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The PermaSense Consortium


The aim of our measurement site at Jungfraujoch is to quantify the spatial variability of thawing processes and heat transport in the near-surface layer at around  3500m a.s.l. The influence of surface characteristics, fracturing and melt water availability is measured by eight sensor rods in gently steep (40-70 Degrees) and fractured rock faces around the Sphinx observatory. Additionally, two thermistor chains are installed into the bordering ice faces on the northern side. The initial installation of the sensors took place in fall 2006. After a debugging and testing phase over winter 2006/2007 short intervals of valid data could be gathered in April 2007 with an initial software version. Based on improved hard- and software productive measurements started in February 2009 and have since been operational.

Jungfraujoch field site overview

In summer 2011 the Jungfraujoch field site was extended to incorporate measurement of acoustic emissions. In addition new sensor rods for measuring both temperature gradients (2x) and moisture profiles (2x) and a webcam to assess the amount of snow cover were installed. Sensor installation and maintenance work at Jungfraujoch is perfomed by rappelling off the tourist platform. Apart from comfortable accommodation the High-altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch also has a laboratory and technical workshop. A perfect work environment!

Jungfraujoch Sensor Inventory

  • PermaSense 4-channel Sensor Rods (Position 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9)
  • PermaSense 8-channel Thermistor Chains (Position 8, 10)
  • Acoustic Emissions using Physical Acoustics, UK R6alpha piezoelectric sensors (Position 21, 23)
  • Temperature gradients, 6-channel TH3 from UMS, Germany (Position 22, 25)
  • Moisture content, 3 and 6-channel EnviroSmart from Sentek, Australia (Position 19, 24)
  • Webcam (Position 20)