Permafrost and Periglacial Environments

The course will have a specific focus on the interaction between permafrost, periglacial processes and climate, and how this interaction controls the different periglacial landforms.


The theoretical part will introduce permafrost basics, periglacial geomorphology, and the meteorological control on the permafrost distribution and the activity of periglacial processes and landforms. The course will focus on arctic and alpine landscapes. Seminars will deal with papers based on field studies in Svalbard or other cold-climatic regions, to improve the understanding of geomorphological processes, and to demonstrate the use of periglacial landforms to reconstruct past environments and climatic conditions. Discussions will concentrate on identifying the critical questions for future permafrost and periglacial research, and how procedures might be devised to address these questions.

The course extends over 5 weeks and is run in combination with AG-830.

The course will have a theoretical part with lectures and seminars, and a practical part with excursions and fieldwork. The practical part will emphasise field methods relevant to permafrost-related research such as geomorphological mapping techniques, drilling in permafrost and installation and operation of sensors and data loggers for measuring temperature and other parameters of the active layer and top permafrost. There will be field excursions to permafrost monitoring sites, rock glaciers, talus sheets, ice-wedges, pingos and rock free faces to visit on-going research projects and for collection of field data. The fieldwork and excursions may be subject to changes, depending upon the weather conditions.

Prerequisites:
Enrolment in a master programme. Background in physical geography and/or Quaternary geology is recommended.

Course details

Academic level(s)Master
CountryNorway
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline15.10.2014
ECTS credits10.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyEarth sciencePhysical science (others)
Teaching placeSvalbard
Tagspermafrostgeomorphologyperiglacial environment
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