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The thematic products listed below will be addressed in GlobPermafrost and available via the

If you are interested in evaluation of prototypes, please contact info(at) for ftp access.

ProductDescription Extent

Circumpolar permafrost extent

Permafrost is defined through the thermal state of the ground, which makes remote detection a difficult task. In order to map circumpolar permafrost extent, we propose to employ numerical permafrost models to exploit the information content of different remote sensing products to estimate the ground thermal state. North of 50°N, with extension central Asia and over cold spots

Permafrost dedicated land cover class prototypes

Land cover serves as information on upscaling of inherent ecosystem characteristics in permafrost regions. With respect to user requirements (including permafrost modelling, flux and soil carbon upscaling), we will consider approaches for characterization of land cover using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) as well as optical instruments, specifically Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2.

kml file

WebGIS view

Local cold spots

Displacement rates from Sentinel-1 at Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska, (c) Gamma RS

Ground fast lake ice at Barrow from Sentinel-1, (c) H2O Geomatics

The term cold spot describes regions with good in situ observation infrastructure and monitoring. Through a multi-sensor approach we will investigate:
  1. terrain change by InSAR,
  2. seasonal and long-term change in open water extent
  3. change in fraction of bottom fast lake ice
  4. detection of features related to periglacial processes, thermokarst, ice wedge networks and coastal erosion.

kmz file

WebGIS view

Transects for identification of hotspot regions of permafrost change (HRPC)

Observations made at high spatial and temporal resolution are essential in order to track HRPC. The two main goals are:
  1. to detect, map, and classify press (gradual) and pulse (rapid) disturbances of land surface properties associated with permafrost changes to identify HRPC at high spatial resolution (30 m) using the full Landsat and Sentinel-2 record spanning the panarctic permafrost domain, and
  2. use auxiliary data from other remote sensing platforms and products to analyse the identified disturbances, trends, and HRPC with additional information layers.
Four continuous transects that represent all major permafrost types will be targeted, in addition to a non-continuous transect with important European permafrost regions.

kmz file

WebGIS view

Mountain permafrost areas

Displacement rates of a rockglacier in the Andes, (c) Gamma RS

The best visual expression of mountain permafrost is represented by rockglaciers, which, in contrast to the permafrost itself, can be mapped and monitored directly using remotely sensed data. Rockglaciers are lavastream-like mixtures of permanently frozen debris that creep downslope under gravity. To date, the movement of rockglaciers is not monitored in a systematic way worldwide. The goal is to, for the first time, build up a worldwide network of sites for remote sensing based long-term monitoring of rockglacier motion.

kmz file

WebGIS view