Event Campaigns

Permafrost thaw events are investigated from spring until late autumn in the Arctic regions because this is where the permafrost-greenhouse gas feedback/vulnerability is expected to be highest and where existing long-term data series can be used as benchmarks for longer-term trends versus abrupt thaw events. On land, permafrost campaigns cover areas of typically several 100 square kilometers, while the adjacent shelf observations might cover up to a few 1000 square kilometers. To spot thermokarst at its early stage and to identity the most affected areas, satellite as well as airborne remote sensing data will be analyzed to optimize permafrost thaw observation campaigns.

Observation Systems
MOSES measurement infrastructure to quantify permafrost thaw events on terrestrial, aquatic and subsea systems. The different observation systems are fully mobile and extend existing measurement facilities. The MOSES observation systems include long-term quantification of GHG fluxes and their isotopic composition with stationary systems/towers (1) (land-atmosphere fluxes). Event-based quantification of permafrost thaw and subsidence events as well as GHG fluxes and their isotopic composition, both on land (2) and in water bodies (3), with mobile systems (landatmosphere fluxes; permafrost thaw and Subsidence; flow and sediment dynamics). Quantification of GHG fluxes in the deeper marine offshore system using GHG-flux measuring Wave Glider (4), bubble flux observing AUVs (5) (both autonomous vehicles) and lander systems (6) also monitoring environmental parameters as currents, O2 and CO2 concentrations (fixed point observatories). In addition, various tools for water and sediment sampling will be deployed from small boats and larger ships. Airborne quantification of permafrost thaw events and GHG fluxes using drones (7) and fixed wing UAV (8) equipped with eddy covariance (autonomous vehicles and land-atmosphere fluxes).

During the implementation phase from 2017 to 2021, the most suitable regions for the deployment of the observing systems are northeastern Siberia (Lena River Delta) and northern Canada (Mackenzie Delta) because of their existing infrastructure, available data and permafrost occurrence across the onshore/offshore transition. Access to observatories is available through the Russian-German Research Station Samoylov Island in the Lena River Delta, where Russian-German permafrost research and long-term observations have been ongoing for more than fifteen years. The Mackenzie Delta region will become a second focus for MOSES studies. This region has been a hub for international terrestrial and marine research efforts for decades.