Cryosphere Research Infrastructure


CRYO-RI develops research infrastructure to monitor the rapid changes in snow, ice, and frozen ground in Northern Finland. We are building a research platform with measurement infrastructure and open data accessible to public and private sectors. We work with state-of-the art equipment, and go beyond by developing new IoT, remote sensing and big data methods for snow, ice and frost research.


Snow and Ice on River Oulanka. Picture: Pertti Ala-ah
Ice and snow on Oulanka river. Picture: Pertti Ala-aho

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Research Council of Finland

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

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Project description

The CRYO-RI platform is maintained and operated in a regional collaboration between the University of Oulu and three regionally important research institutes and supports their focus area and strategies:

The Finnish Meteorological institute (FMI):, PI Anna Kontu.

The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE):, PI Kati Anttila.

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK):, PI Jarkko Okkonen

We will (1) develop and update existing cryolaboratory to facilitate state-of-the art analysis of geomaterial properties subject to freeze and thaw (2) develop low-cost IoT solutions to monitor snow, frozen ground and river ice conditions locally (3) utilize emerging technology (drones, distributed temperature sensing, stable water isotopes) for advanced monitoring and research of the cryosphere (4) state-of-the-art snow, ground frost and river ice monitoring station network to deliver instantaneous data for snow and ice conditions, (5) data sharing platform to allow instantaneous easy access to the CRYO-RI data.

Snow and ice form the regional environment and contribute to the unique identity of Northern Finland, yet are under considerable change due to warming climate. The direction of change will reduce the spatial and temporal coverage of snow and ice, but also increase the variability resulting in low and high snow years - both posing challenges to northern natural and built environment. The current regional infrastructure and services are planned on stationary snow and ice conditions. Past predictions and governance on snow and ice

need to be re-evaluated, and the changes documented with high-quality and dynamic monitoring systems. The current infrastructure for regional snow and ice monitoring and management approaches needs to be updated and harmonized considering the dynamic and rapid changes in the cryosphere. CRYO-RI research infra addresses this challenge by launching a fully interdisciplinary regionally focused snow and ice research cluster. Our joint efforts will produce new discoveries, measurement methods and cutting-edge research at the boundaries of cross-disciplinary science and snow and ice-related resource management.

The CRYO-RI-Platform provides data and measurement infrastructure that are accessible for regional civil engineering, consulting, hydropower companies and tourism to boost their snow and ice-related operation and planning. The platform facilitates excellent science and offers unique possibilities to train new

generations of scientists and practitioners. The CRYO-RI platform will advance the regional preparedness for adapting to the rapidly changing snow, ground frost and river ice conditions.

PI: Anna Kontu
PI: Kati Anttila
PI: Jarkko Okkonen