TRAKT-2018: Transferable Knowledge and Technologies for High-Resolution Environmental Impact Assessment and Management

The majority of Nordic population is residing in complex urban environment. The concentrated emission of air pollutants, anthropogenic landscape and local climate modifications are lasting and have distant, often transboundary impact.


The work materials for TRAKT-2018 are here.

The main objective of the project is to implement a novel advanced technology for the high-resolution environmental impact assessment. The technology consists of three integrated modules: (A) citizen observations and data fusion; (B) satellite remote sensing; (C) high-resolution urban modeling. The technology has been successfully demonstrated in Bergen (Norway) and Helsinki (Finland) with different technical realizations of the A-B-C components and data sources. It assures flexibility and transferability of the approach.

The proposed technology is a joint development of the project partners based on the accumulated knowledge and understanding of the specific environmental phenomena in the cold climate (stably stratified atmosphere, snow and ice processes, polar clouds, permafrost), which result in large errors and uncertainties when more general approaches are being regionalized.

The main demonstration case will be the Apatity-Kirovsk region (Murmansk Oblast) of Russia, where a high-resolution observational and environmental monitoring network were deployed since 2014 under auspices and with support of the Belmont Forum HIARC project. The main purpose of this technology is to support the sustainable city and land-use planning with quantitative analysis, environmental assessment and scenario modeling, including the high-resolution (urban) downscaling of the climate change and local socio-economic scenarios.


Intermediate objectives of the project are:

  1. Synchronize the latest state-of-the art knowledge and technology development among partners. Organized workshop will result in a report and a joint peer-review overview publication.
  2. Set up the analysis algorithms and models with geographical data (surface morphology, DEM, emission inventory) from the North West Russia, specifically, from the Apatity-Kirovsk area. Updated open data and parameter sets for the project and other user consortiums can be expected.
  3. Implement the proposed technology for the Apatity-Kirovsk area aiming for the historical (since 2000) environmental changes and local climate features. It results in testing and demonstration of the technology.
  4. Engage an undisclosed circle of end-users, decision-makers, stakeholders (from companies, city administrations, research groups) with the project through demonstration of the historical analysis. White papers on end-user needs and working routines will be prepared.
  5. Implement the proposed technology for impactful scenarios selected from the prepared white papers. Emphasis on the broad outreach activity to rise societal awareness about the novel technology of the optimal environmental management.
  6. Extend the technology to transboundary environmental impact and pollutant transport, incorporating simulations with a larger-scale meteorological model. Results would disclose the needs for international collaboration and cooperation for sustainable development.
  7. Increase capacity for dealing with ecological disasters and emergences through establishment of sustainable networks with partners and users, utilizing the documented experience with such networks in Bergen and Helsinki.

Project Summary

The project will be implemented in five steps (roughly taking a month each) with concrete deliverables at the end.

Step 1 (objectives 1,4,7):

Network building, exchange/ transfer and synchronization of knowledge between partners and end-users. Organization of workshop in St. Petersburg (NIERSC); identification of and contacts with end-users; set up of the project web-page, blog-wiki, twitter and data exchange services on; initiation of e-mail list exchange and common publication activity; listing of necessary data, tools, computer resources.

Deliverable: fully functional research network with web-based portal support.

Report. The project workshop took place 22-24 January 2018 in St. Petersburg (NIERSC). News about the workshop were available at the NERSC Facebook, Twitter and at the PEEX sites. The PEEX site also lists the project here. The workshop agenda with links to the presentations and discussion points are given below.

Day 1 (22nd January, 2018)

12:00 – 13:15 Project overview and highlights [pdf]

13:15 – Session I. Presentations from partners

13:15 – 13:35 Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (Leonid Bobylev and Natalia Gnatiuk) [pdf]

13:35 – 13:55 University in Helsinki (Alexander Mahura)

13:55 – 14:15 Kola Science Centre (Pavel Konstantinov)

14:15 – 14:35 Scientific-Research Centre for Ecological Safety (Victor Gornyy) [pdf]

14:35 – 14:55 Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (Tobias Wolf-Grosse) [pdf]

15:35 – 16:20 Discussion of project financial plan; Work on the travel table (ANNEX 2)

16:20 – Session II. Work on data technical catalogue

16:20 – 16:50 Discussion on in situ data, initiated by a 10 min UHIARC Apatity presentation (P. Konstantinov, KSC) and a 10 min SMEAR-II presentation (R. Mahkkonen, UHEL)

16:50 – 17:10 Discussion on remote sensing data, initiated by a 10 min MODIS Apatity presentation (V. Miles, NERSC)

17:10 – 17:30 Discussion on reanalysis and other data sources (NIERSC, N. Gnatiuk)

Day 2 (23nd January, 2018)

10:00 – Session III. Work on model technical catalogue

10:00 – 10:15 EC-Earth presentation (R. Makkonen, UHEL)

10:15 – 10:30 COSMO-CLM Apatity presentation (M. Varentsov, KSC)

10:30 – 10:45 PALM presentation (T. Wolf-Grosse, NERSC)

10:45 – 11:00 Seasmless modelling with Enviro-HIRLAM (A. Mahura, UHEL)

11:20 – 12:00 Discussion and working on synergy of the modeling technologies

Data transfer between models: formats, timing, routines, Model scenarios and proposed runs: goals, resolution, limitations, output

Downscaling chain in the context of the project technology transfer (ANNEX 1)

12:00 – 12:20 Outreach session (N. Gnatiuk, NIERSC): Project web-page, social media posts, e-mail list and notifications to project partners, on-line project forum (moderated by A. Mahura, UHEL)

13:00 – Session IV. Work on the detailed implementation plan (ANNEX 1; to be provided to PECC)

13:00 – 14:00 Co-working on creation of a detailed GANTT chart and data transfer routines

14:00 – 14:30 Technical planning for milestones and deliverables

14:50 – Session V. Work on the detailed dissemination plan (ANNEX 3; to be provided to PECC)

14:50 – 15:10 Presentation of ecological services for users (Victor Gornyy, SRCES)

15:10 – 15:30 Educational component of the project (P. Konstantinov, KSC): MSU, RHSU, Forest Academy, KSC, UHEL, UiB

15:30 – 15:50 Discussion of education and dissemination routines

15:50 – 16:10 Beyond TRAKT – discussion (required by PECC)

16:10 – 16:30 Discussion on a technology transfer statement (How should we convince PECC that the project goals of the technology transfer are fulfilled?)

Day 3 (24th January, 2018)

10:00 – Session VI. Broader projects’ synergy

10:00 – 10:20 Presentation of the NERSC strategic project synergy (I. Esau)

10:20 – 10:40 Presentation of project synergies by NIERSC and SRCES

11:00 – 11:20 Presentation of PEEX synergy (H. Lappalainen); communication between TRAKT and PEEX, participation in PEEX meetings and activities

11:20 – 12:00 Special discussion on citizen observations and data fusion (M. Varentsov and T. Wolf-Grosse)

12:00 – 13:00 Special discussion on publications, data storage and sharing

13:30 – 14:30 Special discussion on enabling customer-target climate services; planning for end-user seminars (Victor Gornyy and V. Masloboev) (ANNEX 3)


Step 2 (objectives 2,5,7): Automation in-situ citizen observation data collection and analysis (Python code); demonstration of implementation of data fusion through geo-statistical algorithms with external drift from models; set-up of models, obtaining specific to urban area in focus the aerodynamical, morphological, land-cover/use, terrain, etc, characteristics for fine scale simulations and other geographical parameters. Deliverable: Data fusion software and geographical data sets for Apatity-Kirovsk area.

Step 3 (objectives 3,5,6; 3-4 months): Historical data analysis, remote sensing data analysis, demonstration of SMEAR multi-level measurement capabilities and demonstration of off-line vs. on-line approaches for models simulations with downscaling chain (from hemispheric-regional-subregional-to-urban scale in focus). Deliverable: observational and modeling data sets, the analysis report, demonstrator/ prototype of downscaling modelling chain (on historical examples) as potential service.

Step 4 (objectives 1,4,7): Publish and disseminate the networking activities results; finalize and submit the paper; demonstrate the technology with the Apatity-Kirovsk case study. Deliverable: Outreach material, research training on measurement and modelling activities, training event for potential end-users and decision makers, submitted peer-reviewed papers and scientific reports.

Step 5 (objectives 6,7; 2-3 months): Extend the technology to transboundary environmental impact and pollutants atmospheric transport; finalize simulations for selected user-oriented scenarios; EC-Earth simulations on large-scale aerosol-chemistry-cloud-climate interactions in the study region. Deliverable: Report, recommendations and quantitative datasets on the transboundary impact.

Follow-up of the implemented project

Follow-up of the project is facilitated by the long-term strategic collaboration established between the partner institutions. NERSC and NIERSC are working together for more than 25 years, developing remote sensing and modeling technologies. Follow-up this project, NIERSC and KSC will be possess the assessment and further develop the modeling and data analysis components. KSC and SRCES will extend the case studies to other Russian urbanized areas, e.g. to Murmansk, Vorkuta, Nadym and Novy Urengoy where the dense observational networks are already deployed and plans for implementation has been agreed within other projects/proposals. UHEL will follow the project with analysis of data of new SMEAR stations installed in Russia. The further work of NERSC, NIERSC, UHEL and KSC is supported by ongoing international project EU INTAROS, Belmont Forum HIARC and by the Pan-Eurasian Experiment.

Evaluation of the project

  • We consider the project as successful when it demonstrate that the proposed technology is working in the Apatity-Kirovsks case study. It should be documented in the final technical report (both English and Russian versions).
  • The research part of the project will be reported in one peer-review publication of the participants.
  • The transboundary transport scenario studies will be reported in the technical report of UHEL.
  • The collected data and quantitative analysis will be described and make publicly available through the NERSC ftp server.
  • The communication part of the project could be evaluated through the issued white papers of the end-user request to the high-resolution urban environmental assessment. The outreach activity could be evaluated through the number of media events (2-3) and popular publications (2-3).

The full project description is avaialble here.

Project Details
Funding Agency: 
NERSC Principal Investigator: 
Igor Ezau
Coordinating Institute: 
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
Project Status: