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Permafrost core (Photo: Hanne Christiansen - UNIS)The PAGE21 project, a new EU 7th framework collaborative research project which Arctic Portal prodly is a part of, will expand knowledge of permafrost in the Arctic. Drilling starts next week in Adventdalen, Svalbard.

A total of 18 institutions from 11 countries are involved and UNIS is in charge of the field campaign in Adventdalen outside Longyearbyen that starts next week.

The five main research field sites are Zackenberg in North Eastern Greenland, Abisko in Northern Sweden, Adventdalen and Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard, and Samoylov Island and Kytalyk in Russia. The individual key field research sites are collecting field data on the permafrost, such as determining its temperature, its amount of ice, the origin of the ice, and the distribution of permafrost landforms in the study areas.

A new specially designed hydraulic drill rig has been  bought for drilling. UNtil now the drilling has been hand made, down to only 2 meters. The new drill is able to collect cores from the permafrost in both sediments and bedrock down to potentially 50 m depth.

The drill in testing in Svalbard (Photo: Hanne Christiansen - UNIS)The drilling that starts next week will collect up to 110m of permafrost coresfrom ice-wedge polygons, pingos and solifluction sheets in Adventdalen.

The PAGE21 project combines field measurements of permafrost processes, pools, and fluxes, with remote sensing data and global climate models at local, regional and, for the first time, pan-Arctic scales.

The output from this research will help to advance our understanding of permafrost processes at multiple scales, resulting in improvements in global numerical permafrost modelling and the ensuing future climate projections.