Topic Editors

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center & School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Dr. Wenbing Yu
State Key Laboratory of Mountain Bridge and Tunnel Engineering, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing, China
School of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Permafrost Dynamics and Impacts on the hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecosystem, and Infrastructure Based on Modeling, Observations, and Remote Sensing Products

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 January 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
31 March 2024
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Permafrost, a key component of the cryosphere, occupies approximately 24% of the land surface of the Northern Hemisphere. Due to the rapidly changing climate and increasing anthropogenic activities, permafrost is warming and thawing globally, which increases the active layer depths and may trigger talik initiation, formation, and expansion. These processes substantially alter the magnitudes, rates, and patterns of the transport of water, energy, gases, and solutes in the subsurface domain. Additionally, permafrost degradation, particularly in ice-rich and warm permafrost regions, can result in infrastructure damages, landslides, thermokarst lake and pond dynamics, thaw slumps, groundwater–surface water interaction, etc. Furthermore, permafrost thaw influences vegetation species composition due to the changes in soil nutrients, soil porosity, water content, groundwater discharge, solute and gas exports, and microbial communities. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate and quantify the impacts of permafrost degradation on geomorphological, ecological, and hydrological processes.

The objective of this Topic is to gather and analyze cutting-edge research on the dynamics of permafrost and its effects on the geomorphological, ecological, and hydrological processes in a changing climate. The Topic aims to showcase the latest research in remote sensing applied to permafrost studies. We encourage submissions that utilize a wide range of remote sensing techniques. Additionally, we are interested in studies that integrate remote sensing data with other types of data, such as ground observations, laboratory measurements, and numerical models. The use of machine learning and other data-driven approaches to analyze remote sensing data is also of interest. In summary, this Topic seeks to highlight the critical role of remote sensing in permafrost research and its potential to contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of permafrost degradation on the environment. We welcome contributions from researchers working on a wide range of topics related to permafrost, from fundamental research on permafrost processes to applied studies on the impacts of permafrost degradation on infrastructure, ecosystems, and human societies.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Remote sensing of permafrost dynamics;
• Remote sensing of land surface change in cold regions;
• Permafrost mapping and modeling;
• Remote sensing of permafrost-related hazards;
• Land–atmosphere interactions;
• Geomorphological and hydrological impacts of permafrost degradation;
• Permafrost hazard assessment and management;
• Vulnerability of cold-region infrastructure to permafrost degradation;

Dr. Lin Chen
Dr. Xiaolang Zhang
Dr. Wenbing Yu
Dr. Xianwei Wang
Topic Editors


  • remote sensing
  • permafrost degradation
  • cryohydrogeological processes
  • biogeochemical processes
  • infrastructure
  • regional and global scale
  • permafrost-related hazards
  • water resources

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
2.9 4.1 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Remote Sensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700 Submit is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that is dedicated to sharing your research from the start and empowering your research journey.

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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20 pages, 11631 KiB  
Environmental Characteristics of High Ice-Content Permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(18), 4496; - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 897
Permafrost areas are sensitive to climate change and have a significant impact on energy and water cycles. Ground ice is a crucial component on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Understanding the environmental characteristics of ground ice is vital for accurately modeling its distribution and [...] Read more.
Permafrost areas are sensitive to climate change and have a significant impact on energy and water cycles. Ground ice is a crucial component on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Understanding the environmental characteristics of ground ice is vital for accurately modeling its distribution and evolution. In this study, we analyzed 15 environmental characteristics of high ice-content permafrost sites. These attributes were extracted from 400 high ice-content permafrost datasets including 300 drilling boreholes and 100 thaw slumps collected throughout the entire plateau using large-scale remote sensing data and their products. The results are as follows: The mean annual air temperature in areas where high ice-content permafrost exists ranges from −5 to −3.5 °C, with an average warming rate of 0.08 °C/a. Additionally, there was an average increase in precipitation of about 25 mm/10a and an increase in soil moisture of about 4%/10a. Geomorphology strongly influences the occurrence of high ice content permafrost, with 85% of high ice-content permafrost development at altitudes between 4400 and 5100 m. Approximately 86% of high ice-content permafrost were developed in lowland or relatively flat areas, preferably in gently sloping and shady slope regions. Soils exhibit less variability in clay particles and more variability in silt and sand. Key indicators in the high ice content permafrost region include warming rate, active layer thickness, elevation, bulk density, soil thickness, clay content, precipitation, soil moisture, and NDVI. High ice-content permafrost is the result of a combination of environmental factors and is expected to undergo significant changes in the future. This study provides a foundation for comprehending the environmental changes in the high ice-content permafrost areas and modeling the distribution of ground ice. It underscores the urgent need to address the significant environmental changes faced by high ice-content permafrost regions. Full article
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