Ylva Sjoberg

Ylva Sjöberg


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Telephone 08-674 78 69
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room T308
Postal address Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I'm a researcher within the research unit for Hydrology, Water resources, and Permafrost. My research focuses on the interaction between permafrost and water in arctic landscapes.


My research focuses on the hydrologic system in arctic permafrost environments. I want to create better understanding of the processes controlling hydrology in these environments and the links to permafrost dynamics under varying environmental conditions and across spatial scales.

Permafrost and water dynamics are tightly linked in arctic landscapes and fluxes of heat and water often occur as coupled processes. The moisture content determines the thermal properties of the ground, and the partitioning of water in the landscape is thereby an important control on permafrost distributions. As frozen ground impedes the movement of water, permafrost affects the partitioning of surface- and groundwater, as well as groundwater recharge, discharge and flow pathways. Water moving through the landscape also carries heat both vertically and laterally and thereby influences freeze and thaw rates of permafrost. One of the main motivations for increasing the knowledge base of the coupled permafrost-hydrologic system is its influence on the arctic carbon cycle, as degradation and transport of newly thawed permafrost carbon is controlled by the distribution and routing of water through the landscape.

I work with a variety of complementary techniques to isolate groundwater-permafrost interactions across spatial scales, including geophysical techniques, GIS, remote sensing, and statistical analyses of field observations of ground temperature and hydrological parameters.

The results from my research show that signals from permafrost thaw can be detected in streamflow data, as demonstrated by analysis of discharge data for catchments in northern Sweden and by numerical modeling experiments (Sjöberg et al., 2013a).  In two other studies we have mapped the distributions of permafrost and analyzed morphological patterns connected to lakes and ponds in discontinuous permafrost landscapes (Sjöberg et al., 2013b; Sjöberg et al., 2015). My most recent study shows that groundwater advective heat transfer exerts a significant control on ground temperature dynamics in discontinuous permafrost environments, especially during high groundwater gradient conditions.

I'm also engaged in networks and initiatives promoting early career researchers (see for example Fritz et al., 2015), and in outreach activities such as the Frozen Ground Cartoon project which produces cartoons explaining permafrost (available in English and Swedish), and I am the co-chair for the International Permafrost Association standing Committtee on Education and Outreach.


Nääs, H., Ross, N., Bouchard, F., Deshpande, B., Fritz, M., Malenfant-Lepage, J., Nieuwendam, A., Paquette, M., Rudy, A., Siewert, M., Sjöberg, Y., Veillette, A., Weege, S., Harbor, J., Habeck, J. O. (2017): Frozen-Ground Cartoons: An international collaboration between artists and permafrost scientists, Potsdam : Bibliothek Wissenschaftspark Albert Einstein, 27 p.
DOI: (Popular science)

Muster, S., Roth, K., Langer, M., Lange, S., Cresto Aleina, F., Bartsch, A., Morgenstern, A., Grosse, G., Jones, B., Sannel, A. B. K., Sjöberg, Y., Günther, F., Andresen, C., Veremeeva, A., Lindgren, P. R., Bouchard, F., Lara, M. J., Fortier, D., Charbonneau, S., Virtanen, T. A., Hugelius, G., Palmtag, J., Siewert, M. B., Riley, W. J., Koven, C. D., and Boike, J.(2017), PeRL: a circum-Arctic Permafrost Region Pond and Lake database, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 317-348,

Sjöberg, Y., E. Coon, A. B. K. Sannel, R. Pannetier, D. Harp, A. Frampton, S. L. Painter, and S. W. Lyon. (2016), Thermal effects of groundwater flow through subarctic fens: A case study based on field observations and numerical modeling, Water Resour. Res., 52, 1591–1606, doi:10.1002/2015WR017571.

Sjöberg, Y, (2015) Linking water and permafrost dynamics, PhD dissertation, Stockholm University, ISBN: 978-91-7649-164-5.

Sjöberg, Y, P Marklund, R Pettersson, S Lyon (2015) Geophysical mapping of palsa peatland permafrost,  The Cryosphere 9: 465–478, doi:10.5194/tc-9-465-2015.

Harpold, A, J A Marshall, S W Lyon, T B Barnhart, B Fisher, M Donovan, K M Brubaker, C J Crosby, N F Glenn, C L Glennie, P B Kirchner, N Lam, K D Mankoff, J  McCreight, N P Molotch, K N Musselman, J Pelletier, T Russo, H Sangireddy, Y Sjöberg, T Swetnam, and N West (2015) Laser vision: lidar as a transformative tool to advance critical zone science, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2881-2897, doi:10.5194/hess-19-2881-2015.

Fritz, M, B N Deshpande, F Bouchard, E Högström,  J Lepage, A Morgenstern, A Nieuwendam, M Oliva, M Paquette, A C A Rudy, M B Siewert, Y Sjöberg, and S Weege (2015) Future avenues for permafrost science from the perspective of early career researchers, The Cryosphere, 9, 1715-1720, doi:10.5194/tc-9-1715-2015.

Sjöberg, Y, A Frampton, S Lyon (2013a) Using streamflow characteristics to explore permafrost thawing in northern Sweden,  Hydrogeology Journal 21 (1): 121-131, doi:10.1007/s10040-012-0932-5.

Sjöberg, Y, G Hugelius, P Kuhry (2013b) Thermokarst Lake Morphometrics and Erosion in Two Peat Plateau Areas of Northeastern European Russia, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 24 (1): 75-81, doi:10.1002/ppp.1762.

Last updated: September 21, 2017

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