Data Set ID:

Active-Layer and Permafrost Temperatures, Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland, Version 1

This data set contains active-layer and permafrost temperatures from Sisimiut, west Greenland, recorded from 18 sensors at depths of 0.25 m, 0.5 m, 0.75 m, 1 m, 1.25 m, 1.5 m, 1.75 m, 2 m, 2.5 m, 3 m, 3.5 m, 4 m, 4.5 m, 5 m, 6 m, 7 m, 8 m, and 9 m below the surface. Snow depth, snow extent, and surface air temperature were also recorded. Thermometers recorded temperatures once a day from September 1967 to August 1982; however, this data set only contains bi-weekly averages. Data are in tab-delimited ASCII text format and are available via FTP.

This is the most recent version of these data.

  • Frozen Ground > Active Layer > ACTIVE LAYER
  • Frozen Ground > Soil Temperature > SOIL TEMPERATURE
  • Soils > Soil Temperature > SOIL TEMPERATURE
Data Format(s):Not specified
Spatial Coverage:
N: 66.94, 
S: 66.94, 
E: -53.64, 
W: -53.64
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 September 1967 to 31 August 1982
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Niels Foged, Ole B. Olesen, Hanne Christiansen, F.G.M. van Tatenhove

Geographic Coverage

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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.

Olesen, O.B., F.G.M. van Tatenhove, H. Hvidtfeldt, and N. Foged 2003. Active-Layer and Permafrost Temperatures, Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Copenhagen, Denmark. Greenlandic Geological Survey, GEUS. doi: [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description

In 1967, the Greenlandic Geological Survey (GEUS) started a program to monitor soil temperatures in permafrost and seasonal frost areas in West Greenland as part of the UNESCO International Hydrological Decade program (Olesen 1967avan Tatenhove and Olesen 1994). That same year, Ole Olesen established a permafrost station in Sisimiut (formerly known as Holsteinsborg).

Olesen installed platinum resistance thermometers at 18 depths down to 9 m, and backfilled the holes with original material. A Wheatstone bridge recorded temperatures (° C) at approximately noon every day. This instrument measures temperatures between -10°C to 10°C. Olesen also recorded snow depth (cm) and snow extent (quartiles). The thermistors were calibrated at 0°C only. Temperatures were measured in sediment down to 6.4 m and in bedrock from 6.4 m to 9 m. The station was located at 38 m asl. N. Foged and his students digitized the original daily data on a 14-day basis


Data are in tab-delimited ASCII text format. The file "ggd23_soiltmp_sisimiut.txt" contains the following columns:

  • Year

  • Month: decimal format (9.5 = mid-September)

  • Time (months from 1967/09/01): decimal format

  • 1 through 18: Bi-weekly averaged raw soil temperatures for 18 different depths ranging from 0.25 m to 9 m. Missing values are indicated by "-999."

  • Snow cover index (1-4): Snow extent in quartiles. 1 = 25%, 2 = 50%, 3 = 75%, 4 = 100%, 0 = no data

  • Snow depth (cm)

  • Max air temp (deg. C)

  • Min air temp (deg. C)

The file "ggd23_sensors_sisimiut.txt" lists the sensors with corresponding depths (m) and calibration factors (°C). Some thermometers stopped working during the period of data collection.

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File Naming Convention


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File Size

ggd23_soiltmp_sisimiut.txt: 35 KB
ggd23_sensors_sisimiut.txt: 1 KB

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Spatial Coverage

Data were collected in Sisimiut, west Greenland, at approximately 66.94°N, 53.64°W.

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Temporal Coverage

Thermometers recorded temperatures once a day from September 1967 to August 1982; however, this data set only contains bi-weekly averages.

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Ole B. Olesen
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Øster Voldgade 10
1350 København K

Niels Foged
Danish Technical University
Diplomvej, Building 373
2800 Kgs. Lyngby

F.G.M. Tatenhove
Rijnstraat 16-III
1078 RB Amsterdam
The Netherlands

H.H. Christiansen
Institute of Geography
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1042 Blindern
0316 Oslo


When using these data, please acknowledge that they are the property of the Danish and Greenlandic Geological Survey (GEUS). A cooperative agreement with GEUS was signed before any access was granted to the hardcopy data digitized by Niels Foged and his students at Artek.

Document Information

Document Creation Date:

March 2003

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