SAON Inventory

SAON Inventory

The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.

The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.


Other catalogs through this service are AMAP, ENVINET and SEARCH, or refer to the full list of projects/activities.

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Displaying: 101 - 120 of 269 Next
101. International Arctic Human Biomonitoring – Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (International Arctic Human Biomonitoring)

The network was established to assess the implications and impacts of pollution and contaminants on the health of Arctic residents. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the eight circumpolar nations and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends and potential health effects at present and future levels. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. AMAP has been designed to have roots in the national programs of participating countries. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals is available, though some communities have only two sampling periods, further monitoing is planned; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and personal care products is just starting and needs to be continued; health effects research needs to be expanded to other regions with high exposure (e.g., arctic Russia). Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) was created bringing together leading researchers and research coordinators from eight circumpolar countries; AMAP Ring Test (QA/QC program) coordinates and standardizes laboratories for analyzing biomonitoring samples.

Human health
102. West Spitsbergen Fiords Hydrography

Since 2000 the regular summer hydSince 2000 the regular summer hydrographic observations in the Western Spitsbergen Fjords have been collected by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAS). Observational activities were carried out under several national programs, and in the frames Polish-Norwegian research Fund projects ALKEKONGE and AWAKE. The main objectives are:  to study the variability of water mass physical and chemical properties in the Western Spitsbergen Fiords;  to investigate the Atlantic water (AW) inflow into the fjords;  to recognize the possible feedbacks between the Atlantic water variability, local climate and glaciers discharge.rographic observations in the Western Spitsbergen Fjords have been collected by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAS). Observational activities were carried out under several national programs, and in the frames Polish-Norwegian research Fund projects ALKEKONGE and AWAKE.

103. Intensive forest monitoring sites of Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) (Intensive forest monitoring network)

The national program of intensive forest monitoring is managed by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). In 2011 five of the 18 Finnish intensive monitoring plots situated in Finnish Lapland (Fig. 5.1.: Sevettijärvi, Pallasjärvi and three plots in Kivalo). Finnish national intensive forest monitoring network is part of pan-European ICP Forests network of ca. 800 plots ( ICP Forests (the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests) operates under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. These intensive monitoring plots were established in co-operation of ICP Forests and European Commission in mid 1990’s. European Commission co-financed forest monitoring under forest monitoring regulations until the end of 2006 when the Forest Focus regulation (EC No 2152 / 2003) expired. During 2009-2011 part of these intensive forest monitoring plots were included in Life+-project called “FutMon” (Further Development and Implementation of an EU-level Forest Monitoring System: Monitoring is carried out following the manual of ICP Forests ( and the monitoring data is submitted once a year to the ICP Forests database in Hamburg. Every year Programme Coordinating Centre of ICP Forests publishes technical and executive reports on the condition of forests in Europe. ICP Forests monitoring activities provide information also for a number of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management as defined by the Forest Europe Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe. Network type: National nation-wide monitoring

Pollution sources Environmental management Atmosphere Ecosystems
104. Hydrological issues of the glacierized Waldemar River catchment

Recently observed changes in glacierized areas significantly influences on water circulation features in those regions. Project assumes hydrological research in Waldemar River catchment as the example of the High-Arctic glacierized basin. Those investigations began in late 1970’s. From that date substantial changes in catchment characteristic are observed (e.g. decrease degree of glaciation). Glacier-fed river characteristics are well recognized all over the globe. But still there is a need to define how contemporary deglaciation processes affects the water circulation cycle. Basics hydrological features in Waldemar River Catchment are continuously investigated since 1995. In the close feature, a HIWRC programme will be expanded to include research of major glaciohydrological processes in catchment (e.g. internal glacial drainage and it contribution to total outflow). Study assume measurements in a few river points – both in close vicinity of glacier (with no other than glacial water source tributaries) and in lowest part of catchment (with periglacial tributaries).

105. Morphogenetic and morphodynamics conditions of development of the coast of the NW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land (Spitsbergen) in the late Vistulian and Holocene (MORCOAST)

Arctic coast is extremely sensitive and important area of interaction between land and sea. The diagnosis of the mechanisms governing the polar zone is of fundamental importance for tracing the evolution of the coast caused by climate change. Diagnosis of morphogenesis and morphodynamics of the polar coast becomes important in recent years, a research priority, not only from the scientific point of view, but also practical. Therefore, the key aims of the project include: - determining the dynamics of morphogenetic processes with particular emphasis on marine processes within the coastal zone in the context of climate change after the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the development of model of the coast functioning during this period. - to try to reference this model to the development of the coast at the turn of Vistulian and Holocene (14-8 ka) by defining the stages of shaping the shoreline including glaciizostatic and eustatic and elements of tectonical and lithological features of the coastal zone.

Soils Oceanography
106. Nicolaus Copernicus University Polar Station, Spitsbergen (NCU PS)

The Polar Station of the University of Nicolaus Copernicus is located in the western part of the Oscar II Land, in the northern part of the coastal Kaffiøyra Lowland which is closed by the Forlandsundet from the west. The undertaken research included almost all components of the geographical environment. Scientific programs put pressure on research in glaciology, glacial geomorphology, permafrost and periglacial processes, as well as climatologic and botanical studies. Since 1995 glaciological research and the studies of permafrost of various ground types and their seasonal thawing, as well as meteorological observations have been the major issues on the research agenda. Glaciers pose the dominating feature of the Kaffiøyra region. Since the 19th century their area has decreased by about 30%. Thus, one of the main scientific issues studied there is the course and the reasons for the change in the glaciers’ range. This can be achieved by studying mass balance of the glaciers. Presently, mass balance of four glaciers is studied: the Waldemarbreen, the Irenebreen, the Elisebreen and the Aavatsmarkbreen. 39 The research includes both the summer balance (ablation and outflow from the glaciers) and the winter snow accumulation. The detailed research plans also refer to two large glaciers which end up in the sea. Those are the Aavatsmarkbreen in the north and the Dahlbreen in the south of the Kaffiøyra. Currently, subaquatic glacial relief of the bays in the Forlandsundet region is under scrupulous investigation. The results of the research can be obtained from the station’s website (, from the publications by the World Glaciological Monitoring Service (WGMS- IAHS), as well as the website of the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM- IPA). The research carried out in the N.Copernicus University Polar Station has enabled numerous scientists of most specialties of the Earth sciences (glaciology, climatology, hydrology, geomorphology, pedology and botany) to collect material for numerous papers, including master and doctoral theses. Scientific attractiveness of the Kaffiøyra’s geoecosystem has been appreciated by scientists from various scientific centres in Poland and elsewhere, who take part in interdisciplinary expeditions organized every year. The most Polish polar research in the north-west Spitsbergen is based on the N.Copernicus University Polar Station Once the station has had an extension addend, it can host 10-15 people at any one time. The new section of the station is 32 sq. m downstairs and 24 sq. m upstairs. This includes a study, a workshop, a bedroom as well as two bedroom entresols. The extension is connected with the old section of the station, which includes a living room and a bedroom, but there is also a separate entrance to the new part of the station. Additionally, the station gained extra storage floor, a laboratory, a bathroom, as well as a garage to keep boats, snowmobiles and engines. All together the station now has about 100 sq. m. The station is used 3 to 4 months annually, but it is possible to stay there for as long as a whole year. It is equipped with necessary technical facilities, motor-generators, solar panels, motorboats and snowmobiles. More important measurement equipment includes: a weather station with the basic measuring instruments (the measurements conducted since 1975); automatic weather stations (with the measurements taken at any intervals); limnigraphs and loggers installed in the selected watercourses (measurements of water levels, flow rates and the selected physicochemical features of water since 1975); a system of ablation poles installed on the glaciers; ice drills; loggers for measuring ground temperatures and ice temperatures, and others. The extension of the station in 2007 enabled larger groups of scientists to work and conduct research. The fact that both the living and laboratory space has been enlarged is especially important, as the station is often visited by scientists from all over the world. As a result, the extension will make it possible to intensify current international contacts, as well as start new co-operation projects in the Kaffiøyra region.

Soils Environmental management Atmosphere
107. Orkustofnun ‐ The National Energy Authority, NEA (NEA)

Orkustofnun, formally established in July 1967, works under the auspices of The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism according to the Act on Orkustofnun No. 87/2003. Other legislation describing the tasks of Orkustofnun includes the Electricity Act, No. 65/2003, the Act on Survey and Utilization of Ground Resources, No. 57/1998 and the Act on Prospecting, Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons No. 13/2001 . The main roles of Orkustofnun, the National Energy Authority (NEA) are: • To advise the government on energy issues and other resource issues that the NEA is responsible for according to legislation and to give the authorities consultations and reviews of these matters. • To carry out research on energy in Iceland, the energy resources, on-land and off-shore, and on other mineral resources in order to facilitate their quantification and to advise the authorities on sensible and economical development of the resources. • To gather data on energy resources and other mineral resources, their utilization and the energy utilization of Iceland, to preserve the data and to disseminate the information to the authorities and the public • To prepare long-term plans on the energy utilization of Iceland and the development of energy resources and other mineral resources, on-land and off-shore • To facilitate the cooperation of parties that conduct energy research and the coordination of the research projects • To license and monitor the implementation of licenses granted for research and utilization of mineral and energy resources, the alteration of water courses and construction of dams and dykes, and the operation of power stations and other large energy facilities • To regulate the energy grid system • To administer the Energy Fund Main gaps: Not specified Network type: Thematic observations

Oil and Gas
108. Geographical environment conditions and its changes in the polar and subpolar regions (GeograPOLARUMCSphical environment conditions and its changes in the polar and subpolar regions ())

The study includes comprehensive study of the geographical environment in the area of Polar Station of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Calypsobyen (NW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land, Svalbard). Currently, studies have been carried out within research projects: - Dynamics of matter circulation in the polar catchment are a subject to deglaciation processes (Scottelva, Spitsbergen) (DYNACAT) - Morphogenetic and morphodynamics conditions of development of the coast of the NW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land (Spitsbergen) in the late Vistulian and Holocene (MORCOAST) - Mechanisms of fluvial transport and sediment supply to Arctic river channels with various hydrological regimes (SW Spitsbergen) (ARCTFLUX)

Geology Soils Environmental management
109. Canadian Permafrost Monitoring Network, Canada’s Contribution to Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P Canada) (GTN-P Canada)

• collect field based measurements of permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness (Essential Climate Variables identified by WMO/GCOS) • disseminate information on permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness (increase public availability • document current permafrost conditions and changes in these conditions and conduct analysis to explain these changes • provide essential information on permafrost conditions for decision making in Canada’s north to ensure sustainable development and to develop strategies to adapt to climate change Main gaps: Large regional gaps still exists especially in central region between Mackenzie Valley and Hudson Bay There is also a lack of long-term funding to maintain network operation and ensure ongoing data collection. Network type: Thematic observations (permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness), consisting of several field sites (>150) throughout northern Canada (see recent GCOS ECV report for map). Most sites in remote areas Limited community based monitoring

110. Dynamics of matter circulation in the polar catchment subject to the deglaciation processes (Scottelva, Spitsbergen) (DYNACAT)

The project aims at analysing dynamics of matter circulation in the polar catchment under the deglaciation processes and its effect on topoclimatic and microclimatic diversification of the area in question. Equally important are: 1) the dynamics of periglacial and 2) hydrological processes and changes in the local environment as an indicator of global climatic changes. The proposed project shall take into account the following: - general weather and climatic conditions and topoclimatic and microclimatic differentiation of selected sites; - albedo and solar radiation and their influence on the course of the processes; - changes in the circulation of water in space and time (precipitation-evaporation-outflow) as an effect of local and global processes; - analysis of processes that determine the amount of water entering the hydrological cycle including global climatic changes and characteristics of summer ablation in terms of meteorological conditions; - analysis of the factors which determine the occurrence and circulation of waters in the permafrost active layer and assessment of static and dynamic water resources in the active layer in meteorological and hydrogeological aspects; determination and quantitative analysis of the genetic structure of fluvial outflow; - water balance of selected catchments (glacial and periglacial ones) with diverse outflow alimentation sources.

111. GlacioBasis Monitoring Programme (GlacioBasis)

to monitor the mass balance of A. P. Olsen Ice Cap (74.6° N, 21.5° W) and its outlet glacier discharging into the Zackenberg River drainage basin using in-situ observations with automatic weather stations (AWS), ablation stakes, ground penetrating radar (GPR) and satellite remote sensing data, combined with surface mass balance modelling. Network type: research project including in-situ monitoring, ground penetrating radar, remote sensing and modelling

112. Integrated Arctic Socially-Oriented Observation System

The aim of the IASOS network is to monitor changes on the way to better (or worse) Quality of Life (QL) and sustainability, increase knowledge of trends in socio-economic, political and living conditions of residents (indigenous and non-indigenous) of the Russian North under the impacts of happening changes in climate, biodiversity, character of human impacts, socioeconomic and political changes and human responses (including strategic planning for climate change adaptation, etc.) The major objectives of the IASOS network are: - Identify main QL issues, factors effecting these issues; - Observe and analyze human-defined targets and solutions of arising QL issues taking into account local people’s perceptions and strategies developed at different scales (from local to national and circumpolar) in order to achieve better QL and sustainability; - Detect key indicators (most important from the QL improvement point of view) to be monitored and tested during long-term observations in case study regions (observation sites); - Carry out local observations of socio-economic and environmental trends impacting QL and human capital on the base of specially developed methodology, approaches and tools of socially-oriented observations; - Involve arctic residents (indigenous and non-indigenous), their local and traditional knowledge in QL observations; - Raise peoples’ awareness of happening changes in living conditions, policy and environment, help people to set targets in order to achieve better QL and sustainability. This is to be done with the help of participatory observations, information-educational workshops and other tools; - Consolidate national and international collaborations in the Russian North on socially-oriented observations and research; - Translate better experience of the Arctic states in achieving higher quality of life and sustainability into local, national policies and adaptation strategies. Network type: - Thematical observations - Community-based observations

Human health
113. National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark (DTU AQUA) (DTU-AQUA)

Fish stock assessment and fisheries management Cooperation with Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GNI) on: i) stock assessment and fisheries management, survey planning and evaluation, ii) stock and fish community dynamics under climate change, iii) fish species interactions, iiii) Education of young scientist at GNI. Oceanography and climate change impact on marine ecosystems. Cooperation with GNI, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and Natural Environmental Research Institute (DMU) on: i) physical oceanography and climate forcing, ii) biological oceanography, iii) population genetics. The Internation Polar Year IPY) project ECOGREEN under leadership of DMU. Contribution to biological oceanography, e.g. survey of RV Dana (the research vessel of DTU-AQUA) to West Greenland in 2008 Main gaps: Continuous financial support - funding

Oceanography Ecosystems
114. Oceanographic observations

Monitoring and forecast of the sea and ocean state, support of safety of navigation and marine activities. Main gaps: Additional control is needed for historical data, especially with regard to hydrochemical parameters.

Oceanography Atmosphere
115. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) (GEUS)

Not specified

Geology geomorphology Geophysics Greenland
116. National Environmental Research Institute

Main gaps: 1. We need funding for winter measurements allowing us to study ecosystem dynamics outside the growing season. Recent research has demonstrated that important components of ecosystem dynamics occur after the growing season (e.g. Post et al. 2009: Science 325, 1355-1358; Mastepanov et al. 2008: Nature 456, 628-630.). 2. We need funding for increased circum-arctic cooperation between monitoring sites to facilitate comparative studies of ecosystem dynamics in different compartments of the Arctic.

117. Vegagerðin ‐ The Icelandic Road Administration (Vegagerðin)

The Icelandic Road Administrations main function is to maintain and develop roads in Iceland. Research and development has always been a part of the Road Administrations functions. Main gaps: Access to metadata Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Field stations ‐ Community based observations

Metals pollution
118. Sea Ice

The Canadian Ice Service (CIS), a branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada, is the leading authority for information about ice in Canada’s navigable waters. CIS provides the most timely and accurate information about sea ice, lake ice, river ice and icebergs to: • Ensure the safety of both mariners and Canadians, their property and their environment through the provision of hazardous ice condition warnings • Provide present and future generations of Canadians with sufficient knowledge to support sound environmental policies In summer and fall data collection and analysis is focussed on the Arctic and the Hudson Bay regions with daily satellite acquisitions. In winter and spring, the data collection is focussed on the Great lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts The following products are produced: • In situ briefings, warnings, daily ice charts, image analysis charts, regional charts, observed charts, short- and long-term forecasts and iceberg bulletins and charts; specialised ice information services for Other Government Departments and research communities • Oil spill monitoring; satellite image analysis for oil spill detection • Annual Ice Atlas • Archive of climatic ice information Main gaps: Satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice is limited to: • Canadian waters, • Bi-Weekly acquisitions from January to March • Weekly acquisitions from April to May • Daily acquisitions of areas where shipping is active from June to November Network type: various: satellite data, observations from ships and aircraft. CIS acquires and analyses thousands of satellite images, conducts millions of square kilometres of airborne reconnaissance and receives hundreds of ship and shore ice reports annually.

Human health Oceanography
119. Hydrological and biochemical monitoring of Revdalen Valley (HREV) (HREV)

To collect hydrological and biochemical data in Horsund, Spitsbergen in the area of Revdalen Valley. Main gaps: Summer season data only, with gaps due to observer and equipment availability.

Atmosphere Ecosystems
120. Polish Seismological Network

Polish Seismological Network is to record and investigate on seismic events recorded by permanent Polish seismic stations. The seismic station at Hornsund is a Polish station despite its location outside Poland’s territory Network type: Geophysical observations