Skip to main content

Submarine permafrost in the nearshore zone of the southwestern Kara Sea


The results of seismic studies in the shallow waters of the southwestern Kara Sea show the presence of a seismic unit that can be interpreted as relict submarine permafrost. The permafrost table has a strongly dissected upper surface and is located at a water depth of 5–10 m. A 3D modeling of the permafrost table suggests the presence of relict buried thermodenudational depressions (up to 2 km across) at a water depth of 5–10 m. The depressions may be considered to be paragenetic to thermocirques found at the Shpindler site. Relict thermocirques are completely filled with sediment and not exposed at the sediment surface.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  1. Antipina ZN, Are FE, Voychenko VV (1981) Cryolithozone of the Arctic shelf of Eurasia. In: Late Quarternary history and sedimentation of external and interior seas (in Russian). MSU press, Moscow, pp 47–60

    Google Scholar 

  2. Are FE (1976) About sub-sea cryolithozone of the Arctic Ocean: regional and thermal physics studies of the permafrost in Siberia (in Russian). Yakutsk Press, Russia, pp 3–26

    Google Scholar 

  3. Are FE (1987) Cryogenic processes of Arctic coastal zone dynamics. In: Fundamental investigations of the earth csssryosphere (in Russian). Nauka Press, Novosibirsk, pp 123–129

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bondarev VN, Rokos SI, Kostin DA, Dlugach AG, Polyakova NA (2002) Underpermafrost accumulations of gas in the upper part of the sedimentary cover of the Pechora Sea (in Russian). Geol Geophys 43(7):587–598

    Google Scholar 

  5. Cressie NAC (1991) Statistics for spatial data. Wiley, New York, p 900

    Google Scholar 

  6. Gataulin V, Mangerud J, Svendsen JI (2001) The extent of the late Weichselian ice sheet in the southeastern Barents Sea. Glob Planet Change 31:453–474

    Google Scholar 

  7. Ginsburg GD, Soloviev VA (1994) Submarine gas hydrates. VNIIOkeangeologia (in Russian). St. Petersburg, p 199

  8. Grigoriev MN (1993) Cryomorphogenesis of the Lena River mouth area (in Russian). Permafrost Institute Press SB RAS, Yakutsk, p 176

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hinz K, Delisle G, Block M (1998) Seismic evidence for the depth extent of permafrost in shelf sediments of the Laptev Sea, Russian Arctic? In: Lewkowicz AG, Allard M (eds) Proceedings of the 7th international conference on permafrost, June 23–27 1998, Yellowknife, pp 453–458

  10. Hubberten H-W, Romanovskii NN (2001) Terrestrial and offshore permafrost evolution of the Laptev Sea region during last Pleistocene-Holocene glacial-eustatic cycle. In: Paepe R, Melnikov V (eds) Permafrost response on economic development, environmental security and natural resources. Proceedings of the NATO-ARW, Novosibirsk. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 43–60

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hubberten H-W, Romanovskii NN (2003) The main features of permafrost in the Laptev Sea region, Russia—a review. In: Proceeding of the 8th international conference on permafrost, Zurich, pp 431–436

  12. Journel AG, Huijbregts C (1978) Mining geostatistics. Academic, p 600

    Google Scholar 

  13. Kassens H, Bauch H, Drachev S, Gierlichs A, Niessen F, Taldenkova E, Roudoy A, Thiede J, Wessels M (2000) Transdrift VIII expedition to the Laptev Sea: the shelf drilling campaign of “Laptev Sea System 2000”. In: Sixth workshop on Russian–German cooperation: Laptev Sea system. Terra Nostra 2000, vol 8, pp 39–40

  14. Leibman MO, Vasiliev AA, Rogov VV, Ingolfsson O (2000) Study of massive ground ice of Yugorsky peninsula with crystallographic methods (in Russian). Earth Cryosphere 4(2):31–40

    Google Scholar 

  15. Niessen F , Gierlichs A, Weigelt E, Jokat W (1999) High-resolution seismic and sediment echosounding investigation of submarine permafrost on the Laptev Sea shelf. In: Fifth workshop on Russian–German cooperation: Laptev-Sea System 2000, Abstracts. Terra Nostra 99/11

  16. Rachor E (ed) (1997) Scientific cruise report of the Arctic expedition ARK-XI/1 of RV “Polarstern” in 1995. Rep Polar Res 226:157

    Google Scholar 

  17. Schwamborn G, Schneider W, Grigoriev M, Rachold V, Antonov M (1999) Sedimentation and environmental history of the Lena Delta. Rep polar Res 315:94–145

    Google Scholar 

  18. Soloviev VA, Ginsburg GD, Telepnev EV, Mikhalyuk Yu N (1987) Cryothermy and hydrates of the nature gas within North Polar Ocean (in Russian). Sevmorgeologiya, Leningrad, p 150

    Google Scholar 

  19. Vasiliev AA, Cherkashov GA, Vanstein BG, Firsov YG, Ivanov MV (2002) Coastal dynamics in Mare-Sale, Kara Sea: a new observation program. Rep Polar Mar Res 413:78–79

    Google Scholar 

  20. Vasiliev A, Kanevskiy M, Cherkashov G, Vanshtein B (2004) Coastal dynamics at the Barents and Kara Sea key sites. Geo Mar Lett (in press)

  21. Zhigarev LA (1997) Oceanic cryolithozone (in Russian). MSU Publications, Moscow, p 320

    Google Scholar 

  22. Zhigarev LA, Suhodol’skaya LA, Chernyad’ev VP (1982) Cryolithozone of the Arctic seas in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene (in Russian). MSU Letters 93

  23. Zinchenko AG, Leibman MO, Firsov Yu G, Vanstein BG (2004) Formation of thermodenudation relief in the coastal zone in connection with tectonics, Yugorsky peninsula, Kara Sea. Rep Polar Mar Res

Download references


This study was supported by the INTAS (grant no. 2329).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. Rekant.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rekant, P., Cherkashev, G., Vanstein, B. et al. Submarine permafrost in the nearshore zone of the southwestern Kara Sea. Geo-Mar Lett 25, 183–189 (2005).

Download citation


  • Nearshore Zone
  • Seismic Unit
  • Permafrost Table
  • Shallow Water Zone
  • Distinct Reflector