The Antarctic field season of 2020-21 was cancelled by the Portuguese Polar Program due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Thanks to the support of our partners from the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, Korean Polar Research Program, Spanish Polar Program and United States Antarctic Program, most of the PERMANTAR boeholes were maintained and the data series was maintained. We warmly thank Jehyuck Shin (KOPRI), Jun Yeong Hwang (KOPRI), Miguel Angel de Pablo (UAH), Petar Sapundjiev (BAI) and Randy Jones (Palmer, USAP) for their incredible support.
This austral summer season has been a busy one for the PERMANTAR team, with field teams working in King George Island (Gonçalo Vieira and Joana Baptista), Hurd Peninsula (Mohammad Farzamian, John Triantafilis, Gabriel Goyanes, Vasco Miranda and Miguel Angel de Pablo), Deception Island (Miguel Esteves and Miguel Angel de Pablo), Cierva Cove (Claudio Matko) and in Amsler Island (Palmer station staff support). All data was collected successfully in this summer that has been a really warm one in nothern Antarctic Peninsula as we have already noticed in some of the borehole data. We are now starting to analyse it and really curious on how far reaching will be the impacts on permafrost, something and we will only start to better grasp next season when the heat will reach deeper levels in the boreholes.
The borehole installed in 2019 in Barton Peninsula has also provided the first full year data series, feeding directly into the masters thesis of Joana Baptista, working on spatial modelling of ground temperature.
As an highlight, the ANTARMON team lead by Mohammad Farzamian has got a full year-long data set from the resistivimeter installed in Deception Island and installed a new one in Livingston Island. This is an important upgrade to the PERMANTAR network, which will be including resistivimeters at the key boreholes for monitoring permafrost degradation and changes in ice content of the ground.
It is now time to work the new data.
This campaign would not have been possible without the funding of the Portuguese Polar Program (FCT) and the logistical support of the Spanish Polar Program, the Korean Polar Research Institute, the Chilean Antarctic Institute, the Argentinean Antarctic Institute and the National Science Foundation. Thank you very much!
PERMANTAR activities of 2019 were highlighted in the Global Climate Observing System / Switzerland of July 2019. Last season's drilling in Barton Peninsula were funded by the Portuguese Polar Program and co-funded by MeteoSwiss in a cooperative framework. Daniel Vonder Muehll from ETH/Zurich has participated in the field season in Barton Peninsula, together with Gonçalo Vieira, Carlos Neto and Joana Baptista from the CEG/IGOT - University of Lisbon.
Last month the PERMANTAR team drilled a new borehole in bedrock in Barton Peninsula, which will be part of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost. We used a "portable" Weka drill powered by an electrical generator and after some hard work carrying all equipment up to 120 m asl by hand, we succeeded in installing a new observatory down to 13 m. The field team was Gonçalo Vieira, Daniel Vonder Mühll, Carlos Neto and Joana Baptista, with excellent support of Pedro Pina and Vasco Miranda from the VEGETANTAR project and Alper Gürbüz of the Niğde Ömer Halisdemir University. The drilling campaign was a collaboration between the CEG/IGOT - University of Lisbon, ETH, CERENA/IST-University of Lisbon and KOPRI. Funds were provided by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through the Programa Polar Português, CEG/IGOT and the Swiss GCOS Office.
PERMANTAR was also active this season in Livingston and Deception Islands, as well as in Cierva Point. More info on these soon.
Mohammad Farzamian (IDL/ULISBOA) has now started the Electrical Resistivity Tomography surveys at Deception Island. Mohammad and Miguel Angel de Pablo (UAH) are also maintaining the observatories of Crater Lake, Irizar, Alluval fan and Chilean hut.
This year, the applied geophysics group of IDL (Prof. Monteiro Santos, Dr. Mohammad Farzamian and Miguel Esteves) developed an automated Electrical Resistivity Tomography system with a solar panel-driven battery and multi-electrode configuration to install at Deception Island, associated to the existing Crater Lake site of the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network (CALM) and corresponding boreholes of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) in order to study the long-term climatic trend on the ground thermal regime as well as to investigate the impact of the short-lived extreme meteorological events on the soil horizon.
PERMANTAR activities in 2019 are just starting, with the maintenance of the observatories along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands being conducted by 4 field teams, and also a new borehole to be installed in Barton Peninsula (King George Island) and new electrical resistivity surveys to be conducted in Deception Island:
- Deception Island - Mohammad Farzamian (IDL/ULISBOA) and Miguel Angel de Pablo (UAH) will maintain the observatories of Crater Lake, Irizar, Alluval fan and Chilean hut, and will install a new monitoring electrical resistivitimeter in Crater Lake, as well as repeat surveys to compare with observations one decade ago.
- Barton Peninsula - Gonçalo Vieira, Carlos Neto, Joana Baptista (CEG/IGOT-ULISBOA), Daniel Vondermuehll (ETH), Pedro Pina and Vasco Miranda (CERENA/IST) in collaboration with the Korean Polar Research Institute (Soon Gyu Hong) will drill a new permafrost borehole.
- Hurd Pensinsula (Livingston Island) - Dragomir Mateev, Oleg Vassilev (Bulgarian Antarctic Institute) with the support of Nuno Pereira (IPB) will conduct the maintenance of the permafrost observatories Ohridski Station, Ohridski 1 CALM and Ohridski 2 Papagal, and conduct GNSS survey of terrain deformation at the PERMANTAR solifluction monitoring sites and Hurd rock glacier.
- Cierva Cove - Pedro Almeida (UBI) will do the maintenance of the two active permafrost boreholes.
- Amsler Island (Palmer archipelago) - Support provided by the National Science Foundation for downloading borehole data.
Miguel Ramos, Gabriel Goyanes and Sara Ramos departed to Antarctica to conduct the maintenance of the PERMANTAR borehole network in Livingston Island and Cierva Cove. Sites in Deception Island have been maintained this season by Miguel Angel de Pablo.
This season activities also include high resolution surveying of the PERMANTAR sites using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the annual measurement of Hurd rock glacier deformation in Livingston Island.
The PERMANTAR 2017-18 campaign is a collaboration between the CEG/IGOT - Universidade de Lisboa, the Universidad de Alcalá (Spain), the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera and Krummholz - Biogeosciences for Society.
In a long and beautiful summer day, Gonçalo Vieira and João Ferreira, have collected the data from all the shallow boreholes installed in Cierva Point and upgraded the 15 m borehole with a new Geoprecision datalogger and temperature string.
After problems that affected the string inside the borehole, in February 2017 the Amsler Island permafrost borehole (9 m) was upgraded using a new Geoprecision logger and temperature string, allowing for higher accuracy, longer battery life and higher memory, thus reducing maintenance costs. The field team was composed by Gonçalo Vieira and João Ferreira, which counted with the help of Pedro Guerreiro and Carmen Sousa, and with the logistical support of the Spanish vessel Hesperides.
PERMANTAR is the University of Lisbon network of permafrost observatories in the Western Antarctic Peninsula and a contributor to the Global Terrestrial Network on Permafrost.
The PERMANTAR roots started in 2000 with the program being implemented in 2007. PERMANTAR currently manages monitoring sites in Dundee Island, King George Island, Livingston Island, Deception Island, Cierva Point (Antarctic Peninsula) and Amsler Island (Palmer).