Large amounts of methane (CH4) are known to be emitted from permafrost environments during the autumn freeze-in, but the specific soil conditions leading up to these bursts are unclear. Therefore, we used an ultrawide band ground-penetrating radar in Northeast Greenland in autumn 2009 to estimate the volumetric composition inside the soil through dielectric characterization from 200 to 3200 MHz. Our results suggest a compression of the gas reservoir during the phase transition of soil water, which is accompanied by a peak in surface CH4 emissions.