Expeditions

Map altered after Brown et al. (1997)
Map altered after Brown et al. (1997)

Fieldwork in remote permafrost regions of the Arctic and Subarctic are an important component of our PETA-CARB project. During these expeditions we collect samples, conduct geodetic surveys, and install measurement instruments that deliver critical data for our project. The focus of our field work is on the landscape dynamics resulting from rapid permafrost thaw and its impacts on soil carbon pools.

Our expeditions are conducted within international collaborations especially with colleagues from the USA and Russia, lead us into the remotest regions of Siberia and Alaska, and often are quite adventurous with their basic field camps in the wilderness, unusual transportation modes, long work days, and the promise of scientific discovery.

Central Yakutia, March 2015

Description of Expedition

An expedition jointly carried out with the Melnikov Permafrost Institute Yakutsk on the eastern banks of the Lena southeast of Yakutsk (Yukechi Alas)

Duration: One Week

Goals: (1) Drilling of four up to 20 m deep boreholes in thermokarst-affected landscapes; (2) collection of sample material from deep deposits; (3) installation of temperature sensors in the boreholes

PETA-CARB participants: Guido Grosse, Jens Strauss

Several other colleagues from University of Leipzig and Melnikov Permafrost Institute Yakutsk joined this expedition.

Alaska North Slope, April 2014

Description of Expedition

A 1600 km long snow machine expedition jointly carried out with members of the NSF CALON project on the Alaska North Slope

Duration: Three Weeks

Goals: Collection of permafrost cores from drained thermokarst lake basins for soil organic carbon analyses

PETA-CARB participant: Guido Grosse; another three participants from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and the USGS.

Lena Delta, August 2014

Description of Expedition

An expedition jointly carried out between the Melnikov Permafrost Institute Yakutsk and ERC PETA-CARB in the eastern Lena Delta (Sobo Sise Island) and on Bykovsky Peninsula. Transport: Helicopter.

Duration: Three Weeks.

Goals: Sampling of permafrost soils and deposits for soil organic carbon analyses and paleo-environmental reconstructions, geodetic surveys of subsidence caused by permafrost thaw, bathymetric surveys, installation of temperature sensors in permafrost boreholes and lakes.

PETA-CARB participants: Guido Grosse, Frank Günther, Jens Strauss, Matthias Fuchs, Ingmar Nitze. Several other colleagues from AWI Potsdam and AARI St. Petersburg joined this expedition, resulting in a large team of up to 16 researchers in the Sobo-Sise field camp.

Alaska North Slope, July 2015

Description of Expedition

An expedition jointly carried out with partners from the USGS and UAF on the Alaska North Slope.

Duration: Two Weeks.

Goals: (1) Collection of permafrost cores along transects in Arctic river deltas and thermokarst-affected terrains for carbon stock analysis. (2) Ground truth and validation of trends in landcover changes observed in supertemporal Landsat-time series datasets. (3) Installation of an extensive land elevation survey grid to detect and quantify thaw subsidence.

PETA-CARB participants: Frank Günther, Matthias Fuchs, Ingmar Nitze, Guido Grosse. Two other participants from USGS, three from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, one fantastic pilot.

Alaska North Slope, August 2014

Description of Expedition

An expedition jointly carried out between members of the NSF CALON and ERC PETA-CARB projects on the Alaska North Slope. Transport: Floatplane and helicopter.

Duration: Two Weeks.

Goals: Collection of thermokarst lake sediment cores for paleo-environmental reconstructions.

PETA-CARB participant: Josefine Lenz. 

Lena-Delta, August 2015

Description of Expedition

An expedition jointly carried out between the Melnikov Permafrost Institute Yakutsk (PIY) and ERC PETA-CARB in the eastern Lena Delta (Sobo Sise Island) and on Bykovsky Peninsula.

Duration: Three Weeks.

Goals: (1) Sampling of permafrost soils and deposits for soil organic carbon analyses and paleo-environmental reconstructions; (2) geodetic surveys of subsidence caused by permafrost thaw; (3) bathymetric surveys; and (4) readout of temperature sensors in permafrost boreholes and lakes.

Participants: Frank Günther and Andreas Fricke (PETA-CARB; AWI Potsdam and Potsdam University), Georgy Maximov (PIY), Alexandra Veremeeva (Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, RAS, Pushchino) and Mercedes Molina Gamez (Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg) joined this expedition.