Special Issue "Permafrost Landscape"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alexander N. Fedorov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Melnikov Permafrost Institute, Yakutsk, 677010, Russia
Interests: permafrost landscape; climate change; landscape stability; permafrost monitoring; GIS; remote sensing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Permafrost landscapes occupy one-fourth of the world's land area. Their current state largely depends on recent climate changes and anthropogenic impacts. Understanding the dynamics and sensitivity of permafrost landscapes, predicting their future development, finding solutions to environmental and land use problems, and developing adaptation strategies to the changing climate and permafrost are critically important today. This Special Issue will present permafrost landscape investigations dealing with theoretical aspects, new research methods, observation data analysis, and predictive modeling.

In this Special Issue, we invite you to submit papers on the following topics:

  • Theory and methodology of classification;
  • Mapping, remote sensing, and geographical information system (GIS) modeling;
  • The current state of landscapes, environmental problems, and land use;
  • Assessment of landscape sensitivity to current climate change and anthropogenic impacts;
  • Retro-analysis and forecasting; and
  • Adaptation to environmental changes.

Dr. Alexander N. Fedorov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessArticle
Mapping the Main Characteristics of Permafrost on the Basis of a Permafrost-Landscape Map of Yakutia Using GIS
Land 2021, 10(5), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050462 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The purpose of this article was to compile four separate digital thematic maps of temperature and ice content of permafrost, the active layer thickness, and cryogenic processes in Yakutia as a basis for assessing changes to modern climate changes and anthropogenic disturbances. In [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article was to compile four separate digital thematic maps of temperature and ice content of permafrost, the active layer thickness, and cryogenic processes in Yakutia as a basis for assessing changes to modern climate changes and anthropogenic disturbances. In this work, materials on permafrost were used, serving as the basis for compiling a permafrost landscape map of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The maps were compiled using ArcGIS software, which supports attribute table mapping. The ground temperature and active layer thickness maps reflected landscape zonality and regional differences. Peculiarities of genetic types of Quaternary deposits and climatic conditions reflected the ice content of surface sediments and cryogenic process distribution maps. One of the most common is ground temperatures from −2.1 to −4.0 °C, which were found to occupy about 37.4% of the territory of Yakutia. More than half of the region was found to be occupied by permafrost landscapes with a limited thickness of the active layer up to 1.1 m. Ice-rich permafrost (more than 0.4 in ice content) was found to be typical for about 40% of the territory. Thermokarst is the most hazardous process that occurs in half of Yakutia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Permafrost Landscapes Degradation on Livelihoods of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Rural Communities
Land 2021, 10(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020101 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Climate change and the degradation of permafrost prove to be severe challenges for humanity. At present, the northern communities and those living in rural areas are already facing the consequences. This article is based on field research conducted in the Yunkyur, Olyokminsky, and [...] Read more.
Climate change and the degradation of permafrost prove to be severe challenges for humanity. At present, the northern communities and those living in rural areas are already facing the consequences. This article is based on field research conducted in the Yunkyur, Olyokminsky, and Amginsky Districts of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) during 2018–2020. These settlements have one of the richest agricultural traditions in the region; however, the inhabitants of these villages now face serious consequences of permafrost degradation. The authors rely on a mixed set of methods and approaches, including sociological surveys, expert and in-depth interviewing, and appropriate archival and museum materials. Methodology of remote sensing and landscape–geocryological research was integrated. The resulting studies made it possible to demonstrate increasingly widespread thermokarst processes in the key areas studied. The authors determined that the degradation of permafrost has led to problems with the safety and development of the housing stock, especially deformation of houses and outbuildings, and reduction of areas suitable for construction. Territories affected by thermokarst also drop out of agricultural use. Finally, the authors identify some adaptation mechanisms to mitigate the effects of changes in permafrost landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Seasonal and Interannual Ground-Surface Displacement in Intact and Disturbed Tundra along the Dalton Highway on the North Slope, Alaska
Land 2021, 10(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010022 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Spatiotemporal variation in ground-surface displacement caused by ground freeze–thaw and thermokarst is critical information to understand changes in the permafrost ecosystem. Measurement of ground displacement, especially in the disturbed ground underlain by ice-rich permafrost, is important to estimate the rate of permafrost and [...] Read more.
Spatiotemporal variation in ground-surface displacement caused by ground freeze–thaw and thermokarst is critical information to understand changes in the permafrost ecosystem. Measurement of ground displacement, especially in the disturbed ground underlain by ice-rich permafrost, is important to estimate the rate of permafrost and carbon loss. We conducted high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning surveys to measure the surface displacements of tundra in northern Alaska, together with maximum thaw depth (TD) and surface moisture measurements from 2017 to 2019. The measurements were performed along two to three 60–200 m transects per site with 1–5 m intervals at the three areas. The average seasonal thaw settlement (STS) at intact tundra sites ranged 5.8–14.3 cm with a standard deviation range of 2.1–3.3 cm. At the disturbed locations, averages and variations in STS and the maximum thaw depth were largest in all observed years and among all sites. The largest seasonal and interannual subsidence (44 and 56 cm/year, respectively) were recorded at points near troughs of degraded ice-wedge polygons or thermokarst lakes. Weak or moderate correlation between STS and TD found at the intact sites became obscure as the thermokarst disturbance progressed, leading to higher uncertainty in the prediction of TD from STS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Climate Change and Its Influence on the Active Layer Depth in Central Yakutia
Land 2021, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010003 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Analysis of climatic conditions for the period of instrumental measurement in Central Yakutia showed three periods with two different mean annual air temperature (MAAT) shifts. These periods were divided into 1930–1987 (base period A), 1988–2006 (period B) and 2007–2018 (period C) timelines. The [...] Read more.
Analysis of climatic conditions for the period of instrumental measurement in Central Yakutia showed three periods with two different mean annual air temperature (MAAT) shifts. These periods were divided into 1930–1987 (base period A), 1988–2006 (period B) and 2007–2018 (period C) timelines. The MAAT during these three periods amounted −10.3, −8.6 and −7.4 °C, respectively. Measurement of active layer depth (ALD) of permafrost pale soil under the forest (natural) and arable land (anthropogenic) were carried out during 1990–2018 period. MAAT change for this period affected an early transition of negative temperatures to positive and a later establishment of negative temperatures. Additionally, a shortening of the winter season and an extension of the duration of days with positive temperatures was found. Since the permafrost has a significant impact on soil moisture and thermal regimes, the deepening of ALD plays a negative role for studied soils. An increase in the ALD can cause thawing of underground ice and lead to degradation of the ice-rich permafrost. This thaw process causes a change of the ecological balance and leads to the destruction of natural landscapes, sometimes with a complete or prolonged loss of their biological productivity. During this observation (1990–2018 period) the active layer of permafrost is characterized by high dynamics, depending on climatic parameters such as air temperature, as well as thickness and duration of snow cover. A significant increase in ALD of forest permafrost soils—by 80 cm and 65 cm—on arable land was measured during the observation period (28 years). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Establishment of Permafrost Thermal Monitoring Sites in East Siberia
Land 2020, 9(12), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120476 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Permafrost lies close to the surface of the day, therefore, it is able to quickly respond to modern climatic changes. Under these conditions, the goal of understanding the evolution of permafrost in the near future requires monitoring studies of the current state of [...] Read more.
Permafrost lies close to the surface of the day, therefore, it is able to quickly respond to modern climatic changes. Under these conditions, the goal of understanding the evolution of permafrost in the near future requires monitoring studies of the current state of permafrost and, first of all, its thermal conditions. In this work, based on the experience of many years of research at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science (MPI SB RAS), methodological and technical issues of equipping experimental sites for monitoring the thermal state of permafrost in Eastern Siberia are considered. It is demonstrated that the reliability of permafrost thermal monitoring depends not only on measurement devices used but also on proper borehole system design and adequate choice of a method for active-layer thickness measurement depending on soil composition and properties. The use of protective tubes significantly lengthens the life of sensors in soils. A method of protecting the loggers from surface waters is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Inventory and Distribution of Rock Glaciers in Northeastern Yakutia
Land 2020, 9(10), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100384 - 10 Oct 2020
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Rock glaciers are common forms of relief of the periglacial belt of many mountain structures in the world. They are potential sources of water in arid and semi-arid regions, and therefore their analysis is important in assessing water reserves. Mountain structures in the [...] Read more.
Rock glaciers are common forms of relief of the periglacial belt of many mountain structures in the world. They are potential sources of water in arid and semi-arid regions, and therefore their analysis is important in assessing water reserves. Mountain structures in the north-east of Yakutia have optimal conditions for the formation of rock glaciers, but they have not yet been studied in this regard. In this article, for the first time, we present a detailed list of rock glaciers in this region. Based on geoinformation mapping using remote sensing data and field studies within the Chersky, Verkhoyansk, Momsky and Suntar-Khayata ranges, 4503 rock glaciers with a total area of 224.6 km2 were discovered. They are located within absolute altitudes, from 503 to 2496 m. Their average minimum altitude was at 1456 m above sea level, and the maximum at 1527 m. Most of these formations are located on the sides of the trough valleys, and form extended sloping types of rock glaciers. An assessment of the exposure of the slopes where the rock glaciers are located showed that most of the rock glaciers are facing north and south. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Grazing on the Temperature Regime of the Alas Soils of Central Yakutia
Land 2020, 9(10), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100365 - 01 Oct 2020
Viewed by 428
Abstract
There are numerous studies on the effect of grazing on the physical and chemical parameters of soils. However, the impact of grazing on the temperature regime of the alas soils in Central Yakutia is still poorly understood. This paper presents the results of [...] Read more.
There are numerous studies on the effect of grazing on the physical and chemical parameters of soils. However, the impact of grazing on the temperature regime of the alas soils in Central Yakutia is still poorly understood. This paper presents the results of long-term observations of the state of the soil-and-plant cover of thermokarst basins—i.e., alases—located in the Lena-Amga interfluve and actively used as pastureland. Observations of the process of the self-restoration of grass cover and changes in the temperature regime of alas soils were carried out on different variants (with isolation from grazing and without isolation). A significant increase in the average height of the grass stand and its foliage projective cover was observed with a gradual reduction in the number of species when isolated from grazing. Changes in the structure of the alas vegetation cover influence the microclimate of the soil. As a result of livestock grazing, the mean annual soil temperature rises and the amount and depth of the penetration of active temperatures increase. The most severe changes in the temperature regime occur in years with an abnormally high cover of snow. The soil warming observed during grazing undoubtedly has a favorable effect on soil organisms. However, in conditions of climate warming, grazing, especially overgrazing, can disrupt the permafrost regime and thereby provoke or intensify thermokarst phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sub-Surface Carbon Stocks in Northern Taiga Landscapes Exposed in the Batagay Megaslump, Yana Upland, Yakutia
Land 2020, 9(9), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090305 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2926
Abstract
The most massive and fast-eroding thaw slump of the Northern Hemisphere located in the Yana Uplands of Northern Yakutia was investigated to assess in detail the cryogenic inventory and carbon pools of two distinctive Ice Complex stratigraphic units and the uppermost cover deposits. [...] Read more.
The most massive and fast-eroding thaw slump of the Northern Hemisphere located in the Yana Uplands of Northern Yakutia was investigated to assess in detail the cryogenic inventory and carbon pools of two distinctive Ice Complex stratigraphic units and the uppermost cover deposits. Differentiating into modern and Holocene near-surface layers (active layer and shielding layer), highest total carbon contents were found in the active layer (18.72 kg m−2), while the shielding layer yielded a much lower carbon content of 1.81 kg m−2. The late Pleistocene upper Ice Complex contained 10.34 kg m−2 total carbon, and the mid-Pleistocene lower Ice Complex 17.66 kg m−2. The proportion of organic carbon from total carbon content is well above 70% in all studied units with 94% in the active layer, 73% in the shielding layer, 83% in the upper Ice Complex and 79% in the lower Ice Complex. Inorganic carbon is low in the overall structure of the deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Climate Change on the Thermal Condition of Yakutia’s Permafrost Landscapes (Chabyda Station)
Land 2020, 9(5), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050132 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
This paper presents the results of 39 years of observations conducted at the Chabyda station to monitor the thermal state of permafrost landscapes under current climatic warming. The analysis of long-term records from weather stations in the region has revealed one of the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of 39 years of observations conducted at the Chabyda station to monitor the thermal state of permafrost landscapes under current climatic warming. The analysis of long-term records from weather stations in the region has revealed one of the highest increasing trends in mean annual air temperature in northern Russia. The partitioning of the energy balance in different landscape units within the study area has been analyzed. Quantitative relationships in the long-term variability of ground thermal parameters, such as the ground temperature at the bottom of the active layer and seasonal thaw depth, have been established. The ground temperature dynamics within the depth of zero annual amplitude indicates that both warm and cold permafrost are thermally stable. The short-term variability of the snow accumulation regime is the main factor controlling the thermal state of the ground in permafrost landscapes. The depth of seasonal thaw is characterized by low interannual variability and exhibits little response to climate warming, with no statistically significant increasing or decreasing trend. The results of the ground thermal monitoring can be extended to similar landscapes in the region, providing a reliable basis for predicting heat transfer in natural, undisturbed landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessLetter
Retrospective Analysis of Permafrost Landscape Evolution in Yakutia during the Holocene Warm Intervals
Land 2020, 9(11), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110463 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 514
Abstract
The observed global warming has significant impacts on permafrost. Permafrost changes modify landscapes and cause damage to infrastructure. The main purpose of this study was to estimate permafrost temperatures and active-layer thicknesses during the Holocene intervals with significantly warmer-than-present climates—the Atlantic (5500 years [...] Read more.
The observed global warming has significant impacts on permafrost. Permafrost changes modify landscapes and cause damage to infrastructure. The main purpose of this study was to estimate permafrost temperatures and active-layer thicknesses during the Holocene intervals with significantly warmer-than-present climates—the Atlantic (5500 years BP), Subboreal (3500 years BP) and Subatlantic (1000 years BP) optimums. Estimates were obtained using the ready-to-use models derived by G.M. Feldman, as well as mathematical modeling taking account of the paleogeography of the Holocene warm intervals. The data obtained were analyzed to reveal the regional patterns of warming impacts on different permafrost landscapes. The study results will be useful in predicting future permafrost changes in response to climate warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop