Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 2, 235–246, 2010
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 2, 235–246, 2010

  08 Oct 2010

08 Oct 2010

NORPERM, the Norwegian Permafrost Database – a TSP NORWAY IPY legacy

H. Juliussen1,*, H. H. Christiansen1,2, G. S. Strand3, S. Iversen3, K. Midttømme3,**, and J. S. Rønning3,4 H. Juliussen et al.
  • 1The University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, Norway
  • 4Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • *now at: Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • **now at: Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo/Trondheim, Norway

Abstract. NORPERM, the Norwegian Permafrost Database, was developed at the Geological Survey of Norway during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009 as the main data legacy of the IPY research project Permafrost Observatory Project: A Contribution to the Thermal State of Permafrost in Norway and Svalbard (TSP NORWAY). Its structural and technical design is described in this paper along with the ground temperature data infrastructure in Norway and Svalbard, focussing on the TSP NORWAY permafrost observatory installations in the North Scandinavian Permafrost Observatory and Nordenskiöld Land Permafrost Observatory, being the primary data providers of NORPERM. Further developments of the database, possibly towards a regional database for the Nordic area, are also discussed.

The purpose of NORPERM is to store ground temperature data safely and in a standard format for use in future research. The IPY data policy of open, free, full and timely release of IPY data is followed, and the borehole metadata description follows the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) standard. NORPERM is purely a temperature database, and the data is stored in a relation database management system and made publically available online through a map-based graphical user interface. The datasets include temperature time series from various depths in boreholes and from the air, snow cover, ground-surface or upper ground layer recorded by miniature temperature data-loggers, and temperature profiles with depth in boreholes obtained by occasional manual logging. All the temperature data from the TSP NORWAY research project is included in the database, totalling 32 temperature time series from boreholes, 98 time series of micrometeorological temperature conditions, and 6 temperature depth profiles obtained by manual logging in boreholes. The database content will gradually increase as data from previous and future projects are added. Links to near real-time permafrost temperatures, obtained by GSM data transfer, is also provided through the user interface.