The 4th DUE Permafrost User Workshop will be held at ESA ESRIN, Frascati, Italy the 11-13 February 2014. It is sponsored by the Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) and Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost, International Permafrost Association (GTN-P/IPA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The deadline for abstract submission, registration and travel support applications has now passed.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014          Time Agenda Item 9:00-9:30 Registration 9:30-11:00 Welcome Session Chairs: DUE Permafrost -Birgit Heim and Frank…

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The workshop:

User workshops are an important tool for the interaction between the scientific user’s community and the remote sensing experts. The DUE Permafrost team and ESA held three workshops (2010 to 2012). ESA, CliC and IPA are funding the 4th DUE Permafrost User Workshop. This ESA-CliC-GTNP-/IPA-DUE Permafrost workshop

  • will bring together a multidisciplinary community working on permafrost-related remote sensing, field monitoring and permafrost-related modelling and climate modeling.
  • will collect and discuss the up-to-date User requirements related to monitoring and modelling.
  • will contribute to the update of the IGOS Cryosphere Theme Report (2007) for permafrost.
  • will feed into current efforts of GTN-P to build a permafrost observing component into the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON).

Workshop Organisation:

The 4th workshop will be jointly organized by members of the former DUE permafrost team, Birgit Heim (AWI, DE), Annett Bartsch (APRI,AT & LMU, DE), Claude Duguay (UW, CA) and Frank-Martin Seifert (ESA), further co-organizers are Jenny Baseman (CliC) and Vladimir Romanovsky (IPA/GTN-P). The CliC-ESA-DUE Permafrost workshop will start with a welcome by CliC, ESA, IPA, GTN-P and GTN-P-CALM. We will show the developments related to the DUE permafrost products, and added-value applications. Presentations will also include related international remote sensing programs such as ESA GlobSnow, STSE Northern Hydrology, STSE-Alanis, EuRuCAS, FP7-PAGE21 and FP7-MONARCH-A. Most important - the workshop will have in-depth discussions how to further link remote sensing, field observations and modelling. Based on these in-depth sessions an interdisciplinary document on building up strategies and showing case studies will be produced and circulated. The workshop will also feed into current efforts of the Global Terrestrial Network of Permafrost (GTN-P) to build a permafrost observing component into the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON).


Permafrost is one of the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) in the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Field observations proof that the active layer and permafrost are already undergoing changes with further influences on the hydrology, the carbon budget, the denudation of permafrost landscapes and the human infrastructure. A thorough mapping, observation and understanding of the climate-driven surface dynamics at work in permafrost landscapes are needed.

Remote Sensing provides detailed spatio-temporal representation of geo- and biophysical parameters. Interdisciplinary platforms are needed to get an understanding of the discipline-specific terminology, data types, usage of data, accuracy of remote sensing products and their added value for permafrost monitoring and modelling.

The following questions need to be further discussed:

1.         How valid are the operational remote sensing products for permafrost landscapes?

2.         What methods are available for upscaling from ground data?

3.         Can Remote Sensing become operational for permafrost monitoring?

4.         Can satellite-observable parameters provide the evaluation, constraining and forcing for models?

ESA DUE Permafrost (2009 to 2012) has established a permafrost-related monitoring system based on a first set of circumpolar and regional products: Land Surface Temperature (LST), Surface Soil Moisture (SSM), ground frozen/ non frozen state, terrain parameters, Land Cover, and surface waters. The user community comprises institutions, organizations and scientists from a wide range of subjects and interests. The user requirements had been taken into consideration for the definition of the service cases and the observation strategy. The remote sensing products are disseminated through the web portal of the TU Vienna ( and through the PANGAEA publication database (, which provides the DOI reference for the DUE Permafrost remote sensing products.


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