Combined geophysical measurements provide evidence for unfrozen water in permafrost in the Adventdalen valley in Svalbard

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 3 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint

Supplementary Files

Kristina Keating, Andrew Binley, Victor Bense, Remke L. van Dam, Hanne Christiansen


Quantifying the unfrozen water content of permafrost is critical for assessing impacts of surface warming on the reactivation of groundwater flow and release of greenhouse gasses from degrading permafrost. Unfrozen water content was determined along a ~12 km transect in the Adventdalen valley in Svalbard, an area with continuous permafrost, using surface nuclear magnetic resonance and controlled source audio-magnetotelluric data. This combination of measurements allowed for differentiation of saline from fresh, and frozen from unfrozen pore water. Above the limit of Holocene marine transgression no unfrozen water was detected, associated with high electrical resistivity. Below the marine limit, within several kilometers of the coast, up to ~10% unfrozen water content was detected, associated with low resistivity values indicating saline pore water. These results provide evidence for unfrozen water within continuous, thick permafrost in coastal settings, which has implications for groundwater flow and greenhouse gas release in similar Arctic environments.



Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology, Hydrology, Other Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Coastal, Permafrost, Arctic, Svalbard, CSAMT, NMR


Published: 2018-05-07 17:31

Older Versions

CC0 1.0 Universal - Public Domain Dedication

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.