The Permafrost Discovery Gateway: A web platform to enable knowledge-generation from big geospatial data

guido.grosse [ at ]


Permafrost thaw has been observed at several locations across the pan-Arctic in recent decades, yet the pan-Arctic extent and potential spatial-temporal variations in thaw are poorly constrained. Thawing of ice-rich permafrost can be inferred and quantified with satellite imagery due to the subsequent differential ground subsidence and erosion that in turn affects land surface cover. Information contained within existing and rapidly growing collections of high-resolution satellite imagery (Big Imagery) is here extracted across the Arctic region through a collaboration between software engineers, computer- and earth scientists. More specifically, we are a) developing geospatial data down to sub-meter resolution, and also b) enabling discovery and knowledge-generation through visualization tools. This cyberinfrastructure platform, the Permafrost Discovery Gateway (PDG), is being designed with input from users of the PDG, e.g. primarily the Arctic earth science community but also the general public. The PDG builds upon other NSF supported data management resources (Arctic Data Center and Clowder) and the Fluid Earth Viewer. The Fluid Earth Viewer, which is the first visualization tool implemented into the PDG, was initially created for the public to explore atmospheric and oceanographic visualizations and is here modified to support permafrost geospatial products, and a number of community built analytic tools to identify permafrost artifacts within satellite imagery. The effort also includes workflow optimization of remote sensing code for pan-Arctic sub-meter scale mapping of ice-wedge polygons from optical imagery. We are additionally actively engaging with the user-community to ensure that the PDG becomes useful, both in terms of the type of data contained within the PDG and the design of the visualization tools. The PDG has the potential to fill key Arctic science gaps, such as bridging plot to pan-Arctic scale findings, while also serving as a resource informing decisions regarding the economy, security, and resilience of the Arctic region.

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Conference (Talk)
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AGU Fall Meeting 2020, 01 Dec 2020 - 17 Dec 2020, Virtual/Online.
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Liljedahl, A. K. , Jones, M. B. , Witharana, C. , Brook, M. , Grosse, G. , Jones, C. S. , Kooper, R. , Moss, J. , Soliman, A. , Gavina, M. , Yadav, B. , McHenry, K. , Cervenec, J. M. , Budden, A. E. , Brubaker, M. , Jones, B. M. , Katz, D. S. , Marini, L. , Nitze, I. , Walker, L. , Wind, G. and Udawalpola, R. (2020): The Permafrost Discovery Gateway: A web platform to enable knowledge-generation from big geospatial data , AGU Fall Meeting 2020, Virtual/Online, 1 December 2020 - 17 December 2020 .

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