Unfrozen soil water affects the physical, chemical, hydrological, and mechanical properties of frozen soils, and climate change makes these relationships more complicated. The objective of this study was to investigate the research status of unfrozen soil water using scientometrics. Publications on unfrozen water in frozen soil (UWFS) retrieved from the Web of Science were analyzed with scientometric software tools including VOSviewer, CiteSpace, and HistCite Pro. The annual publication trend, co-authorship of authors, organizations, and countries, and the co-occurrence of keywords were analyzed. The most utilized journals and high-impact publications were identified. The results showed that 2007 (the year the “Bali Road Map” was released) represents a turning point (from slow to rapid) in the development of research on unfrozen water in frozen soil. Researchers and organizations from China and the United States are the major contributors, while Cold Regions Science and Technology is the most utilized journal for publishing research pertaining to UWFS. Currently, there is still a lack of reliable and user-friendly methods and techniques for measuring unfrozen water content. Future efforts are required to understand the mechanisms governing the magnitude of unfrozen water content and to develop new approaches to accurately and rapidly measure unfrozen water content in both laboratory and in situ.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.