Dr. Romanovsky’s presentation, titled Planning and Implementing the Thermal State of Permafrost Monitoring System in Alaska, will be held via Zoom on Thursday, 28 October 2021 at 9:00 a.m. AKDT (1:00 p.m. EDT).

Seminar Abstract:

The Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) monitoring system was initiated by the United States Geological Survey in the 1940s and 1950s as a set of ground temperature observations in a number of deep (200 to 1000 m) boreholes. The main reason for these measurements originally was the investigation of the geothermal conditions in Alaska. However, in the 1970s and in the beginning of the 1980s, the interpretation of the obtained data showed that a significant warming in the upper part (20 to 50 m) of many boreholes has occurred during the mid-20th century.

About this time, another TSP monitoring system was established in Alaska by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Since then, these two monitoring systems are the most active and most productive in terms of TSP data collecting and interpretation. The goal of this monitoring was to use the records of permafrost temperature in relatively deep boreholes as an indicator of Climate Change. Later, with further development of the monitoring systems and with the addition of the number of monitored parameters, the main goal of monitoring started to shift to the use of permafrost and active layer characteristics as an indicator of changes in the entire Arctic System.

In more recent times, the goals of the STP monitoring system in Alaska are evolving into not only to monitor but also to predict the changes in permafrost characteristics and the ground temperature regime in the near and more distant future and how these changes will impact climate, arctic hydrology, ecosystems, and infrastructure.

Historically, moving from one task to the next required: 1) additional measured parameters to be added; and 2) increasing temporal (continuous vs. one-time measurements) and spatial (number of observing stations and their geographical distribution) resolution of observations and modeling. As a result, the TSP monitoring system in Alaska is getting more complex, more distributed, more difficult to access, more expensive, and more effort and resources are required to support this system.

During this presentation, some examples of the results of this monitoring system obtained at each stage of its development will be presented. Dr. Romanovsky will only be discussing the ground-based observation system. The use of remote sensing observations will be mentioned only briefly.

Registration is required for this event. Instructions for accessing the webinar will be sent to registrants prior to the event.

To register for the event, go to:
ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series webpage

For questions, contact:
Stacey Stoudt
Email: stacey@arcus.org