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MOSES - Mapping of submarine permafrost

Submarine permafrost layers represent the seaward extension of the arctic permafrost layers at the continental margins in Northern America and Eurasia. Given their nature, the geometry of the submarine part of the permafrost layers is a very sensitive indicator for climate change. Within the MOSES Initiative (Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems) we intend to develop a passive seismic method to determine the thickness of the unfrozen layer above the ice-bonded permafrost (IBP) using a portable ocean bottom seismic (OBS) instrument. By recording ocean bottom seismic noise at a larger number of locations and analysing the data by the H/V method we will be able to map the spatial extend and temporal changes of the IBP.

Time frame

  • the regular operation of MOSES started in 2022


  • HGF - Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, GFZ

Principal Investigators

  • Christian Haberland, Trond Ryberg


  • M. Krüger (GFZ), M. Hönig (GFZ), F. Brethauer (GFZ), P. Overduin (AWI)


  • AWI Potsdam, GEOMAR, University Potsdam

Methods & Equipment

  • passive seismic methods, portable autonomous surface vehicle (USV) with multi-paramter sensor platform


  • Ryberg, Trond; Haberland, Christian; Overduin, Paul; Cable, William (2022): Subaquatic ambient seismic noise recordings acquired in the region of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. GFZ Data Services.doi:10.5880/GIPP.202199.1
  • Ryberg, T., Cable, W., Overduin, P., Haberland, C. (2020): Ambient seismic noise data from the shallow sea floor off Tuktoyaktuk, Canada. doi:10.5880/GIPP.201899.1
  • Cable, W., Haberland, C., Ryberg, T., Overduin, P. P. (2019): Mobile Ocean Bottom Seismometer (MOBSI). - In: Boike, J., Dallimore, S. R. (Eds.), Summary of 2018 Mackenzie Delta Permafrost Field Campaign (mCAN2018), Northwest Territories, (Geological Survey of Canada: Open File; 8640), 29-33. doi:org/10.4095/315704
  • Overduin, Ch. Haberland, T. Ryberg, F. Kneier, T. Jacobi, M. N. Grigoriev, M. Ohrnberger (2015): Submarine permafrost depth from ambient seismic noise. GRL, doi:10.1002/2015GL065409, 2015
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