Peter Jansson

Professor i naturgeografi

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Works at Department of Physical Geography
Telephone 08-16 48 15
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room T 423
Postal address Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm

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A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. A. Britta K. Sannel (et al.). Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 27 (2), 177-188

    Because climate change can affect the carbon balance and hydrology in permafrost peatlands, a better understanding of their sensitivity to changes in temperature and precipitation is needed. In Tavvavuoma, northernmost Sweden, meteorological parameters and ground thermal properties have been monitored in a peat plateau from 2006 to 2013. During this time period, the air temperature record shows no warming trend, and the late-season thaw depth has been relatively stable at around 55-60cm. Meanwhile, the mean annual ground temperature at 1m depth has increased by 0.06 degrees C/yr and at 2-5m depth the permafrost is currently warmer than -0.3 degrees C. Statistical analyses suggest that interannual changes in thaw depth and ground temperatures are affected by different meteorological factors. Summer air temperatures and annual thawing degree-days control thaw depth (p0.05), whereas winter precipitation/snow depth affects ground temperatures (p0.1). The permafrost in this peat plateau is likely relict and not in equilibrium with current climatic conditions. Since the early 20(th) century, there has been a regional increase in air temperature and snow depth. If the ongoing permafrost warming in Tavvavuoma is a result of these long-term trends, short-term variability in meteorological parameters can still have an impact on the rate of permafrost degradation, but unless pronounced climate cooling occurs, thawing of the peat plateau is inevitable.

  • 2016. Susanne Ingvander (et al.). Antarctic Science 28 (3), 219-231

    In this study, snow particle size variability was investigated along a transect in Dronning Maud Land from the coast to the polar plateau. The aim of the study was to better understand the spatial and temporal variations in surface snow properties. Samples were collected twice daily during a traverse in 2007-08 to capture regional variability. Local variability was assessed by sampling in 10 x 10m grids (5m spacing) at selected locations. The particle size and shape distributions for each site were analysed through digital image analysis. Snow particle size variability is complex at different scales, and shows an internal variability of 0.18-3.31 mm depending on the sample type (surface, grid or pit). Relationships were verified between particle size and both elevation and distance to the coast (moisture source). Regional seasonal changes were also identified, particularly on the lower elevations of the polar plateau. This dataset may be used to quantitatively analyse the optical properties of surface snow for remote sensing. The details of the spatial and temporal variations observed in our data provide a basis for further studies of the complex and coupled processes affecting snow particle size and the interpretation of remote sensing of snow covered areas.

  • 2015. Caroline C. Clason (et al.). Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19 (6), 2701-2715

    Over 11 000 L of kerosene was deposited on the surface of Rabots glaciar on the Kebnekaise Massif, northern Sweden, following the crash of a Royal Norwegian Air Force aircraft in March 2012. An environmental monitoring programme was subsequently commissioned, including a series of dye tracing experiments during the 2013 melt season, conducted to investigate the transport of pollutants through the glacier hydrological system. This experimental set-up provided a basis from which we could gain new insight into the internal hydrological system of Rabots glaciar. Results of dye tracing experiments reveal a degree of homogeneity in the topology of the drainage system throughout July and August, with an increase in efficiency as the season progresses, as reflected by decreasing temporary storage and dispersivity. Early onset of melting likely led to formation of an efficient, discrete drainage system early in the melt season, subject to decreasing sinuosity and braiding as the season progressed. Four distinct meltwater flow regimes are identified to summarize the temporal and spatial evolution of the system. Analysis of turbidity-discharge hysteresis further supports the formation of discrete, efficient drainage, with clockwise diurnal hysteresis suggesting easy mobilization of readily available sediments in channels. Dye injection immediately downstream of the pollution source zone reveals prolonged storage of dye followed by fast, efficient release. Twinned with a low dye recovery, and supported by sporadic detection of hydrocarbons in the proglacial river, we suggest that meltwater, and thus pollutants in solution, may be released periodically through an efficient, and likely pressurized, hydrological system within the upper reaches of the glacier.

  • 2015. Christian Helanow, Toby Meierbachtol, Peter Jansson. Journal of Glaciology 61 (225), 202-204
  • 2014. Clemens Schannwell (et al.). Annals of Glaciology 55 (67), 89-96

    Ground-penetrating radar has been widely used to map the thermal structure of polythermal glaciers. Hitherto, the cold temperate transition surface (CTS) in radargrams has been identified by a labour-intensive and subjective manual picking method. We introduce a new automatic approach for picking the CTS that uses the difference in signal power exhibited by the cold and temperate ice layers. We compare our automatically computed CTS depths with manual picks. Our results show very good agreement between the two methods in most areas (r(2) > 0.7). RMSEs computed at each trace in two-way travel-time from three test sites range from 14 to 19 ns (2.4-3.2 m). The proposed automated method mostly fails in areas showing a rather gradual transition in signal power at the CTS. In some areas, high power originating from non-water sources is misinterpreted by the automatic picking method as 'temperate ice'.

  • 2014. K. Lindbäck (et al.). Earth System Science Data 6 (2), 331-338

    We present ice thickness and bed topography maps with a high spatial resolution (250-500 m) of a land-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet derived from ground-based and airborne radar surveys. The data have a total area of similar to 12 000 km(2) and cover the whole ablation area of the outlet glaciers of Isunnguata Sermia, Russell, Leverett, Orkendalen and Isorlersuup up to the long-term mass balance equilibrium line altitude at similar to 1600m above sea level. The bed topography shows highly variable subglacial trough systems, and the trough of Isunnguata Sermia Glacier is overdeepened and reaches an elevation of similar to 500m below sea level. The ice surface is smooth and only reflects the bedrock topography in a subtle way, resulting in a highly variable ice thickness. The southern part of our study area consists of higher bed elevations compared to the northern part. The compiled data sets of ground-based and airborne radar surveys cover one of the most studied regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet and can be valuable for detailed studies of ice sheet dynamics and hydrology. The combined data set is freely available at doi:10.1594/pangaea.830314.

  • 2014. Helen E. Dahlke (et al.). Hydrological Processes 28 (3), 1383-1398

    In this study, summer rainfall contributions to streamflow were quantified in the sub-arctic, 30% glacierized Tarfala (21.7km(2)) catchment in northern Sweden for two non-consecutive summer sampling seasons (2004 and 2011). We used two-component hydrograph separation along with isotope ratios (O-18 and D) of rainwater and daily streamwater samplings to estimate relative fraction and uncertainties (because of laboratory instrumentation, temporal variability and spatial gradients) of source water contributions. We hypothesized that the glacier influence on how rainfall becomes runoff is temporally variable and largely dependent on a combination of the timing of decreasing snow cover on glaciers and the relative moisture storage condition within the catchment. The results indicate that the majority of storm runoff was dominated by pre-event water. However, the average event water contribution during storm events differed slightly between both years with 11% reached in 2004 and 22% in 2011. Event water contributions to runoff generally increased over 2011 the sampling season in both the main stream of Tarfala catchment and in the two pro-glacial streams that drain Storglaciaren (the largest glacier in Tarfala catchment covering 2.9km(2)). We credit both the inter-annual and intra-annual differences in event water contributions to large rainfall events late in the summer melt season, low glacier snow cover and elevated soil moisture due to large antecedent precipitation. Together amplification of these two mechanisms under a warming climate might influence the timing and magnitude of floods, the sediment budget and nutrient cycling in glacierized catchments.

  • 2013. Adam D. Booth (et al.). Annals of Glaciology 54 (64), 73-82

    We show that geophysical methods offer an effective means of quantifying snow thickness and density. Opportunistic (efficient but non-optimized) seismic refraction and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were performed on Storglaciaren, Sweden, co-located with a snow pit that shows the snowpack to be 1.73 m thick, with density increasing from similar to 120 to similar to 500 kg m(-3) (with a +50 kg m(-3) anomaly between 0.73 and 0.83 m depth). Depths estimated for two detectable GPR reflectors, 0.76 +/- 0.02 and 1.71 +/- 0.03 m, correlate extremely well with ground-truth observations. Refraction seismic predicts an interface at 1.90 +/- 0.31 m depth, with a refraction velocity (3730 +/- 190 m s(-1)) indicative of underlying glacier ice. For density estimates, several standard velocity-density relationships are trialled. In the best case, GPR delivers an excellent density estimate for the upper snow layer (observed = 321 +/- 74 kg m(-3), estimated = 319 +/- 10 kg m(-3)) but overestimates the density of the lower layer by 20%. Refraction seismic delivers a bulk density of 404 +/- 22 kg m(-3) compared with a ground-truth average of 356 +/- 22 kg m(-3). We suggest that geophysical surveys are an effective complement to mass-balance measurements (particularly for controlling estimates of snow thickness between pits) but should always be validated against ground-truth observations.

  • 2013. Peter L. Moore (et al.). Boreas 42 (1), 71-83

    Internal structure, stable isotope composition and tritium concentration were measured in and around debrisbearingice at the margin of Storglaciären, where englacial debris bands have previously been inferred to form bythrusting. Two types of debris bands were distinguished: (i) an unsorted diamicton band that is laterally continuousfor more than 200 m, and (ii) well-sorted sand and gravel bands that are lenticular and discontinuous.Above-background tritium levels and enrichment of d18O and dD in ice from the diamicton band indicateentrainment by basal freeze-on since 1952. Isotopic enrichment and tritium-free ice in the sandy debris bands alsoindicate entrainment in freezing water, but prior to 1952. The lenticular cross-section, sorting and stratification ofthe sandy bands suggest that they were deposited englacially. The basally accreted diamicton band has beenelevated tens of metres above the bed and presently overlies the englacially deposited sandy bands, suggesting thatthe stratigraphy has been disrupted. Three interpretations could account for these observations: (i) thrusting offast-moving ice over slow, marginal ice uplifting recently accreted basal ice along the fault; (ii) folding near themargin, elevating young basal ice over older basal and englacial ice; and (iii) debris-band formation by anunknown mechanism and subsequent contamination of ice geochemical properties by meltwater flow throughdebris bands. Although none of these interpretations is consistent with all measurements, folding is mostcompatible with observations and local ice-flow kinematics.

  • 2013. Susanne Ingvander (et al.). Annals of Glaciology 54 (62), 166-174

    Knowledge of snow properties across Antarctica is important in estimating how climate could potentially influence the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, measuring these variables has proven to be challenging because appropriate techniques have not yet been developed and extensive datasets of field estimates are lacking. The goal of this study was to estimate the relationship between field-observed snow particle-size parameters from across the East Antarctic ice sheet and a suite of spatial datasets (i.e. topography, remote-sensing data) using a principal component analysis (PCA). Five snow particle-size parameters were correlated to spatial datasets of the following five groups: (1) relief properties such as elevation and slope; (2) remote-sensing data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors; (3) spatially interpolated data (i.e. 10 m maps of temperature and approximate snow accumulation in kg m(-2) a(-1)); (4) field-retrieved data on surface roughness; and (5) in situ elevation and distance from the coast. The results show that the relief parameter slope correlated best with the snow particle length and area (r=0.76, r=0.80). Further, the PCA indicated that the different remote-sensing parameters correlated differently with the size parameters and that the most common parameter in visual analysis, particle length (grain diameter), is not always the optimal parameter to characterize the snow particle size as, for example, area correlates better to slope and aspect than length.

  • 2013. Susanne Ingvander (et al.). Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research 45 (3), 330-341

    Snow particle size is an important parameter strongly affecting snow cover broadband albedo from seasonally snow covered areas and ice sheets. It is also important in remote sensing analyses because it influences the reflectance and scattering properties of the snow. We have developed a digital image processing method for the capture and analysis of data of snow particle size and shape. The method is suitable for quick and reliable data capture in the field. Traditional methods based on visual inspection of samples have been used but do not yield quantitative data. Our method provides an alternative to both simpler and more complex methods by providing a tool that limits the subjective effect of the visual analysis and provides a quantitative particle size distribution. The method involves image analysis software and field efficient instrumentation in order to develop a complete process-chain easily implemented under field conditions. The output from the analysis is a two-dimensional analysis of particle size, shape, and distributions for each sample. The results of the segmentation process were validated against manual delineation of snow particles. The developed method improves snow particle analysis because it is quantitative, reproducible, and applicable for different types of field sites.

  • 2013. M. Zemp (et al.). The Cryosphere 7 (4), 1227-1245

    Glacier-wide mass balance has been measured for more than sixty years and is widely used as an indicator of climate change and to assess the glacier contribution to runoff and sea level rise. Until recently, comprehensive uncertainty assessments have rarely been carried out and mass balance data have often been applied using rough error estimation or without consideration of errors. In this study, we propose a framework for reanalysing glacier mass balance series that includes conceptual and statistical toolsets for assessment of random and systematic errors, as well as for validation and calibration (if necessary) of the glaciological with the geodetic balance results. We demonstrate the usefulness and limitations of the proposed scheme, drawing on an analysis that comprises over 50 recording periods for a dozen glaciers, and we make recommendations to investigators and users of glacier mass balance data. Reanalysing glacier mass balance series needs to become a standard procedure for every monitoring programme to improve data quality, including reliable uncertainty estimates.

  • 2013. A. Malin Johansson, Peter Jansson, Ian A. Brown. Journal of Hydrology 476, 314-320

    Surface lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet provide temporary storage for meltwater that influences both the surface and basal water fluxes. Thus, to understand the effects of variations in surface melt on ice sheet dynamics it is necessary to understand the surface hydrology. We have used satellite imagery, acquired at 5-day intervals, to map lake initiation and cessation on two sub-sections on the south west Greenland Ice Sheet over three melt seasons (2007–2009). We observe that lake initiation is closely tied to a threshold energy input of approximately 40 ± 18.5 positive-degree-days. This applies to all studied melt seasons, regardless of evolution and melting index anomalies. Lake longevity averages 24 days with little variation between different melt seasons. Our observed median lake area is larger than previously reported. Approximately 50% of all lakes have a life span of <10 d. Cessation of identified lakes is caused by two processes: drainage during the melt season (88% – 2007, 78% – 2008 and 88% – 2009) and freezeup at the end of the season (12% – 2007, 22% – 2008 and 12% – 2009). Inclusion of the energy needed for lake initiation and number of lakes that freeze up at the end of the season into supra-glacial lake models will add further insight into the hydrological system dynamics.

  • 2013. Alessio Gusmeroli (et al.). Annals of Glaciology 54 (64), 115-123

    We have investigated the speed of compressional waves in a polythermal glacier by, first, predicting them from a simple three-phase (ice, air, water) model derived from a published ground-penetrating radar study, and then comparing them with field data from four orthogonally orientated walkaway vertical seismic profiles (VSPs) acquired in an 80 m deep borehole drilled in the ablation area of Storglaciaren, northern Sweden. The model predicts that the P-wave speed increases gradually with depth from 3700 m s(-1) at the surface to 3760 m s(-1) at 80 m depth, and this change is almost wholly caused by a reduction in air content from 3% at the surface to <0.5% at depth. Changes in P-wave speed due to water content variations are small (<10 m s(-1)); the model's seismic cold-temperate transition surface (CTS) is characterized by a 0.3% decrease downwards in P-wave speed (about ten times smaller than the radar CTS). This lack of sensitivity, and the small contrast at the CTS, makes seismically derived water content estimation very challenging. Nevertheless, for down-going direct-wave first arrivals for zero- and near-offset VSP shots, we find that the model-predicted travel times and field observations agree to within 0.2 ms, i.e. less than the observational uncertainties.

Show all publications by Peter Jansson at Stockholm University


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Last updated: August 23, 2018

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