Mapped thermokarst ice wedge polygon patterns from GeoEye-1, 2010, Cape Mamontov Klyk, Laptev Sea coast, Siberia (RU)

Ulrich, Mathias; Grosse, Guido; Strauss, Jens; Schirrmeister, Lutz

Detailed calculations of ground-ice volumes in permafrost deposits are necessary to understand and quantify the response of permafrost landscapes to thermal disturbance and thawing. Ice wedges with their polygonal surface expression are a widespread ground-ice component of permafrost lowlands. Therefore, the wedge-ice volume (WIV) is one of the major factors to be considered, both for assessing permafrost vulnerability and for quantifying deep permafrost soil carbon inventories. Here, a straightforward tool for calculating the WIV is presented. This GIS and satellite image-based method provides an interesting approach for various research disciplines where WIV is an important input parameter, including landscape and ecosystem modeling of permafrost thaw or organic carbon assessments in deep permafrost deposits. By using basic data on subsurface ice-wedge geometry, our tool can be applied to other permafrost region where polygonal-patterned ground occurs. One is able to include individual polygon geomorphometry at a specific site and the shape and size of epigenetic and/or syngenetic ice wedges in three dimensions. Exemplarily, the WIV in late Pleistocene Yedoma deposits and Holocene thermokarst deposits is calculated at four case study areas in Siberia and Alaska. Therefore, we mapped ice-wedge polygons and thermokarst mounds (baydzherakhs) patters on different landscape units by using very-high-resolution satellite data. Thiessen polygons were automatically created in a geographic information system (GIS) environment to reconstruct relict ice-wedge polygonal networks from baydzherakh center-point patterns. This information was combined with literature or own field data of individual ice-wedge sizes, to generate three-dimensional subsurface models that distinguish between epi- and syngenetic ice-wedge geometry. We demonstrate that the WIV can vary considerably, not only between different permafrost regions, but also within a certain study site.

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

This dataset is part of the data collection "mapped ice wedge polygon patterns from geoeye-1, worldview-1"


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.919936
Project(s) Polygons in Tundra Wetlands: State and Dynamics under Climate Variability in Polar Regions
Institute AWI Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Publication Date 07.07.2020
Version 1.0
Product group
Product ice-wedge polygonal network maps
Sensor GeoEye-1
  • Thermokarst mapped polygons
  • Thermokarst polygon center points
  • Thermokarst Thiessen polygons
  • frame Thermokarst site
Variables [Units]
  • FID: feature ID
  • Size: polygon size (equivalent to diameter from area) [m]
  • Shape_Length: shape length [m]
  • Shape_Area: polygon area [m²]
Region Laptev Sea coast
Spatial Reference EPSG:32650 WGS 84 / UTM zone 50N
Spatial Resolution 0.5 m
Spatial Coverage Latitude 73.542 to 73.545, Longitude 117.911 to 117.920
Temporal Coverage 2010-08-01
Temporal Resolution
Format ESRI FileGDB, Shapefile
Is Supplement to Ulrich, M., Grosse, G., Strauss, J. and Schirrmeister, L. ( 2014), Quantifying Wedge‐Ice Volumes in Yedoma and Thermokarst Basin Deposits, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 25, pages 151– 161, doi: 10.1002/ppp.1810

Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors