Geophysical Investigations of Saline Permafrost at Ilulissat, Greenland

Publication: Research - peer-reviewArticle in proceedings – Annual report year: 2008

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The technical properties and general state of permafrost in Greenland is not well documented. A new coordinated investigation has been initiated, for ground temperature measurements and permafrost mapping in Greenlandic towns in sporadic, discontinuous and continuous permafrost zones. We present investigation results from one of the sites, located at Ilulissat, in an area of discontinuous saline permafrost. We have established ground temperature measurement stations and conducted a shallow geoelectrical study. Our results show that the sediments in the studied area mainly consist of very frost susceptible silty clays. The area has permafrost with a maximum active layer thickness between 0.9 and 1 m. In spite of low permafrost temperatures a considerable part of the pore water is unfrozen, due to high residual salt concentrations. Consequently, the unfrozen water content dominates the technical properties, and the sediments have a limited heat capacity available, should the temperature conditions change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNinth International Conference on Permafrost
Number of pages1054
Place of PublicationFairbanks
PublisherInstitute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Publication date2008
ISBN (print)978-0-9800179-2-2
StatePublished - 2008
Event9th International Conference on Permafrost - Fairbanks, AK, United States


Conference9th International Conference on Permafrost
CountryUnited States
CityFairbanks, AK
Internet address


  • Ice content, resistivity survey, saline permafrost, temperature measurements
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ID: 3145587