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ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH
Tropical mountain permafrost has a unique thermal regime due to ground surface exposure to strong solar radiation. The intensity of the surface offset resulting from snow cover also strongly affects the absence or presence of permafrost. Latent heat transfer and reflected solar radiation (higher albedo) that occur during the snow-covered season contribute to a positive feedback that cools the ground. Eleven ground temperature monitoring sites were established on the mountain at 2,780 to 5,820 m.a.s.l. The geothermal heat flow is locally high in the caldera of this volcano, as shown by borehole temperature data. Permafrost is located near the only glacier entirely within the caldera (Furtwangler). These three-year continuous records of ground temperature data encompass years of high and low snow cover. Our results show that the current lower boundary of permafrost is slightly above summit altitude and relict permafrost is present due to the influence of saturated sand on latent heat transfer. Permafrost tends to be lost more rapidly during drought years. The remaining permafrost seems likely to disappear in the future. The presence of permafrost and its thermal resistance depends on the ice content of caldera sand and the duration of snow cover.
Yoshikawa, Kenji/0000-0001-5935-2041; Stanilovskaya, Julia/0000-0002-9856-2604
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National Science Foundation GLOBE Seasons and Biomes project [GEO 0627941]; Department of Education Tanzania government; NSF/NOAANational Oceanic Atmospheric Admin (NOAA) - USA ; NSFNational Science Foundation (NSF) [ATM-990920]; NOAA U.S. Global Climate Observing System
Yoshikawa, Kenji; Hardy, Douglas R.; Narita, Kenji; Bolton, William R.; Stanilovskaya, Julia; and Sparrow, Elena B., "Ground Thermal Regimes and Implications for Permafrost Distribution on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania" (2021). ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH. 31.