Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Research article
23 Apr 2021
Research article |  | 23 Apr 2021

Top-of-permafrost ground ice indicated by remotely sensed late-season subsidence

Simon Zwieback and Franz J. Meyer

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Cited articles

Antonova, S., Sudhaus, H., Strozzi, T., Zwieback, S., Kääb, A., Heim, B., Langer, M., Bornemann, N., and Boike, J.: Thaw subsidence of a yedoma landscape in northern Siberia, measured in situ and estimated from TerraSAR-X interferometry, Remote Sensing, 10, 494,, 2018. a
Bartsch, A., Leibman, M., Strozzi, T., Khomutov, A., Widhalm, B., Babkina, E., Mullanurov, D., Ermokhina, K., Kroisleitner, C., and Bergstedt, H.: Seasonal Progression of Ground Displacement Identified with Satellite Radar Interferometry and the Impact of Unusually Warm Conditions on Permafrost at the Yamal Peninsula in 2016, Remote Sensing, 11, 1865,, 2019. a, b, c
Berardino, P., Fornaro, G., Lanari, R., and Sansosti, E.: A new algorithm for surface deformation monitoring based on small baseline differential SAR interferograms, IEEE T. Geosci. Remote, 40, 2375–2383,, 2002. a, b, c
Borge, A. F., Westermann, S., Solheim, I., and Etzelmüller, B.: Strong degradation of palsas and peat plateaus in northern Norway during the last 60 years, The Cryosphere, 11, 1–16,, 2017. a
Box, J. E., Colgan, W. T., Christensen, T. R., Schmidt, N. M., Lund, M., Parmentier, F.-J. W., Brown, R., Bhatt, U. S., Euskirchen, E. S., Romanovsky, V. E., Walsh, J. E., Overland, J. E., Wang, M., Corell, R. W., Meier, W. N., Wouters, B., Mernild, S., Mård, J., Pawlak, J., and Olsen, M. S.: Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971–2017, Environ. Res. Lett., 14, 045010,, 2019. a
Short summary
Thawing of ice-rich permafrost leads to subsidence and slumping, which can compromise Arctic infrastructure. However, we lack fine-scale maps of permafrost ground ice, chiefly because it is usually invisible at the surface. We show that subsidence at the end of summer serves as a fingerprint with which near-surface permafrost ground ice can be identified. As this can be done with satellite data, this method may help improve ground ice maps and thus sustainably steward the Arctic.