Research at the Samoylov Station
The Lena River Delta located at the Laptev Sea coast in north-eastern Siberia is a key region for understanding the basic processes of the dynamic and development of permafrost in the Siberian Arctic. Following research projects are performed on Samoylov Island and its surroundings:
Contact: Dr. Dirk Wagner
Long-term studies on carbon fluxes of the Lena Delta have been carried out since 1998. The mean flux rate of methane from depressions of polygon mires is much higher than the methane flux rate from the elevated polygonal rim. Those differences could be attributed to the different activity of the microbial communities in the mire as well as to the plant mediated methane transport. Microbial consortia colonize the upper horizons of the permafrost soil showing methane production activity in spring immediatly with the beginning of superficial thawing. There is a high diversity of methane producing archaea in arctic tundra soils. Even at temperatures near 0°C production of methane takes place.
Hydrobiological Investigations in the Lena Delta
Contact: E. N. Abramova, Lena Delta Reserve
Data on the seasonal-interannual variations of the zooplankton species composition and abundance in the modern high-latitude Arctic water biocoenoses are insufficient so far, and information on the processes regulating population dynamics and community structure of the pelagic organisms in different seasons of the year are lacking. New data on population structure, ecology, biology, abundance, and biomass fluctuations of the fresh-water pelagic organisms were obtained, which demonstrate the relationship between the unusually cold conditions of the last summer and zooplankton dynamics.
Studies on Recent Cryogenesis
The main aim of studying recent cryogenesis processes is to establish a stable isotope thermometer for ice wedges. The recent ice veins are attributed to the discrete year of their formation by means of tracer experiments. A tracer (coloured lycopodium spores) is applied to a polygon with recent cryogenesis, which allows identifying all types of ground ice that were formed in the considered year.
The Tundra`s Energy and Water Budget
Contact: Dr. Julia Boike
Permafrost is highly sensitive to long-term warming. Therefore, it is seen as a valuable indicator for observing and forecasting environmental changes. For this approach a long-term observation of the active layer and permafrost thermal and hydrologic state was established on Samoylov Island in 1998. These measurements will be augmented with spatially distributed measurements and a 30 metres deep permafrost borehole.
In 2002 the long-term studies on carbon dynamics were supplemented by a micrometeorological eddy covariance measurement system for continuous measurement of turbulent fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane, heat, and water in the atmospheric boundary layer.
Geomorphological Studies in the Lena River Delta
Contact: D. Yu. Bolshiyanov, AARI St. Petersburg
Geomorphologic investigation in the upper part of the Lena River Delta was connected with a hydrological program and directed to studying of modern and former sediment transport dynamics and their accumulation. The area of investigation was bordered by Bulkurskaya and Olenekskay channels and main channels of the Lena River. The general aim of the investigation is the studying of geomorphic structures of this area and river-bed forms in this part of Lena River Delta.
Late Quaternary Research
Contact: Lutz Schirrmeister
Extensive investigations of Late Quaternary landscape dynamics were carried out in the Lena Delta as well as beyond it. Numerous environmental indicators in frozen deposits and stable isotope records in ground ice were studied representing the climate and environmental changes of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the Siberian Arctic. Remote sensing and GIS methods should be increasingly used to classify periglacial landscape and to study landscape forming permafrost degradation. In addition, modern landscape dynamics especially the coastal retreat of ice-rich permafrost coasts were studied.