Circumpolar Active-layer Permafrost System (CAPS)

The Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System Version 2.0 (CAPS 2) is an update to CAPS Version 1.0, and is the second five-year compilation of permafrost and frozen ground-related data and information products with a global perspective. CAPS 2 was compiled by the International Permafrost Association's (IPA) Standing Committee on Data, Information, and Communication (SCDIC) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and was published online and on CD-ROM in 2003.

CAPS is a major component of the IPA's Global Geocryological Data (GGD) system, an internationally distributed system of linked data centers or nodes. NSIDC and the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) developed the Frozen Ground Data Center (FGDC) as a central node in the GGD system. The CAPS 2 CD-ROM is intended to be a snapshot of FGDC data and metadata holdings as of spring 2003.

Prior to 2008, the data were available on CD-ROM. However, currently, the data are only available via FTP from the FGDC Web site. Although our intent was to update CAPS every five years, no updates have been made since 2003, and no new updates are planned as of 2008.

The FGDC holdings include over 100 data sets and information products pertaining to permafrost and frozen ground topics. It also contains detailed metadata records describing over 100 additional data sets available at other GGD nodes world wide. Dozens of contributors submitted data collections representing sites around the world. This compilation of data and information products is intended for a broad audience including the scientific and engineering communities, educators, and policy makers.

CAPS 2 expanded the scope of CAPS Version 1.0 by including data and information for seasonally frozen ground regions from in-situ measurements, satellite remote sensing, and model outputs. The data can be accessed by subject, investigator, or location. CAPS 2 has a broad collection of regional and hemispheric permafrost and soil maps, including the Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground-Ice Conditions. It also includes the The Permafrost and Frozen Ground Bibliography, several specialized bibliographies, and a glossary of permafrost and related ground-ice terms. It also includes summary and metadata for several IPA permafrost projects:

Citing These Data

International Permafrost Association Standing Committee on Data Information and Communication (comp.). 2003. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System, Version 2.0. Edited by M. Parsons and T. Zhang. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center.