Surface Geophysical Measurements for Locating and Mapping Ice-Wedges

Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Sonia Tomaskovicova, S.H. Larsen, S.F. Aparício, P. Gori

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


With the presently observed trend of permafrost warming and degradation, the development and availability of effective tools to locate and map ice-rich soils and massive ground ice is of increasing importance. This paper presents a geophysical study of an area with polygonal landforms in order to test the applicability of DC electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to identifying and mapping ice-wedge occurrences. The site is located in Central West Greenland, and the ice-wedges are found in a permafrozen peat soil with an active layer of about 30 cm. ERT and GPR measurements give a coherent interpretation of possible ice-wedge locations, and active layer probing show a tendency for larger thaw depth in the major trench systems consistent with a significant temperature (at 10 cm depth) increase in these trenches identified by thermal profiling. Three shallow boreholes were drilled during the campaign but did not encounter ice-wedges. As the final interpretation did not predict ice-wedge occurrence at the borehole locations, results not contradictive – but more data is needed for final validation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCold Regions Engineering 2012 : Sustainable Infrastructure Development in a Changing Cold Environment
Number of pages10
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9780784412473
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventFifteenth International Specialty Conference on Cold Regions Engineering - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 19 Aug 201222 Aug 2012
Conference number: 15


ConferenceFifteenth International Specialty Conference on Cold Regions Engineering
CityQuebec City
Internet address


  • Ice-wedges
  • Geophysical survey
  • ERT
  • GPR
  • Greenland


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