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A Cold Case – Reducing the uncertainty in permafrost models and observations

  • 26 June, 2024
  • 11:00
  • Omnia Auditorium Wageningen University, Building 105, Hoge Steeg 2, 6708 PH Wageningen
  • Wageningen University, Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
  • dr. V.F. Benseprof.dr.ir. M.J. van der Ploeg

Permafrost covers vast parts of the Earths surface near the poles. Due to the global increase in annual air temperatures, the thawing permafrost releases the greenhouse gasses carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, thereby amplifying the global warming effect, impacting society on both a local and global scale.
In this thesis, I have demonstrated a method to calibrate a numerical heat transport model relying only on temperature observations from a field site. Using a 1D heat transport model simulating temperature at various depths within the permafrost, three parameters affecting the heat transport characteristics of the permafrost were varied. Furthermore, I showed how laboratory freeze-thaw experiments were used to provide ranges for thermal properties to be used in numerical permafrost heat transport models. Finally, I have used Electrical Resistivity Tomography to gather data on the state and progression of the freeze-thaw front of permafrost, improving our field observation capabilities.

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Jelte de Bruin

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