Articles | Volume 17, issue 8
Research article
21 Aug 2023
Research article |  | 21 Aug 2023

Permafrost saline water and Early to mid-Holocene permafrost aggradation in Svalbard

Dotan Rotem, Vladimir Lyakhovsky, Hanne Hvidtfeldt Christiansen, Yehudit Harlavan, and Yishai Weinstein

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Cited articles

Ahonen, L.: Permafrost: occurrence and physiochemical processes (POSIVA–01-05), Geological Survey of Finland, Finland, ISBN 951-652-106-1, 2001.​​​​​​​ 
Alsos, I. G., Sjögren, P., Edwards, M. E., Landvik, J. Y., Gielly, L., Forwick, M., Coissac E., Brown A. G., Jakobsen L. V., Føreid M. K., and Pedersen, M. W.: Sedimentary ancient DNA from Lake Skartjørna, Svalbard: Assessing the resilience of arctic flora to Holocene climate change, Holocene, 26, 627–642,, 2016. 
Ames, W. F.: Numerical methods for partial differential equations, 2nd edition, Academic press INC, ISBN 0-12-056761-X, 1977. 
Anderson, L., Edwards,, M., Shapley,, M. D., Finney, B. P., and Langdon, C.: Holocene Thermokarst Lake Dynamics in Northern Interior Alaska: The Interplay of Climate, Fire, and Subsurface Hydrology, Front. Earth Sci., 7, 53,, 2019. 
Angelopoulos, M., Westermann, S., Overduin, P., Faguet, A., Olenchenko, V., Grosse, G., and Grigoriev, M. N.: Heat and salt flow in subsea permafrost modeled with CryoGRID2, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf., 124, 920–937,, 2019. 
Short summary
Frozen saline pore water, left over from post-glacial marine ingression, was found in shallow permafrost in a Svalbard fjord valley. This suggests that freezing occurred immediately after marine regression due to isostatic rebound. We conducted top-down freezing simulations, which confirmed that with Early to mid-Holocene temperatures (e.g. −4 °C), freezing could progress down to 20–40 m within 200 years. This, in turn, could inhibit flow through the sediment, therefore preserving saline fluids.