1st Permafrost_cci User Workshop of Phase 2

Saturday 17 June 2023, 9-18 h: IPA Action Group "Rock glacier inventories and kinematics (RGIK)" Workshop III

Sunday 18 June 2023, 10-12 h & Tuesday 20 June 2023, 7.30-8.30 h: CCI+ Permafrost tutorial – data access and use


Within the European Space Agency (ESA), the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is a global monitoring program which aims to provide long-term satellite-based products to serve the climate modeling and climate user community. Permafrost has been selected as one of the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) which were elaborated during Phase 1 of CCI+ (2018-2021) and continued during Phase 2 of CCI+ (2022-2025). The two main products associated to the ECV Permafrost, Ground temperature (GT) and Active Layer Thickness (ALT), were the primary documented variables during Permafrost_CCI Phase 1 (2018–2021). Following the 2022 GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) Implementation Plan, GT and ALT are complemented by a new ECV Permafrost product: Rock Glacier Velocity (RGV).


A series of workshops were organized during the 6th European Conference on Permafrost (EUCOP 2023) in Puigcerdà (Spain). The two tutorials of Sunday 18 June 2023 between 10 and 12 h and of Tuesday 20 June 2023 between 7.30 and 8.30 h focused on the access and use of the data generated in Phase 1 of the project, i.e. Ground Temperature, Active Layer Thickness and Permafrost Extent. The workshop of Saturday 17 June 2023 between 9 and 18 was organized by the IPA Action Group "Rock glacier inventories and kinematics" (RGIK) to discuss the background, current status, challenges and future needs of Rock glacier inventories (RoGI) and Rock glacier velocity (RGV).

CCI+ Permafrost tutorial – data access and use

Agenda Sunday 18 June 2023

10.00 Introduction to the project and results
10.20 Tutorial on data access and visualization
10.50 Excericises by participants
12.00 End of meeting

Agenda Tuesday 20 June 2023

07.30 Introduction to the project and results
07.50 Tutorial on data access and visualization
08.20 Excericises by participants
08.30 End of meeting

List of presentations

ESA CCI+ Permafrost – data access and use

Workshop summary

A variety of options for Permafrost_cci datasets has been presented. This included data download as well as visualisation tools. As most of the target audience had an interest in specific regions, subsetting and location specific information retrieval was demonstrated for preselected regions as well as sites proposed by the participants. The introduction to the project and datasets also included some first higher level products (time series for annual averages) foreseen as data distribution and graphics. The options have been discussed and recommendations collected during each of the two sessions.

Workshop outcome and recommendations

Workshop participants suggested the production of regional specific higher level datasets. In addition, public access to the tutorial has been requested. Both can be achieved within the first iteration of Phase 2 of Permafrost_cci. However, a strategy for the distribution of the higher level datasets still needs to be developed.

Workshop III of the IPA Action Group "Rock glacier inventories and kinematics" (RGIK)

Agenda Saturday 17 June 2023

08.45-09.00 Welcome of participants
09.00-09.15 Workshop program and housekeeping
09.15-09.45 RGIK background, current status and future goals
09.45-10.00 Introduction to RoGI group discussion
10.00-10.30 Concrete outcomes of the RGIK Action Group since 2018
10.30-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.15 Group discussion
- Topic 1: Refinement and finalization of the RoGI guideline documents
- Topic 2: Implementation of the RoGI guidelines and exploitation of the data
12.15-12.15 Wrap-up RoGI discussion
12.30-14.00 Lunch break
14.00-14.30 Introduction to RGV group discussion
14.30-15.30 Group discussion
- Topic 1: Standard methodology to compute RGV from raw kinematic data
- Topic 2: RGV as climate change indicator and current knowledge gaps
15.30-16.00 Coffee break
16:00-16:15 Wrap-up RGV discussion
16:15-16:45 RGIK next steps, objectives, governance, Puigcerdà commitment
16:45-17:15 Plenum discussion RGIK next steps and Puigcerdà commitment
17:15-17:30 Workshop wrap-up, group picture, Puigcerdà commitment signature

List of presentations

The presentations are availbale here.

Workshop summary

The RGIK office organized the third workshop of the IPA Action Group as a side-event of EUCOP conference in Puigcerdá. The objectives were to gather the active members of the community, summarize the achievements of the IPA Action Group and outline the goal and the workplan for the coming years. Advertised to the entire network in Spring 2023 (209 people from 29 countries), the workshop gathered 35 people. The programme was divided in three parts: 1) a reminder and summary of the RGIK objectives, tasks and achievements (international guidelines, common tools and promotion of consistent rock glacier mapping and monitoring strategies); 2) group discussions regarding the challenges and knowledge gaps to generate standardized rock glacier inventories (RoGI) and rock glacier velocity (RGV) products; 3) discussion and decision regarding the future governance of the group.

Workshop outcome and recommendations

EUCOP6 marked the end of the support of the International Permafrost Association (IPA) to RGIK as an Action Group after two periods lasting from June 2018 to June 2023. In the framework of the workshop a short document named the Puigcerdà Commitment was prepared to define the objectives of the RGIK community and lay the foundation for the transition of the Action Group to a sustainable structure as an IPA Standing Committee. The final version of the Puigcerdà Commitment has been approved by 60 people (status: July 23th, 2023). During the Council Meeting of the IPA on 21 June 2023, the request and the commitment of the RGIK Action Group were presented and discussed. The IPA Council unanimously approved the initiative, asking to be ready to transition to a Standing Committee within a year and to enlarge the scope of RGIK to rock glaciers in general. In addition to the continuation of the works done until present, the transition to a Standing Committee requires the nomination of an Executive Committee and an Advisory Board, as well as the development and approval of the by-laws, to be achieved before the next International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP) in June 2024.

1st Permafrost_cci User Workshop

ESA's Permafrost CCI held its 1st User Workshop on 27 September 2021 as an online event.


The final meeting Agenda is available for your information: CCI+_PERMA_WORKSHOP_AGENDA_v3.

Project presentations

Overview and Status of Permafrost_cci (Annett Bartsch, b.geos)

Using CCI+ Permafrost Data in model evaluation (Heidrun Matthes, AWI)

Combination of Permafrost_cci time series with Landsat trends (Ingmar Nitze, AWI)

GlobPermafrost heritage – overview and selected use examples (Annett Bartsch, b.geos)

Algorithm implementaion (Sebastian Westermann, GUIO)

Validation (Birgit Heim, AWI)

Rock glacier kinematics (Tazio Strozzi, Gamma)


In the frame of the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) the permafrost_cci project developed and generated a novel 23 years long climate data record of annual northern hemisphere permafrost parameters using satellite data. The products were specified based on a requirement review at the start of the project (User requirements document) building on a series of surveys within the ESA DUE Permafrost and GlobPermafrost projects. The third version of the permafrost product consists of annual ground temperature at various depths (GRD), active layer thickness (ALT) and permafrost extent (PEX). The data were released to the user community through the ESA CCI Open Data Portal.

In order to characterise the evolution of mountain permafrost globally, an IPA Action Group was launched in 2018 to manage a service dedicated to rock glacier inventories and kinematics and to promote the integration of rock glacier kinematics as a new associated parameter to the ECV Permafrost. In this context, specific guidelines to integrate kinematic information within rock glacier inventories exploiting satellite SAR interferometry were developed within permafrost_CCI and applied to eleven regional inventories worldwide (see here under Preliminary results).

The workshop will bring together the permafrost_cci project team, the Climate Research Group associated with permafrost_cci, and users of permafrost_cci products working in various application fields related to climate monitoring and modelling.

Objectives of the workshop

Expected outcomes of the workshop

Important dates

Scientific organizing committee

Further information

Annett Bartsch (annett.bartsch [at] bgeos.com) or Tazio Strozzi (strozzi [at] gamma-rs.ch)