University of Oulu

Gisnås, K., Etzelmüller, B., Lussana, C., Hjort, J., Sannel, A., Isaksen, K., Westermann, S., Kuhry, P., Christiansen, H., Frampton, A., Åkerman, J. (2016) Permafrost Map for Norway, Sweden and Finland, 28 (2), 359-378. doi:10.1002/ppp.1922

Permafrost map for Norway, Sweden and Finland

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Author: Gisnås, Kjersti1; Etzelmüller, Bernd1; Lussana, Cristian2;
Organizations: 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
3University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
5The University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Norway
6Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-06-07


A research‐based understanding of permafrost distribution at a sufficient spatial resolution is important to meet the demands of science, education and society. We present a new permafrost map for Norway, Sweden and Finland that provides a more detailed and updated description of permafrost distribution in this area than previously available. We implemented the CryoGRID1 model at 1 km2 resolution, forced by a new operationally gridded data‐set of daily air temperature and snow cover for Finland, Norway and Sweden. Hundred model realisations were run for each grid cell, based on statistical snow distributions, allowing for the representation of sub‐grid variability of ground temperature. The new map indicates a total permafrost area (excluding palsas) of 23 400 km2 in equilibrium with the average 1981–2010 climate, corresponding to 2.2 per cent of the total land area. About 56 per cent of the area is in Norway, 35 per cent in Sweden and 9 per cent in Finland. The model results are thoroughly evaluated, both quantitatively and qualitatively, as a collaboration project including permafrost experts in the three countries. Observed ground temperatures from 25 boreholes are within ± 2 °C of the average modelled grid cell ground temperature, and all are within the range of the modelled ground temperature for the corresponding grid cell. Qualitative model evaluation by field investigators within the three countries shows that the map reproduces the observed lower altitudinal limits of mountain permafrost and the distribution of lowland permafrost.

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Series: Permafrost and periglacial processes
ISSN: 1045-6740
ISSN-E: 1099-1530
ISSN-L: 1045-6740
Volume: 28
Issue: 2
Pages: 359 - 378
DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1922
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
1171 Geosciences
Funding: This work is part of the collaboration network PermaNordnet (Nordforsk No. 43082), funded by NordForsk (Nordic Council of Ministers), the CRYOMET project funded by the Research Council of Norway (CRYOMET – 214465) and the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway. Compilation of monitoring data from Tavvavuoma was supported by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (214–2014‐562), the Bolin Centre for Climate Research and the Nordic Centre of Excellence DEFROST project. We also acknowledge the support from the Academy of Finland (project number 285040). Göran Alm at Stockholm University provided the sediment maps for Sweden, and Jon Engström at the Geological Survey of Finland greatly contributed with geological data from Finland. Amund Frogner Borge, University of Oslo, provided the digital version of the palsa map of northern Norway, and Susanne Backe at the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten provided the digital version of the palsa map of Sweden. We gratefully acknowledge the support of all mentioned individuals and institutions.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285040
Detailed Information: 285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gisnås, K., Etzelmüller, B., Lussana, C., Hjort, J., Sannel, A., Isaksen, K., Westermann, S., Kuhry, P., Christiansen, H., Frampton, A., Åkerman, J. (2016) Permafrost Map for Norway, Sweden and Finland. , 28 (2), 359-378. doi:10.1002/ppp.1922. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.