This paper describes results obtained from scientific work and experiments performed on Livingston and
Deception Islands. Located in the South Shetland Archipelago, these islands have been some of the most sensitive
regions over the last 50 years with respect to climate change with a Mean Annual Air Temperature (MAAT) close to -2
ºC. Three Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) sites were installed to record the thermal regime and the
behaviour of the active layer in different places with similar climate, but with different soil composition, porosity, and
water content. The study’s ultimate aim is to document the influence of climate change on permafrost degradation.
Preliminary results, obtained in 2006, on maximum active-layer thickness (around 40 cm in the CALM of Deception
Island), active layer temperature evolution, snow thickness, and air temperatures permit early characterization of
energy exchange mechanisms between the ground and the atmosphere in the CALM-S sites.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Permafrost and active layer monitoring in the maritime Antarctic: Preliminary results from CALM sites on Livingston and Deception Islands