WP3 - Subsea Permafrost

WP3 - Subsea Permafrost

Subsea permafrost is the continuously frozen ground beneath the seabed.


The aim of WP3 is to capitalize on field observations and other research over the past 15 years to enable the scientific basis for credible predictions of the future trajectory of the subsea permafrost system. WP3 will stich together data from major field observational programs of the arctic cryosphere-carbon system conducted over the past fifteen years such as the System Laptev Sea joint Russian-German program, the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS) and the Swedish-Russian-US Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere- Carbon Interactions in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean (SWERUS-C3), as well as ArcticNet shipborne work in the Beaufort Sea. The goal is to attain and communicate a more comprehensive description of the subsea permafrost system composition and its functioning in the global climate system. The description of the system will be the core input to integrating subsea permafrost in Earth System Models (WP8) and to link to coastal fluxes compiled by WP2.

The specific objectives of this workpackage are:
- O3.1: The spatial extent, thermal state and thawing rate of subsea permafrost.
- O3.2: The spatial distribution and carbon stock of circum-Arctic shelf sea systems.
- O3.3: The sources of methane releases from the subsea system and their controls by subsea permafrost thaw.

WP Coordination

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Prof. Örjan Gustafsson, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry - ACES, Stockholm University
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Dr. Paul Overduin, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
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Description of deliverables

D3.1 Survey of drillcore results on subsea permafrost depth and thaw rate (AWI) - Month 12
D3.2 Map of pan-Arctic subsea permafrost published and contributed to atlas in WP10 (AWI, UiO) – Month 20
D3.3 Report on the Circum-Arctic Shelf Sediment CArbon Database (CASSCADE): open access paper and database (SU, AWI) – Month 48
D3.4 Report on quantitative constraints on source contributions from different subsea permafrost compartments to methane release fluxes: publication on source contributions (SU, AWI) – Month 48