Geodynamikk og Bassengstudier
Masterprosjekt V19 - Tor Arne Johansen (BRS)

Possible seismic monitoring of thawing of terrestrial sediments in the Arctic: Seismic modelling of surface waves in Adventdalen, Svalbard.

Dette masterprosjektet er ledig fra våren 2019 ved Institutt for geovitenskap


Project description

The ongoing rise in temperature in the Arctic may have severe effects on huge areas of the todays permanently frozen tundra in the Northern Hemisphere. Thawing of frozen sediments will cause release of water, the soil to become unstable and possible outlets of climate gases. Seismic waves are very sensitive to the stiffness of sediments, and, thus, as frozen sediments thaw their seismic properties will alter significantly. If the seismic properties of near surface sediments can be monitored over time, this can potentially be used to predict the heat flux into the terrestrial Arctic.

Seismic velocities in unconsolidated sediments will vary significantly with the extent of frozen water within the pore volume. Time lapse studies of surface waves in an area subjected to freezing and thawing can potentially be used to monitor vertical temperature distributions of the upper sediments. The problem is first to study the sensitivity of surface waves by seismic modelling, particularly related to observed seismic velocity variations of surface sediments in Svalbard.  Second, the problem is to adapt the seismic modelling to sediment conditions relevant for Adventdalen and compare with experimental data acquired during the spring of 2019. 

The work will be a part of a larger scientific project involving several master projects and the field work is to be carried out in collaboration with other master and PhD-students. The field work will take place in Adventdalen, in the vicinity of UNIS, see www.unis.no during the spring of 2019. The theoretical part of the work and evaluation data from field work is basically to take place at GEO/UoB. 


The candidate needs a solid knowledge of seismic wave propagation and general knowledge in seismic data acquisition and processing.

NB!! The candidate must apply for the course AG-335 at UNIS, Svalbard within the UNIS-deadline October 15th 2018. Please contact the project supervisor(s) or the programme coordinator immediatly if you would like to apply for this project, winter 2018/19.

Field work

Field work of approximately two months in Adventdalen, Longyearbyen, related to conducting active and passive seismic experiments.