Get Data


Data can be downloaded through a Web browser or command line via FTP. When using a Web browser, the FTP link first directs you to an Optional Registration Form that if filled out, will allow you to receive notifications about updates or processing changes related to that specific data set. After completing the Optional Registration Form, the FTP directory becomes available. For additional help downloading data through an FTP client, go to the How to access data using an FTP client support page.


Data Set ID:

Borehole locations and permafrost depths, Alaska, USA, Version 1

The methods utilized by the U.S. Geological Survey to measure subsurface temperatures have evolved considerably over the years. Although some of the early measurements were obtained using thermistor strings frozen into permafrost, the vast majority of the measurements were made in fluid-filled holes using a custom temperature sensor. A typical sensor used in Alaska prior to 1989 consisted of a series-parallel network of 20 thermistors; see Sass et al. [1971] for a more detailed description. During a logging experiment, the resistance of the thermistor network was determined using a Wheatstone bridge prior to 1967. After that time, a 4-wire resistance measurement was made using a commercial 5.5-digit multimeter (DMM). Before 1984, boreholes were logged in the 'incremental' or 'stop-and-go' modes; the vertical spacing of the measurements was typically 3-15 m. Beginning in 1984, the depth/resistance measurements were automatically stored on magnetic tape, allowing boreholes to be logged in the 'continuous' mode; the typical data spacing for the continuous temperature logs was 0.3 m (1 ft). Many of the Alaskan boreholes were re-logged several times to quantify the thermal disturbance caused by drilling the holes (see Lachenbruch and Brewer [1959]). A review of current temperature measuring techniques used by the USGS in the polar regions is given by Clow et al. [1996]. Data from 1950-1989 are included on the CAPS CD-ROM Version 1.0, June 1998.

Geographic Coverage

  • Frozen Ground > Permafrost
  • Frozen Ground > Soil Temperature
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 71.189, S: 62.19, E: -141.15, W: -165.767

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1989
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Gary D. Clow, Max C. Brewer, Arthur H. Lachenbruch
Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Clow, G.D 1998. Borehole locations and permafrost depths, Alaska, USA, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].
No technical references available for this data set.
No FAQs or How Tos available for this data set.

Access complete Knowledge Base

Questions? Please contact:
NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199