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:

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.

Geographic Coverage

  • Frozen Ground > Active Layer
  • Frozen Ground > Soil Temperature
  • Soils > Soil Temperature
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 66.94, S: 66.94, E: -53.64, W: -53.64

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 September 1967 to 31 August 1982
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s): Not specified
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Niels Foged, Ole B. Olesen, Hanne Christiansen, F.G.M. van Tatenhove
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.

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. [Date Accessed].

Back to Top

Collapse All / Open All

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.

Background color on
File Naming Convention


Background color on
File Size

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

Background color on
Spatial Coverage

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

Background color on
Temporal Coverage

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

Background color on

Software and Tools

Background color on

Data Acquisition and Processing

Background color on

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

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