Thesis subject

Soil, hydrology and landscape development in the sub-arctic

Climate change in the sub-arctic has been substantial and is predicted to remain substantial in the future. Moreover, arctic and subarctic landscapes are particularly vulnerable to temperature changes as it may change the freezing and thawing cycles that shape the soils and ecosystems of these landscapes.

To better understand the impacts temperature increase has on soil formation in the subarctic, this project aims to conduct a field soil and hydrological survey in the remote Abisko catchment in Northern Sweden. You will focus on the relationships between soil depth, organic matter content, vegetation types and drainage density of this system as these are the landscape shaping characteristics. Hydrology-soil interactions are dominant in this wet and relatively cold landscape. To study these interactions, the Abisko catchment offers chances for comparative research, for instance between different landscape positions (toposequence), or between different aspects (climosequence).   

The field survey is planned for July and August of 2014 and will be conducted in cooperation with Stockholm University and ongoing research projects in the Abisko catchment.

Skills: GIS /Modelling skills

Students: 1

ECTS: 24 or more

Locations: Abisko, Stockholm and Wageningen

Supervision: Ype van der Velde, Arnaud Temme, Steve Lyon (Stockholm University)

Period: fieldwork in July-August, start possible from March-June