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Location General Staff and Contact Data download Geology an soil
Vegetation Climate Measurements Facilities References



The Abisko-Stordalen Palsa Bog ICOS Ecosystem station (SE-Sto, 68°21′N, 19°03′E, 360 m asl) is located within the sporadic permafrost zone, adjacent to lake Torneträsk. A large portion of the mire consists of a slightly elevated drained area, altered by wetter depressions, which are not underplayed by permafrost. 


The Abisko area has a long lasting history of climate and vegetation research going back to the 1970s. It is located on the 0°C isotherm which causes the permafrost in the mire to be of sporadic and of very dynamic nature. As a result of recent years warming in the area permafrost has been observed to degrade in many parts of the mires. Abisko is also part of the national infrastructure SITES.

blue arrowMaps and images

Staff and Contact

Ecosystem station PI: Erik Lundin

contact: stordalen@icos-sweden.se

Data download

Historical (2014-2021) data from the ICOS station Abisko-Stordalen palsa bog (SE-Sto) can be downloaded from the ICOS Carbon Portal as Swedish National Network data. Quality controls, eddy-covariance flux calculations, gap-fillig, and flux separation in these data sets have been done by ICOS Sweden.

The station received the ICOS label in May 2022; first ICOS level 2 data will thus be available with the next data release in the begining of 2023.

ICOS level 1 data (near real time): preview on Carbon Portal

data gathered through the SITES RI: Stordalen mire, Abisko Scientific Research Station

Geology and Soil

The site represents a subtype of sub-arctic wetlands, characterized by palsas. Peat depth is 1-3 m and permafrost is usually found at depths below 0.5-1 m. The soil is organic, with 99% organic matter content.

There are three different main types of surface structures:

  • dwarf shrub-dominated palsas,
  • moss Sphagnum dominated hollows, and
  • cottongrass Eriophorum and sedge Carex dominated hollows.



The peatland in Abisko-Stordalen Palsa Bog is fed only by precipitation, i.e. it faces ombrotrophic conditions. Depending on soil water content and microtopography, the plant community structure and composition varies between:

  • Dry ombrotrophic parts are dominated by crowberry Empetrum hermaphroditum, lingonberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea and cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus;
  • semi-wet ombrotrophic parts by the sedge Carex rotundata and the cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum; and
  • wet minerotrophic areas by the cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium.
Foliar analyses
parameter species 2018 2019 2020 2021
Ca (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 1.45 1.20 1.34 1.26
Sphagnum 1.32 0.77 0.86 0.76
Cu (mg/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 3.00 2.73 3.06 2.93
Sphagnum 2.73 1.62 3.29 1.63
Fe (mg/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum


111.94 72.98 63.01
Sphagnum 413.0 1099.2 1049.6 667.3
Mg (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 1.76 1.16 1.22 1.20
Sphagnum 1.09 1.01 1.12 0.92
Mn (mg/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 160.0 63.4 61.7 82.5
Sphagnum 84.1 48.4 57.2 48.4
C (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 482.7 488.6 493.3 492.0
Sphagnum 467.8 466.1 474.0 472.0
N (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 14.02 14.31 19.03 17.49
Sphagnum 9.72 10.26 11.25 9.87
P (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 1.85 1.90 2.16 1.96
Sphagnum 0.97 1.33 1.56 1.50
K (g/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 5.61 6.99 6.53 6.77
Sphagnum 4.47 6.38 7.50 7.21
Zn (mg/kg) Eriophorum vaginatum 61.0 31.5 39.0 36.6
Sphagnum 37.0 30.6 22.0 21.8



The Köppen climate classification characterizes the climate in Abisko as humid subarctic with cold summers and cold winters. The annual mean temperature in Abisko is -0.1°C (data period 1981-2010) with increasing temperatures over the last decades (for the 1961-1990 normal it is -0.9°C).

The location is characterized by belonging to the driest regions of Sweden with a mean annual accumulated precipitation of 332 mm (data period 1981-2010, 10% more compared to the 1961-1990 normal). The low amount of precipitation has profound effects on the palsa features found on the mire.

The length of the vegetation period (i.e. days with a daily mean temperature above 0.4°C) is slightly longer than three months.



blue arrowMeasured variables

Besides the standard ICOS measurements (see table in link) n there are also laughing gas N2O flux measurements, as an example, carried out at the site. For more detailed information please contact the station.


coming soon


will be coming soon

Abisko Stordalen igloo and instruments
Abisko-Stordalen igloo in the back and eddy-covariance flux tower (before 2022) in the front.
Soil profile
Soil profile taken at Abisko-Stordalen
Vegetation Stordalen. Photo Christian Stiegler
View over Abisko-Stordalen. Photo Christian Stiegler
Abisko climate diagram
Abisko climate diagram. Dark blue and red: climate period 1961-1990; light blue and red: climate period 1991-2020