The Permafrost Information System PerSys – An Open Access geospatial data dissemination and visualization portal for products from ESA GlobPermafrost

guido.grosse [ at ]


Permafrost is an important component of the Cryosphere, which is affected by rapid warming of the Arctic. The degradation and thaw of permafrost in vertical as well as lateral directions results in a reduction of permafrost in high latitudes and high altitudes. Since permafrost affects the ecosystem conditions of the about 23 million square kilometer large permafrost region, its loss has strong effects on hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, and biota. In addition, permafrost soils store about 1500 Gt of organic carbon, about twice the amount currently in the atmosphere and hence changes in permafrost will likely have impacts well beyond local scales. Remote sensing has become an essential tool for quantitatively detecting and monitoring changes in permafrost and associated landscapes. The European Space Agency (ESA) has supported permafrost-focused remote sensing activities in two recent projects, ESA DUE Permafrost (2009-2012) and the ESA GlobPermafrost (2016-2019; The first ESA DUE Permafrost project with spatial overage of the Northern Hemisphere developed, validated and implemented Earth Observation to support research communities and international organizations in their work on better understanding permafrost characteristics and dynamics. Now, the GlobPermafrost project expands on this successful approach by including both polar hemispheres as well as mountain permafrost regions. Products in the new project will cover different aspects of permafrost by integrating in situ measurements of subsurface properties and surface properties, Earth Observation, and modelling. Currently, the GlobPermafrost team is creating prototype remote sensing derived datasets for defined product and user groups. Selected users will be able to access the usability and validity of the products and provide feedback back to the GlobPermafrost team. The feedback from the Users Groups will be integrated into optimized remote sensing products until they have achieved a final state. To bring the resulting data products closer to the permafrost user communities, the Permafrost Information System (PerSys) has been conceptualized as an Open Access geospatial data dissemination and visualization portal for Earth Observation, i.e. remote sensing derived datasets produced within the GlobPermafrost project. The prototype and final remote sensing products and their metadata will be visualized in the PerSys WebGIS, described and searchable via the PerSys Data Catalogue. The WebGIS visualization is managed via the AWI WebGIS Infrastructure maps@awi ( relying on OGC-standardized Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) technologies for data display and visualization. The PerSys WebGIS projects allow visualisation of raster and vector products such as land cover classification, Landsat multispectral index trend datasets, lake and wetland extents, InSAR-based land surface deformation maps, rock glacier velocity fields, spatially distributed permafrost model outputs, and land surface temperature datasets. Each of these WebGIS projects is adapted to the spatial scale of the specific products, ranging from local to hemispherical coverage. The PerSys Data Catalogue will provide the metadata and the access to all mature-state and final-state GlobPermafrost products. PerSys can be accessed through the GlobPermafrost project webpage. PerSys is also a core component of the Arctic Permafrost Geospatial Centre (APGC), a geodata portal for permafrost launched within the framework of the ERC PETA-CARB project at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar and Meeresforschung. The APGC framework features a range of permafrost-specific geospatial data projects, including PerSys, and will allow searching for project-specific geospatial data by tags, keywords, data type and format, licence type, or by location. PerSys will be launched within APGC in early 2017. In addition, the Open Access data library PANGAEA as a certified ICSU member will serve as permanent archive for the GlobPermafrost final products, providing permanent Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for each dataset archived. The ESA DUE Permafrost final product data set is already published under DOI doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.780111. The final GlobPermafrost remote sensing products published in PANGAEA will remain visualised in the PerSys WebGIS and catalogued and made searchable and accessible via the PerSys Data Catalogue.

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Conference (Talk)
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International Conference on Earth's Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future, 04 Jun 2017 - 08 Jun 2017, Pushchino, Russia.
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Grosse, G. , Heim, B. , Haas, A. , Schaefer-Neth, C. , Laboor, S. , Nitze, I. , Bartsch, A. and Seifert, F. M. (2017): The Permafrost Information System PerSys – An Open Access geospatial data dissemination and visualization portal for products from ESA GlobPermafrost , International Conference on Earth's Cryosphere: Past, Present and Future, Pushchino, Russia, 4 June 2017 - 8 June 2017 .

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