Changes in the 1963-2013 shallow ground thermal regime in Russian permafrost regions Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd. Spatial variability and temporal trends of the shallow ground thermal regime and permafrost active-layer thickness (ALT) were estimated over 1963-2013 using daily soil temperature data available from stations of the Russian Hydrometeorological Service. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the role of changing climatic conditions on the ground thermal regime. ALT data collected by the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring program in Russia were used to expand the geography of ALT observations over 1999-2013, and to identify 'hot spots' of soil temperature and ALT change. Results indicate that a substantially higher rate of change in the thermal regime of permafrost-affected soils prevailed during 1999-2013, relative to the last fifty years. Results indicate that the thermal regime of the upper permafrost in western Russia is strongly associated with air temperature, with much weaker relationships in central and eastern Russia. The thermal regime of permafrost-affected soils shows stronger dependence on climatic conditions over the last fifteen years relative to the historical 50-year period. Geostatistical analysis revealed that the cities of Norilsk and Susuman are hot spots of permafrost degradation. Of six settlements selected for detailed analysis in various parts of the permafrost regions, all but one (Chukotka), show substantial changes in the shallow ground thermal regime. Northern locations in the continuous permafrost region show thickening of the active layer, while those farther south experienced development of residual thaw layers above the permafrost and decreases in the duration of the freezing period.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 45

author list (cited authors)

  • Streletskiy, D. A., Sherstiukov, A. B., Frauenfeld, O. W., & Nelson, F. E.

citation count

  • 63

complete list of authors

  • Streletskiy, Dmitry A||Sherstiukov, Artem B||Frauenfeld, Oliver W||Nelson, Frederick E

publication date

  • November 2015