University of Oulu

Karjalainen, O., Aalto, J., Luoto, M., Westermann, S., Romanovsky, V., Nelson, F., Etzelmüller, B., Hjort, J. (2019) Circumpolar permafrost maps and geohazard indices for near-future infrastructure risk assessments. Scientific Data, 6; 190037. doi:10.1038/sdata.2019.37

Circumpolar permafrost maps and geohazard indices for near-future infrastructure risk assessments

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Author: Karjalainen, Olli1; Aalto, Juha2,3; Luoto, Miska2;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
5Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
6Department of Cryosophy, Tyumen State University, Tyumen, Russia
7Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
8Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-10


Ongoing climate change is causing fundamental changes in the Arctic, some of which can be hazardous to nature and human activity. In the context of Earth surface systems, warming climate may lead to rising ground temperatures and thaw of permafrost. This Data Descriptor presents circumpolar permafrost maps and geohazard indices depicting zones of varying potential for development of hazards related to near-surface permafrost degradation, such as ground subsidence. Statistical models were used to predict ground temperature and the thickness of the seasonally thawed (active) layer using geospatial data on environmental conditions at 30 arc-second resolution. These predictions, together with data on factors (ground ice content, soil grain size and slope gradient) affecting permafrost stability, were used to formulate geohazard indices. Using climate-forcing scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5), permafrost extent and hazard potential were projected for the 2041–2060 and 2061–2080 time periods. The resulting data (seven permafrost and 24 geohazard maps) are relevant to near-future infrastructure risk assessments and for targeting localized geohazard analyses.

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Series: Scientific data
ISSN: 2052-4463
ISSN-E: 2052-4463
ISSN-L: 2052-4463
Volume: 6
Article number: 190037
DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2019.37
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: Academy of Finland (project numbers 285040, 286950 and 315519). NSF USA (grant number ARC-1304271). Ministry of Science and Education (Minobrnauka) of the Russian Federation (grant RFMEFI58718X0048, No. 14.587.21.0048).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285040
Detailed Information: 285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
315519 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit