Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Research article
27 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 27 Mar 2013

Baseline characteristics of climate, permafrost and land cover from a new permafrost observatory in the Lena River Delta, Siberia (1998–2011)

J. Boike, B. Kattenstroth, K. Abramova, N. Bornemann, A. Chetverova, I. Fedorova, K. Fröb, M. Grigoriev, M. Grüber, L. Kutzbach, M. Langer, M. Minke, S. Muster, K. Piel, E.-M. Pfeiffer, G. Stoof, S. Westermann, K. Wischnewski, C. Wille, and H.-W. Hubberten

Abstract. Samoylov Island is centrally located within the Lena River Delta at 72° N, 126° E and lies within the Siberian zone of continuous permafrost. The landscape on Samoylov Island consists mainly of late Holocene river terraces with polygonal tundra, ponds and lakes, and an active floodplain. The island has been the focus of numerous multidisciplinary studies since 1993, which have focused on climate, land cover, ecology, hydrology, permafrost and limnology. This paper aims to provide a framework for future studies by describing the characteristics of the island's meteorological parameters (temperature, radiation and snow cover), soil temperature, and soil moisture. The land surface characteristics have been described using high resolution aerial images in combination with data from ground-based observations. Of note is that deeper permafrost temperatures have increased between 0.3 to 1.3 °C over the last five years. However, no clear warming of air and active layer temperatures is detected since 1998, though winter air temperatures during recent years have not been as cold as in earlier years.

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Final-revised paper