Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Mark Serreze

Second Advisor

Ola Persson

Third Advisor

Peter Blanken


This study examines the spatial variability in ground heat flux measured at four sites in the vicinity of the Russian Arctic meteorological observatory at Tiksi during a full annual cycle in 2016. Nine land cover types were identified surrounding the Tiksi observatory using a map acquired from World View via the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). FMI found that land cover types vary in the vicinity of the observatory on scales of meters, implying that this information needs to be taken into account to properly upscale point measurements for comparisons to models. The ground heat flux was calculated using flux plates and soil temperature measurements at four identified soil locations: stony, grassy (two flux plates at this location), dry fen, and wet fen. To obtain a ground heat flux value, a term is also included to account for changes in energy stored in the soil above the measured ground heat flux plate at each of the measurement sites. This change in energy storage was estimated from measured temperature profiles and soil heat capacities from published studies. Results highlight the difficulty in defining soil properties necessary for calculating the storage change and of obtaining direct flux measurements from all land cover types in an Arctic region. Results also demonstrate the need for weighted averages of ground heat fluxes to upscale to model or satellite grid scales.