Permafrost thermal snapshot and active-layer thickness in Svalbard 2016–2017

julia.boike [ at ]


This report is the product of international collaboration of several permafrost researchers working in Svalbard. The report aims to provide an overview of ground thermal conditions and active-layer thickness as they are recorded at five sites during the 2016/2017 hydrological year from 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017 in Svalbard. We report on this period, as this is when observation variables are available from all sites. This provides the basis for comparison of spatial variations in permafrost thermal conditions and active layer thickness in Svalbard. For earlier summaries of permafrost conditions on Svalbard see Humlum et al. (2003) and Christiansen et al. (2010). The specific objectives of this report are to: (1) introduce the study area and permafrost in Svalbard; (2) describe instrumentation and operation at each of the five sites; (3) characterize the ground thermal regime and present the active-layer thickness from the last 20162017 hydrological year; (4) provide an overall analysis of the ground-thermal observations with a focus on the implications of changing permafrost on other parts of the cryosphere relevant for the SIOS network; (5) ensure access to the reported data through the Global Terrestrial Network on Permafrost (GTN-P) adhering to the SIOS Data policy and (6) point to potential avenues and geographic locations for future permafrost observation needs in Svalbard. This report builds on the IPY 2007-2008 snapshot of the permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness in Svalbard (Christiansen et al., 2010), but now provides ground temperatures from more areas in Svalbard thanks to the international collaboration. The report may serve as a baseline for future regional observation programs and collaborative activities within the SIOS network.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Research Networks
Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
Cite as
Christiansen, H. H. , Gilbert, G. L. , Demidov, N. , Guglielmin, M. , Isaksen, K. , Osuch, M. and Boike, J. (2019): Permafrost thermal snapshot and active-layer thickness in Svalbard 2016–2017 , [Miscellaneous]


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