Mapped polygon pattern geomorphometry from HRSC-AX, 2009, IWS Adventdalen, Svalbard (NO)

Ulrich, Mathias; Hauber, Ernst; Herzschuh, Ulrike; Härtel, Stefanie; Schirrmeister, Lutz

Polygonal systems formed by thermal contraction cracking are complex landscape features widespread in terrestrial periglacial regions. The manner in which cracking occurs is controlled by various environmental factors and determines dimension, shape, and orientation of polygons. We studied the geomorphometry of polygonally-patterned ground on Svalbard to draw a terrestrial analogy to small-scale polygonal structures ion Mars. We performed a comparative quantitative terrain analysis based on high-resolution stereo remote-sensing data (i.e., HRSC-AX, HiRISE) in combination with terrestrial field data and multivariate statistics to determine the relationship of polygon geomorphometry to local environmental conditions. Results show that polygonal structures on Svalbard and in Utopia Planitia, Mars, are similar with respect to their size and shape. A comparable thermal contraction cracking genesis is likely. Polygon evolution, however, is strongly related to regional and local landscape dynamics. Individual polygon dimensions and orthogonality vary according to age, thermal contraction cracking activity, and local subsurface conditions.

This dataset is part of the data collection "Mapped polygon pattern geomorphometry from HRSC-AX" that contains polygon net data from 8 sites on Svalbard in shapefile format:

Act-IWS = Active Ice-Wedge site Adventdalen (AD1) AD2 to AD4 = Adventdalen sites 2 to 4 IWS = Ice-wedge site Adventdalen CALM = Circumarctic Active-Layer Monitoring polygon site Adventdalen HCP = High Center Polygons site Adventdalen Isdammen = location Isdammen site Adventdalen

Detailed information about methods and results can be found in the publication to which this dataset is a supplement.


In order to use these data, you must cite this data set with the following citation:


Ulrich, Mathias

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Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier DOI:10.1594/PANGAEA.921087
Institute AWI Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Publication Date 2020-07-30
Version 1.0
Product group
Product polygon cracknet maps
Sensor HRSC-AX
  • polygon crack net
Variables [Units]
  • area: area (A) [m²]
  • perimeter: perimeter (P) [m]
  • circular: Circularity (FF) = 4πA/P² [0 to 1]
Region Svalbard
Spatial Reference EPSG:32633 WGS 84 / UTM zone 33N
Spatial Resolution 0.5 m
Spatial Coverage Latitude 78.182 to 78.190, Longitude 15.900 to 15.938
Temporal Coverage 2009
Temporal Resolution July-August
Format Shapefile
Is Supplement to M. Ulrich, E. Hauber, U. Herzschuh, S. Härtel, L. Schirrmeister, Polygon pattern geomorphometry on Svalbard (Norway) and western Utopia Planitia (Mars) using high-resolution stereo remote-sensing data, Geomorphology, Volume 134, Issues 3–4, 2011, Pages 197-216, ISSN 0169-555X,

Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors