Thermosyphons (Alaska)

October 28, 2014 in post by Fortier.D

Thermosyphons are closed-system heat extraction devices. Installed in the permafrost they contribute to cooling of the ground and maintaining the permafrost intact. Although thermosyphons are effective mitigation techniques, their cost currently limit the possibility to deploy them extensively along linear transportation infrastructure such as road but have been used with success to mitigate heat island under buildings over permafrost. Geocryolab is involved in testing the effectiveness of thermosyphons using high-resolution   infra-red camera and ground temperature.


themosyphon 1

Thermosyphon installed in the muskeg at an experimental site of interior Alaska near Fairbanks (photo M. Kanevskiy, © Geocryolab)











themosyphon 2

Black and white image from FLIR infra-red camera showing thermosyphon temperature (15.9°F = -9°C) and air temperature (-40°F = -40°C) (photo M. Kanevskiy, © Geocryolab)












themosyphon 3

Infra-red thermal image of thermosyphons in the natural setting. The reddish color (warmer than surrounding terrain) indicates the thermosyphon is extracting heat from the permafrost (photo M. Kanevskiy, © Geocryolab).







Beaded stream, Yamal Peninsula, Siberia, Russia.

October 27, 2014 in post by Fortier.D

Beaded stream is a type of periglacial stream which is characterized by its seesaw pattern and numerous ‘beads’. Beaded streams evolve over hundreds of years from the degradation of the upper portion of ice wedges due to water flow in ice wedge trough. The so-called beads are located at the junction of ice wedges. Beaded stream are expected to become more frequent in response to climate warming.

Glossary :

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(Photo D. Fortier © Geocryolab. If you’re interested to use this picture free of charge for research, publications or courses, please contact us)


by Godin.E

New paper in ERL : Effects of thermo-erosion gullying on hydrologic flow networks, discharge and soil loss

October 27, 2014 in @en, Article, Paper, post by Godin.E

A new paper on the impact of thermo-erosion gullying on landscape integrity and implication on hydrology was just released in a Focus paper of Environmental Research Letters. The paper, Effects of thermo-erosion gullying on hydrologic flow networks, discharge and soil loss was prepared by Daniel Fortier, Stéphanie Coulombe et myself. The special issue named Focus on changing permafrost in a warming world: observation and implication focuses on recent permafrost evolution and the implied impacts and processes at various scales. The paper [PDF] can be downloaded here (Open Access)

Here is the full reference : Godin, E., Fortier, D., and Coulombe, S. 2014. Effects of thermo-erosion gullying on hydrologic flow networks, discharge and soil loss. Environmental Research Letters 9(10): 105010. doi:

Sunset and northern lights, Thor Lake, North-West Territories, Canada

October 26, 2014 in post by Fortier.D

The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding (ex: Oxygen, Nitrogen).


Source and to know more:

















(Photos D. Fortier, © Geocryolab).


by Kate G.

Andréanne Beardsell: Biologist and movie maker

October 20, 2014 in @en, Article, post-en, video by Kate G.

 Geocryolab’s Andréanne Beardsell  is a truly exceptional biology graduate student who managed to integrate geomorphological hazard processes into the analysis of rough-legged hawk nesting conditions.
She’s also a great movie maker…check the movie of her summer 2014 on Bylot Island, Nunavut.

Satellite pictures of the poles from the 1960s found!

October 16, 2014 in Article by de_Grandpré.I

Pictures from the poles taken by the satellite Nimbus 2 in the 1960s were found after 50 years remaining in cardboard boxes. The pictures were digitized and are now available to the public. This incredible trip back in the time allows to go back 17 years before any other existing satellite pictures.

The pictures are available on the NASA website (Nimbus data rescue project):


Image satellite Nimbus 2

by Kate G.

Prix Roger J.E. Brown décerné à Daniel Fortier et Isabelle de Grandpré

October 16, 2014 in post by Kate G.

Daniel Fortier, directeur du Geocryolab, et Isabelle de Grandpré, professionelle de recherche, ont reçu le mois dernier à Regina le prestigieux Prix Roger J.E Brown attribué par la Société canadienne de géotechnique. Félicitations!

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