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3-D GPR (ground penetrating radar) profiling of permafrost deposits and examination of their geocryologic and sediment properties for verification of GPR profiles. The scientific project has the following aims: To improve the understanding of how GPR (ground penetrating radar) reflections are generated in frozen ground; to reveal the main factors (geophysical and sedimentary) controlling electromagnetic reflection characteristics and their spatial continuity as examplarily studied along a continuous permafrost section, i.e. to distinguish between physical (dielectricity, conductivity and density) and sedimentary (ice/water content, grain size distribution, content of organic matter, texture) properties and estimate their proportionate quantity on the origin of the wave reflections.
The active layer, the annually freezing and thawing upper ground in permafrost areas, is of pivotal importance. The moisture and heat transfer characteristics of this layer also determine the boundary layer interactions of the underlying permafrost and the atmosphere and are therefore important parameters input for geothermal or climate modeling. Finally, changes in the characteristics of the permafrost and permafrost related processes may be used as indicators of global ecological change provided the system permafrost-active layer-atmosphere is understood sufficiently well. The dynamics of permafrost soils is measured with high accuracy and high temporal resolution at our two sites close to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Using these continuous data we quantify energy balance components and deduce heat transfer processes such as conductive heat flux, generation of heat from phase transitions, and migration of water vapor.
The new seismological broad band station KBS at Ny-Ålesund replaces a former WWSSN station operated by the Institute for Solid Earth Physics of the University of Bergen. Both instrumentation and data acquisition of the old station were inadequate to meet all the demands for highest data quality for today's modern seismological research. The high technical standard of the new stations instrumentation now fulfils all the requirements of a modern broad band station. Therefore this station is integrated into the international Global Seismological Network, GSN, for monitoring the world-wide seismic activity. Special interests focus on regional seismicity at and around Svalbard itself and along the ridges in the arctic ocean. KBS is an open station, e.g., any interested scientist or international organization os allowed to retrieve data of special interest. Data are routinely processed and stored at the IRIS Data Management Center in Seattle. Copies are also available at the Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ).