Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 1–16, 2019

Special issue: From process to signal – advancing environmental...

Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 1–16, 2019

Research article 10 Jan 2019

Research article | 10 Jan 2019

Potentials and pitfalls of permafrost active layer monitoring using the HVSR method: a case study in Svalbard

Andreas Köhler and Christian Weidle

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Cited articles

Abbott, R., Knox, H. A., James, S., Lee, R., and Cole, C.: Permafrost Active Layer Seismic Interferometry Experiment (PALSIE), Tech. rep., Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States), available at: (last access: 7 January 2019), 2016. a, b, c, d
Adams, P. N., Anderson, R. S., and Revenaugh, J.: Microseismic measurement of wave-energy delivery to a rocky coast, Geology, 30, 895–898,<0895:MMOWED>2.0.CO;2, 2002. a
Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory (ASL)/USGS: Global Seismograph Network (GSN – IRIS/USGS),, 1988. a
Bartholomaus, T. C., Amundson, J. M., Walter, J. I., O'Neel, S., West, M. E., and Larsen, C. F.: Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 6391–6398,, 2015. a
Beyreuther, M., Barsch, R., Krischer, L., Megies, T., Behr, Y., and Wassermann, J.: ObsPy: A Python toolbox for seismology, Seismol. Res. Lett., 81, 530–533,, 2010. a
Short summary
The uppermost part of permanently frozen ground can thaw during summer and refreeze during winter. We use a method based on naturally generated seismic waves to continuously monitor these changes close to the research settlement of Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard between April and August 2016. Our results reveal some potential pitfalls when interpreting temporal variations in the data. However, we show that a careful data analysis makes this method a very useful tool for long-term permafrost monitoring.