Watch Researcher Associate Dr. Alexander Kholodov & Research Assistant Professor Dr. Santosh Panda of Permafrost Lab, Geophysical Institute, UAF deploy next generation sensors, data loggers and micro station at University of Alaska Fairbanks bicycle bumps area of campus.
This observation point was a potato field back in 1908 which was later abandoned due to the extreme deformation of the ground resulting from thawing and refreezing of the active permafrost layer.
In the video Dr. Kholodov walks us through part of the bicycle bumps area brings us to a pre existing observation site with numerous sensors mounted on a metal all weather adjustable tripod made of galvanized steel tubing with crossarms used with crossarm brackets to provide a rugged attachment point for securing meteorological sensors.
The video describes all aspects of the observation point in detail, including the sensors being deployed, the procedure for digging, measuring depths, taking soil samples, documenting the depths where sensor will be placed in soil, composition of soils all while recording in field notebook
In the video we see Dr. Kholodov connecting laptop computer to verify all the the various parameters of sensors are properly recording and logging data as well as showing us some of the readings directly on the screen of his laptop.
The reason why he established this observation point which measures air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, temperature at the ground surface, temperature and soil moisture at depths 10 & 15 centimeters, temperature at the depth 1.2 meters, is to understand the heat transfer at the ground surface & upper layer of soil in this kind of environment in deciduous forest.
This observation point has pretty good drainage pretty dry & this data recorded can be compared with data from four of their other observation points located nearby but in different type of forrest & boreal forests with black spruce thick moss cover & two observation points in wetland.
Members of Permafrost Laboratory do this work as a part of two big projects they are involved in.
The first is PermAON Thermal State of Permafrost, its a big observation program of permafrost temperature measurement around the globe both in Alaska, Siberia, Scandinavia and in many mountains.
Another project is called VIPER Vegetative Impact on Permafrost.
Research aiming to quantify influence of different types of ecosystem & different parameters of ecosystems on permafrost temperature & ground surface energy balance.
Some of the documentation listed at UAF website state that Northern permafrost soils store twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere. When permafrost thaws, the organic matter in the previously frozen soil begins to decay, releasing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Those gases can contribute to climate warming and further permafrost thaw.