carbon–climate feedback cycle during ongoing global warming.
Francisco Fernandoy, Dieter Tetzner, Hanno Meyer, Guisella Gacitúa, Kirstin Hoffmann, Ulrike Falk, Fabrice Lambert, and Shelley MacDonell
The Cryosphere, 12, 1069–1090,Short summary
Through the geochemical analysis of the surface snow of a glacier at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, we aimed to investigate how atmosphere and ocean conditions of the surrounding region are varying under the present climate scenario. We found that meteorological conditions strongly depend on the extension of sea ice. Our results show a slight cooling of the surface air during the last decade at this site. However, the general warming tendency for the region is still on-going.
Nguyen Le Duy, Ingo Heidbüchel, Hanno Meyer, Bruno Merz, and Heiko Apel
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1239–1262,Short summary
This study analyzes the influence of local and regional meteorological factors on the isotopic composition of precipitation. The impact of the different factors on the isotopic condition was quantified by multiple linear regression of all factor combinations combined with relative importance analysis. The proposed approach might open a pathway for the improved reconstruction of paleoclimates based on isotopic records.
Thomas Münch, Sepp Kipfstuhl, Johannes Freitag, Hanno Meyer, and Thomas Laepple
The Cryosphere, 11, 2175–2188,Short summary
The importance of post-depositional changes for the temperature interpretation of water isotopes is poorly constrained by observations. Here, for the first time, temporal isotope changes in the open-porous firn are directly analysed using a large array of shallow isotope profiles. By this, we can reject the possibility of post-depositional change beyond diffusion and densification as the cause of the discrepancy between isotope and local temperature variations at Kohnen Station, East Antarctica.
Kseniia Ashastina, Lutz Schirrmeister, Margret Fuchs, and Frank Kienast
Clim. Past, 13, 795–818,Short summary
We present the first detailed description and sedimentological analyses of an 80 m permafrost sequence exposed in a mega-thaw slump near Batagay in the Yana Highlands, Russia, and attempt to deduce its genesis. First dating results (14C, OSL) show that the sequence represents a continental climate record spanning from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. We suggest that the characteristics of the studied deposits are a result of various seasonally controlled climatically induced processes.
Sebastian Westermann, Maria Peter, Moritz Langer, Georg Schwamborn, Lutz Schirrmeister, Bernd Etzelmüller, and Julia Boike
The Cryosphere, 11, 1441–1463,Short summary
We demonstrate a remote-sensing-based scheme estimating the evolution of ground temperature and active layer thickness by means of a ground thermal model. A comparison to in situ observations from the Lena River delta in Siberia indicates that the model is generally capable of reproducing the annual temperature regime and seasonal thawing of the ground. The approach could hence be a first step towards remote detection of ground thermal conditions in permafrost areas.
Thomas Opel, Sebastian Wetterich, Hanno Meyer, Alexander Y. Dereviagin, Margret C. Fuchs, and Lutz Schirrmeister
Clim. Past, 13, 587–611,Short summary
We studied late Quaternary permafrost at the Oyogos Yar coast (Dmitry Laptev Strait) to reconstruct palaeoclimate and palaeonvironmental conditions in the Northeast Siberian Arctic. Our ice-wedge stable isotope record, combined with data from Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island, indicates coldest winter temperatures during MIS5 and MIS2, warmest conditions during the Holocene, i.e. today, and non-stable winter climate during MIS3. New IRSL ages reveal high climate variability during MIS5.
Lutz Schirrmeister, Georg Schwamborn, Pier Paul Overduin, Jens Strauss, Margret C. Fuchs, Mikhail Grigoriev, Irina Yakshina, Janet Rethemeyer, Elisabeth Dietze, and Sebastian Wetterich
Biogeosciences, 14, 1261–1283,Short summary
We investigate late Pleistocene permafrost at the Buor Khaya Peninsula (Laptev Sea, Siberia) for cryolithological, geochemical, and geochronological parameters. The sequences were composed of ice-oversaturated silts and fine-grained sands with 0.2 to 24 wt% of organic matter. The deposition was between 54.1 and 9.7 kyr BP. Due to coastal erosion, the biogeochemical signature of the deposits represents the terrestrial end-member, and is related to organic matter deposited in the marine realm.
Heike Hildegard Zimmermann, Elena Raschke, Laura Saskia Epp, Kathleen Rosmarie Stoof-Leichsenring, Georg Schwamborn, Lutz Schirrmeister, Pier Paul Overduin, and Ulrike Herzschuh
Biogeosciences, 14, 575–596,Short summary
Organic matter stored in permafrost will start decomposing due to climate warming. To better understand its composition in ice-rich Yedoma, we analyzed ancient sedimentary DNA, pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs throughout an 18.9 m long permafrost core. The combination of both proxies allow an interpretation both of regional floristic changes and of the local environmental conditions at the time of deposition.
Pier Paul Overduin, Sebastian Wetterich, Frank Günther, Mikhail N. Grigoriev, Guido Grosse, Lutz Schirrmeister, Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, and Aleksandr Makarov
The Cryosphere, 10, 1449–1462,Short summary
How fast does permafrost warm up and thaw after it is covered by the sea? Ice-rich permafrost in the Laptev Sea, Siberia, is rapidly eroded by warm air and waves. We used a floating electrical technique to measure the depth of permafrost thaw below the sea, and compared it to 60 years of coastline retreat and permafrost depths from drilling 30 years ago. Thaw is rapid right after flooding of the land and slows over time. The depth of permafrost is related to how fast the coast retreats.
Fabian Beermann, Moritz Langer, Sebastian Wetterich, Jens Strauss, Julia Boike, Claudia Fiencke, Lutz Schirrmeister, Eva-Maria Pfeiffer, and Lars Kutzbach
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
This paper aims to quantify pools of inorganic nitrogen in permafrost soils of arctic Siberia and to estimate annual release rates of this nitrogen due to permafrost thaw. We report for the first time stores of inorganic nitrogen in Siberian permafrost soils. These nitrogen stores are important as permafrost thaw can mobilize substantial amounts of nitrogen, potentially changing the nutrient balance of these soils and representing a significant non-carbon permafrost climate feedback.
G. van der Wel, H. Fischer, H. Oerter, H. Meyer, and H. A. J. Meijer
The Cryosphere, 9, 1601–1616,Short summary
The diffusion of the stable water isotope signal during firnification of snow is a temperature-dependent process. Therefore, past local temperatures can be derived from the differential diffusion length. In this paper we develop a new method for determining this quantity and compare it with the existing method. Both methods are applied to a large number of synthetic data sets to assess the precision and accuracy of the reconstruction and to a section of the Antarctic EDML ice core record.
T. Schneider von Deimling, G. Grosse, J. Strauss, L. Schirrmeister, A. Morgenstern, S. Schaphoff, M. Meinshausen, and J. Boike
Biogeosciences, 12, 3469–3488,Short summary
We have modelled the carbon release from thawing permafrost soils under various scenarios of future warming. Our results suggests that up to about 140Pg of carbon could be released under strong warming by end of the century. We have shown that abrupt thaw processes under thermokarst lakes can unlock large amounts of perennially frozen carbon stored in deep deposits (which extend many metres into the soil).
M. Fritz, T. Opel, G. Tanski, U. Herzschuh, H. Meyer, A. Eulenburg, and H. Lantuit
The Cryosphere, 9, 737–752,Short summary
Ground ice in permafrost has not, until now, been considered to be a source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and other elements that are important for ecosystems and carbon cycling. Ice wedges in the Arctic Yedoma region hold 45.2 Tg DOC (Tg = 10^12g), 33.6 Tg DIC and a freshwater reservoir of 4200 km³. Leaching of terrestrial organic matter is the most relevant process of DOC sequestration into ground ice.
J. Strauss, L. Schirrmeister, K. Mangelsdorf, L. Eichhorn, S. Wetterich, and U. Herzschuh
Biogeosciences, 12, 2227–2245,Short summary
Climatic warming is affecting permafrost, including decomposition of organic matter (OM). However, quantitative data for the quality of OM and its availability for decomposition is limited. We analyzed the quality of OM in late Pleistocene (Yedoma) and Holocene (thermokarst) deposits. A lack of depth trends reveals a constant quality of OM showing that permafrost acts like a freezer, preserving OM quality. This OM will be susceptible to decomposition under climatic warming.
T. Pados, R. F. Spielhagen, D. Bauch, H. Meyer, and M. Segl
Biogeosciences, 12, 1733–1752,Short summary
Fossil planktic foraminifera and their geochemical composition are commonly used proxies in palaeoceanography. Our study with living specimens revealed that in the Fram Strait both Neogloboquadrina pachyderma and Turborotalita quinqueloba from the water column have lower δ18O and δ13C values than inorganically precipitated calcite/fossil tests from the sediment surface. These offsets indicate biological influence during calcification and a change of water column properties in the recent past.
G. Hugelius, J. Strauss, S. Zubrzycki, J. W. Harden, E. A. G. Schuur, C.-L. Ping, L. Schirrmeister, G. Grosse, G. J. Michaelson, C. D. Koven, J. A. O'Donnell, B. Elberling, U. Mishra, P. Camill, Z. Yu, J. Palmtag, and P. Kuhry
Biogeosciences, 11, 6573–6593,Short summary
This study provides an updated estimate of organic carbon stored in the northern permafrost region. The study includes estimates for carbon in soils (0 to 3 m depth) and deeper sediments in river deltas and the Yedoma region. We find that field data is still scarce from many regions. Total estimated carbon storage is ~1300 Pg with an uncertainty range of between 1100 and 1500 Pg. Around 800 Pg carbon is perennially frozen, equivalent to all carbon dioxide currently in the Earth's atmosphere.
G. Schwamborn, H. Meyer, L. Schirrmeister, and G. Fedorov
Clim. Past, 10, 1109–1123,
E. Y. Osipov, T. V. Khodzher, L. P. Golobokova, N. A. Onischuk, V. Y. Lipenkov, A. A. Ekaykin, Y. A. Shibaev, and O. P. Osipova
The Cryosphere, 8, 843–851,
G. Hugelius, J. G. Bockheim, P. Camill, B. Elberling, G. Grosse, J. W. Harden, K. Johnson, T. Jorgenson, C. D. Koven, P. Kuhry, G. Michaelson, U. Mishra, J. Palmtag, C.-L. Ping, J. O'Donnell, L. Schirrmeister, E. A. G. Schuur, Y. Sheng, L. C. Smith, J. Strauss, and Z. Yu
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 5, 393–402,
G. Schwamborn, L. Schirrmeister, and B. Diekmann
Clim. Past Discuss.,
T. Opel, D. Fritzsche, and H. Meyer
Clim. Past, 9, 2379–2389,
Related subject area
Discipline: Frozen ground | Subject: Frozen GroundBrief communication: Improving ERA5-Land soil temperature in permafrost regions using an optimized multi-layer snow schemeTowards accurate quantification of ice content in permafrost of the Central Andes – Part 2: An upscaling strategy of geophysical measurements to the catchment scale at two study sitesLong-term analysis of cryoseismic events and associated ground thermal stress in Adventdalen, SvalbardSeismic physics-based characterization of permafrost sites using surface wavesThree in one: GPS-IR measurements of ground surface elevation changes, soil moisture, and snow depth at a permafrost site in the northeastern Qinghai–Tibet PlateauSurface temperatures and their influence on the permafrost thermal regime in high-Arctic rock walls on SvalbardConsequences of permafrost degradation for Arctic infrastructure – bridging the model gap between regional and engineering scalesPassive seismic recording of cryoseisms in Adventdalen, SvalbardProjecting circum-Arctic excess-ground-ice melt with a sub-grid representation in the Community Land ModelGround ice, organic carbon and soluble cations in tundra permafrost soils and sediments near a Laurentide ice divide in the Slave Geological Province, Northwest Territories, CanadaThe ERA5-Land soil temperature bias in permafrost regionsBrief Communication: The reliability of gas extraction techniques for analysing CH4 and N2O compositions in gas trapped in permafrost ice wedgesMountain permafrost degradation documented through a network of permanent electrical resistivity tomography sitesPermafrost variability over the Northern Hemisphere based on the MERRA-2 reanalysisDistinguishing ice-rich and ice-poor permafrost to map ground temperatures and ground ice occurrence in the Swiss AlpsNew ground ice maps for Canada using a paleogeographic modelling approachOrigin, burial and preservation of late Pleistocene-age glacier ice in Arctic permafrost (Bylot Island, NU, Canada)Characteristics and fate of isolated permafrost patches in coastal Labrador, CanadaRock glaciers in Daxue Shan, south-eastern Tibetan Plateau: an inventory, their distribution, and their environmental controlsMicrotopographic control on the ground thermal regime in ice wedge polygons
Bin Cao, Gabriele Arduini, and Ervin Zsoter
The Cryosphere, 16, 2701–2708,Short summary
We implemented a new multi-layer snow scheme in the land surface scheme of ERA5-Land with revised snow densification parameterizations. The revised HTESSEL improved the representation of soil temperature in permafrost regions compared to ERA5-Land; in particular, warm bias in winter was significantly reduced, and the resulting modeled near-surface permafrost extent was improved.
Tamara Mathys, Christin Hilbich, Lukas U. Arenson, Pablo A. Wainstein, and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 16, 2595–2615,Short summary
With ongoing climate change, there is a pressing need to understand how much water is stored as ground ice in permafrost. Still, field-based data on permafrost in the Andes are scarce, resulting in large uncertainties regarding ground ice volumes and their hydrological role. We introduce an upscaling methodology of geophysical-based ground ice quantifications at the catchment scale. Our results indicate that substantial ground ice volumes may also be present in areas without rock glaciers.
Rowan Romeyn, Alfred Hanssen, and Andreas Köhler
The Cryosphere, 16, 2025–2050,Short summary
We have investigated a long-term record of ground vibrations, recorded by a seismic array installed in Adventdalen, Svalbard. This record contains a large number of
frost quakes, a type of ground shaking that can be produced by cracks that form as the ground cools rapidly. We use underground temperatures measured in a nearby borehole to model forces of thermal expansion and contraction that can cause these cracks. We also use the seismic measurements to estimate where these cracks occurred.
Hongwei Liu, Pooneh Maghoul, and Ahmed Shalaby
The Cryosphere, 16, 1157–1180,Short summary
The knowledge of physical and mechanical properties of permafrost and its location is critical for the management of permafrost-related geohazards. Here, we developed a hybrid inverse and multiphase poromechanical approach to quantitatively estimate the physical and mechanical properties of a permafrost site. Our study demonstrates the potential of surface wave techniques coupled with our proposed data-processing algorithm to characterize a permafrost site more accurately.
Jiahua Zhang, Lin Liu, Lei Su, and Tao Che
The Cryosphere, 15, 3021–3033,Short summary
We improve the commonly used GPS-IR algorithm for estimating surface soil moisture in permafrost areas, which does not consider the bias introduced by seasonal surface vertical movement. We propose a three-in-one framework to integrate the GPS-IR observations of surface elevation changes, soil moisture, and snow depth at one site and illustrate it by using a GPS site in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. This study is the first to use GPS-IR to measure environmental variables in the Tibetan Plateau.
Juditha Undine Schmidt, Bernd Etzelmüller, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Florence Magnin, Julia Boike, Moritz Langer, and Sebastian Westermann
The Cryosphere, 15, 2491–2509,Short summary
This study presents rock surface temperatures (RSTs) of steep high-Arctic rock walls on Svalbard from 2016 to 2020. The field data show that coastal cliffs are characterized by warmer RSTs than inland locations during winter seasons. By running model simulations, we analyze factors leading to that effect, calculate the surface energy balance and simulate different future scenarios. Both field data and model results can contribute to a further understanding of RST in high-Arctic rock walls.
Thomas Schneider von Deimling, Hanna Lee, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Sebastian Westermann, Vladimir Romanovsky, Scott Lamoureux, Donald A. Walker, Sarah Chadburn, Erin Trochim, Lei Cai, Jan Nitzbon, Stephan Jacobi, and Moritz Langer
The Cryosphere, 15, 2451–2471,Short summary
Climate warming puts infrastructure built on permafrost at risk of failure. There is a growing need for appropriate model-based risk assessments. Here we present a modelling study and show an exemplary case of how a gravel road in a cold permafrost environment in Alaska might suffer from degrading permafrost under a scenario of intense climate warming. We use this case study to discuss the broader-scale applicability of our model for simulating future Arctic infrastructure failure.
Rowan Romeyn, Alfred Hanssen, Bent Ole Ruud, Helene Meling Stemland, and Tor Arne Johansen
The Cryosphere, 15, 283–302,Short summary
A series of unusual ground motion signatures were identified in geophone recordings at a frost polygon site in Adventdalen on Svalbard. By analysing where the ground motion originated in time and space, we are able to classify them as cryoseisms, also known as frost quakes, a ground-cracking phenomenon that occurs as a result of freezing processes. The waves travelling through the ground produced by these frost quakes also allow us to measure the structure of the permafrost in the near surface.
Lei Cai, Hanna Lee, Kjetil Schanke Aas, and Sebastian Westermann
The Cryosphere, 14, 4611–4626,Short summary
A sub-grid representation of excess ground ice in the Community Land Model (CLM) is developed as novel progress in modeling permafrost thaw and its impacts under the warming climate. The modeled permafrost degradation with sub-grid excess ice follows the pathway that continuous permafrost transforms into discontinuous permafrost before it disappears, including surface subsidence and talik formation, which are highly permafrost-relevant landscape changes excluded from most land models.
Rupesh Subedi, Steven V. Kokelj, and Stephan Gruber
The Cryosphere, 14, 4341–4364,Short summary
Permafrost beneath tundra near Lac de Gras (Northwest Territories, Canada) contains more ice and less organic carbon than shown in global compilations. Excess-ice content of 20–60 %, likely remnant Laurentide basal ice, is found in upland till. This study is based on 24 boreholes up to 10 m deep. Findings highlight geology and glacial legacy as determinants of a mosaic of permafrost characteristics with potential for thaw subsidence up to several metres in some locations.
Bin Cao, Stephan Gruber, Donghai Zheng, and Xin Li
The Cryosphere, 14, 2581–2595,Short summary
This study reports that ERA5-Land (ERA5L) soil temperature bias in permafrost regions correlates with the bias in air temperature and with maximum snow height. While global reanalyses are important drivers for permafrost study, ERA5L soil data are not well suited for directly informing permafrost research decision making due to their warm bias in winter. To address this, future soil temperature products in reanalyses will require permafrost-specific alterations to their land surface models.
Ji-Woong Yang, Jinho Ahn, Go Iwahana, Sangyoung Han, Kyungmin Kim, and Alexander Fedorov
The Cryosphere, 14, 1311–1324,Short summary
Thawing permafrost may lead to decomposition of soil carbon and nitrogen and emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, methane and nitrous oxide compositions in ground ice may provide information on their production mechanisms in permafrost. We test conventional wet and dry extraction methods. We find that both methods extract gas from the easily extractable parts of the ice and yield similar results for mixing ratios. However, both techniques are unable to fully extract gas from the ice.
Coline Mollaret, Christin Hilbich, Cécile Pellet, Adrian Flores-Orozco, Reynald Delaloye, and Christian Hauck
The Cryosphere, 13, 2557–2578,Short summary
We present a long-term multisite electrical resistivity tomography monitoring network (more than 1000 datasets recorded from six mountain permafrost sites). Despite harsh and remote measurement conditions, the datasets are of good quality and show consistent spatio-temporal variations yielding significant added value to point-scale borehole information. Observed long-term trends are similar for all permafrost sites, showing ongoing permafrost thaw and ground ice loss due to climatic conditions.
Jing Tao, Randal D. Koster, Rolf H. Reichle, Barton A. Forman, Yuan Xue, Richard H. Chen, and Mahta Moghaddam
The Cryosphere, 13, 2087–2110,Short summary
The active layer thickness (ALT) in middle-to-high northern latitudes from 1980 to 2017 was produced at 81 km2 resolution by a global land surface model (NASA's CLSM) with forcing fields from a reanalysis data set, MERRA-2. The simulated permafrost distribution and ALTs agree reasonably well with an observation-based map and in situ measurements, respectively. The accumulated above-freezing air temperature and maximum snow water equivalent explain most of the year-to-year variability of ALT.
Robert Kenner, Jeannette Noetzli, Martin Hoelzle, Hugo Raetzo, and Marcia Phillips
The Cryosphere, 13, 1925–1941,Short summary
A new permafrost mapping method distinguishes between ice-poor and ice-rich permafrost. The approach was tested for the entire Swiss Alps and highlights the dominating influence of the factors elevation and solar radiation on the distribution of ice-poor permafrost. Our method enabled the indication of mean annual ground temperatures and the cartographic representation of permafrost-free belts, which are bounded above by ice-poor permafrost and below by permafrost-containing excess ice.
H. Brendan O'Neill, Stephen A. Wolfe, and Caroline Duchesne
The Cryosphere, 13, 753–773,Short summary
In this paper, we present new models to depict ground ice in permafrost in Canada, incorporating knowledge from recent studies. The model outputs we present reproduce observed regional ground ice conditions and are generally comparable with previous mapping. However, our results are more detailed and more accurately reflect ground ice conditions in many regions. The new mapping is an important step toward understanding terrain response to permafrost degradation in Canada.
Stephanie Coulombe, Daniel Fortier, Denis Lacelle, Mikhail Kanevskiy, and Yuri Shur
The Cryosphere, 13, 97–111,Short summary
This study provides a detailed description of relict glacier ice preserved in the permafrost of Bylot Island (Nunavut). We demonstrate that the 18O composition (-34.0 0.4 ‰) of the ice is consistent with the late Pleistocene age ice in the Barnes Ice Cap. As most of the glaciated Arctic landscapes are still strongly determined by their glacial legacy, the melting of these large ice bodies could have significant impacts on permafrost geosystem landscape dynamics and ecosystems.
Robert G. Way, Antoni G. Lewkowicz, and Yu Zhang
The Cryosphere, 12, 2667–2688,Short summary
Isolated patches of permafrost in southeast Labrador are among the southernmost lowland permafrost features in Canada. Local characteristics at six sites were investigated from Cartwright, NL (~ 54° N) to Blanc-Sablon, QC (~ 51° N). Annual ground temperatures varied from −0.7 °C to −2.3 °C with permafrost thicknesses of 1.7–12 m. Ground temperatures modelled for two sites showed permafrost disappearing at the southern site by 2060 and persistence beyond 2100 at the northern site only for RCP2.6.
Zeze Ran and Gengnian Liu
The Cryosphere, 12, 2327–2340,Short summary
This article provides the first rock glacier inventory of Daxue Shan, south- eastern Tibetan Plateau. This study provides important data for exploring the relation between maritime periglacial environments and the development of rock glaciers on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau (TP). It may also highlight the characteristics typical of rock glaciers found in a maritime setting.
Charles J. Abolt, Michael H. Young, Adam L. Atchley, and Dylan R. Harp
The Cryosphere, 12, 1957–1968,Short summary
We investigate the relationship between ice wedge polygon topography and near-surface ground temperature using a combination of field work and numerical modeling. We analyze a year-long record of ground temperature across a low-centered polygon, then demonstrate that lower rims and deeper troughs promote warmer conditions in the ice wedge in winter. This finding implies that ice wedge cracking and growth, which are driven by cold conditions, can be impeded by rim erosion or trough subsidence.
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The requested paper has a corresponding corrigendum published. Please read the corrigendum first before downloading the article.
As Norwegian geologist Liestøl (1996) recognised,
in connection with formation of pingos there are a great many unsolved questions. Drillings and temperature measurements through the pingo mound and also through the surrounding permafrost are needed before the problems can be better understood. To shed light on pingo formation here we present the results of first drilling of pingo on Spitsbergen together with results of detailed hydrochemical and stable-isotope studies of massive-ice samples.
As Norwegian geologist Liestøl (1996) recognised,
in connection with formation of pingos there...