Browsing by Subject "ACTIVE-LAYER THICKNESS"

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  • Karjalainen, Olli; Aalto, Juha; Luoto, Miska; Westermann, Sebastian; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Nelson, Frederick E.; Etzelmueller, Bernd; Hjort, Jan (2019)
    Ongoing climate change is causing fundamental changes in the Arctic, some of which can be hazardous to nature and human activity. In the context of Earth surface systems, warming climate may lead to rising ground temperatures and thaw of permafrost. This Data Descriptor presents circumpolar permafrost maps and geohazard indices depicting zones of varying potential for development of hazards related to near-surface permafrost degradation, such as ground subsidence. Statistical models were used to predict ground temperature and the thickness of the seasonally thawed (active) layer using geospatial data on environmental conditions at 30 arc-second resolution. These predictions, together with data on factors (ground ice content, soil grain size and slope gradient) affecting permafrost stability, were used to formulate geohazard indices. Using climate-forcing scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5), permafrost extent and hazard potential were projected for the 2041-2060 and 2061-2080 time periods. The resulting data (seven permafrost and 24 geohazard maps) are relevant to near-future infrastructure risk assessments and for targeting localized geohazard analyses.
  • Karjalainen, Olli; Luoto, Miska; Aalto, Juha; Hjort, Jan (2019)
    The thermal state of permafrost affects Earth surface systems and human activity in the Arctic and has implications for global climate. Improved understanding of the local-scale variability in the global ground thermal regime is required to account for its sensitivity to changing climatic and geoecological conditions. Here, we statistically related observations of mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) and active-layer thickness (ALT) to high-resolution (similar to 1 km(2)) geospatial data of climatic and local environmental conditions across the Northern Hemisphere. The aim was to characterize the relative importance of key environmental factors and the magnitude and shape of their effects on MAGT and ALT. The multivariate models fitted well to both response variables with average R-2 values being similar to 0.94 and 0.78. Corresponding predictive performances in terms of root-mean-square error were similar to 1.31 degrees C and 87 cm. Freezing (FDD) and thawing (TDD) degree days were key factors for MAGT inside and outside the permafrost domain with average effect sizes of 6.7 and 13.6 degrees C, respectively. Soil properties had marginal effects on MAGT (effect size = 0.4-0.7 degrees C). For ALT, rainfall (effect size = 181 cm) and solar radiation (161 cm) were most influential. Analysis of variable importance further underlined the dominance of climate for MAGT and highlighted the role of solar radiation for ALT. Most response shapes for MAGT