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Interannual active layer variability at the Limnopolar Lake CALM site on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica

  • M.A. de Pablo (a1), J.J. Blanco (a2), A. Molina (a3), M. Ramos (a2), A. Quesada (a4) and G. Vieira (a5)...
Abstract

In order to monitor the evolution of the active layer in the South Shetland Islands, in February 2009 we established a new Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) site in the Limnopolar Lake basin on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island. We monitored air, surface and ground (two boreholes of 135 and 80 cm deep) temperatures and Active Layer Thickness (ALT) was measured by mechanical probing in early February 2009, 2010 and 2011. The mean ALT was 44 cm with a range of about 92 cm, but where permafrost existed it was deeper than 1.0 m, as could be inferred from the borehole temperatures. ALT at this site was very dependent on air temperature and snow cover thickness, the ALT spatial distribution presenting the same pattern as soil penetration resistance, and higher values ALT coinciding with sites where patterned ground, ponds, and a near surface ground water saturation were observed. Additionally, ground temperature data provided an excellent tool for understanding the relationship between the ALT measured during the thaw season and the thermal evolution of the ground throughout the year.

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      Interannual active layer variability at the Limnopolar Lake CALM site on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica
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      Interannual active layer variability at the Limnopolar Lake CALM site on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica
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Corresponding author
miguelangel.depablo@uah.es
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Antarctic Science
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