Title: Problemy detekcji wieloletniej zmarzliny na podstawie temperatury u spągu zimowej pokrywy śnieżnej na przykładzie Tatr= The problem of permafrost detection based on bottom temperature snow cover – the Tatra Mts. case


Gądek, Bogdan ; Kędzia, Stanisław ORCID

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Przegląd Geograficzny T. 81 z. 1 (2009)



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24 cm

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This paper presents the results of winter monitoring of ground surface temperature in the alpine zone of the Tatra Mountains, at sites where earlier studies had documented the presence or absence of permafrost. This made it possible to test the usefulness of the BTS method in permafrost mapping, and to take up the discussion on possibilities for its contemporary development. The data obtained reveal that the thermal regime of ground surface beneath snow cover cannot serve as an indicator of permafrost occurrence. The regime is first and foremost connected with snow cover development and may change from year to year. Both places of permafrost occurrence and permafrost-free sites may feature three basic types of ground surface winter thermal regimes, i.e.: (1) short-term ground-surface temperature (i.e. GST) fluctuations throughout the winter, (2) shortterm GST fluctuations at the beginning of winter only, and (3) a lack of short-term GST fluctuation during the whole period of occurrence of dry snow cover. However, places contemporarily maintaining permafrost were markedly colder than others. At the end of winters 2003/04 and 2004/05, temperatures beneath thick snow cover (conventional BTS) were no higher than –5°C, as compared with lowest BTS values of –3°C where permafrost was absent. Snow cover did not protect the ground from freezing, however, according to its thickness and density and the amount of heat in the ground there were decreased amplitudes and extended reaction times of GST to changes in air temperature. Even in the case of snow cover remaining several meters thick for several months, it was possible to record a slow decrease in bottom temperature until a minimum value was reached at the end of winter. In the light of the obtained data, contemporary permafrost in the alpine zone of the Tatra Mountains can be said to develop under both thick and thin snow cover, its existence therefore probably being more related to local circulation of cold air over the surface and low solar irradiation than to altitude and snow cover development.


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oai:rcin.org.pl:55622 ; 0033-2143 ; 10.7163/PrzG.2009.4.3


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Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Projects co-financed by:

Programme Innovative Economy, 2010-2014, Priority Axis 2. R&D infrastructure ; European Union. European Regional Development Fund






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