University of Oulu

Rouyet, L., Karjalainen, O., Niittynen, P., Aalto, J., Luoto, M., Lauknes, T. R., et al. (2021). Environmental controls of InSAR-based periglacial ground dynamics in a sub-arctic landscape. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 126, e2021JF006175.

Environmental controls of InSAR-based periglacial ground dynamics in a sub-arctic landscape

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Author: Rouyet, L.1,2,3; Karjalainen, O.4; Niittynen, P.5;
Organizations: 1NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS, Tromsø, Norway
2Department of Geosciences, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), Tromsø, Norway
3Arctic Geology Department, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Longyearbyen, Norway
4Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
6Weather and Climate Change Impact Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-02


Periglacial environments are characterized by highly dynamic landscapes. Freezing and thawing lead to ground movement, associated with cryoturbation and solifluction. These processes are sensitive to climate change and variably distributed depending on multiple environmental factors. In this study, we used multi-geometry Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) to investigate the spatial distribution of the mean annual ground velocity in a mountainous landscape in Northern Norway. Statistical modeling was employed to examine how periglacial ground velocity is related to environmental variables characterizing the diverse climatic, geomorphic, hydrological and biological conditions within a 148 km² study area. Two-dimensional (2D) InSAR results document mean annual ground velocity up to 15 mm/yr. Vertical and horizontal velocity components in the East–West plane show variable spatial distribution, which can be explained by the characteristics of cryoturbation and solifluction operating differently over flat and sloping terrain. Statistical modeling shows that slope angle and mean annual air temperature variables are the most important environmental factors explaining the distribution of the horizontal and vertical components, respectively. Vegetation and snow cover also have a local influence, interpreted as indicators of the ground material and moisture conditions. The results show contrasted model performance depending on the velocity component used as a response variable. In general, our study highlights the potential of integrating radar remote sensing and statistical modeling to investigate mountainous regions and better understand the relations between environmental factors, periglacial processes and ground dynamics.

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Series: Journal of geophysical research. Earth surface
ISSN: 2169-9003
ISSN-E: 2169-9011
ISSN-L: 2169-9003
Volume: 126
Issue: 7
Article number: e2021JF006175
DOI: 10.1029/2021JF006175
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: LR's Ph.D. project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (grant 263005). OK and JH are funded by the Academy of Finland (grant 315519). JA acknowledges the funding by the Academy of Finland (grants 307761 and 337552). The development of the GSAR processing chain and previous research applying InSAR in periglacial environments have been supported by the Norwegian Space Center, the Research Council of Norway (grant 212022) and the European Space Agency (grants 4000106830 and 4000119115). Sentinel-1 scenes were provided by the EU Copernicus data service (2015–2018).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 315519
Detailed Information: 315519 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.