Long-term Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) program observations in Northern Alaskan tundra

Kelsey E. Nyland, Nikolay I. Shiklomanov, Dmitry A. Streletskiy, Frederick E. Nelson, Anna E. Klene, Alexander L. Kholodov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) network is an ongoing international effort to collect and disseminate standardized measurements of active-layer dynamics to monitor the response of near-surface permafrost parameters to climate change. This work presents a distillation of 25 years (1995–2019) of observations from three north–south transects of CALM sites in tundra environments of Alaska. Transects examined in this work bisect tundra regions of discontinuous permafrost on the Seward Peninsula, and the continuous permafrost zone on the western and eastern sections of the Arctic Foothills and Arctic Coastal Plain. These transects represent regional climatic gradients, several physiographic provinces, and regionally characteristic landcover associations. Total active-layer thickening at observed sites ranged from 7 to 26 cm; more significant thaw occurred in the foothills despite less pronounced warming air temperature trends. This summary highlights several regional active layer responses to climate warming, complicated by distinct thermal landscape sensitivities, landscape variability, and documented thaw subsidence. Data summarized in this report are publicly available and represent an important validation resource for earth-system models that include regions in the continuous and discontinuous permafrost zones of northern and western Alaska.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
JournalPolar Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Alaska
  • Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring
  • active layer
  • climate change
  • monitoring
  • permafrost


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