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The GeoBasis Disko monitoring program started in 2017 as a part of the cross disciplinary Greenland Environmental Monitoring (GEM) program. GeoBasis Disko is an integrated part of the GeoBasis program, following the same standards as in Nuuk and Zackenberg (two other GEM sites) and largely focusing on the same parameters and methodologies. GeoBasis Disko is finaced by Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate.
A close collaboration and synergy with Arctic Station that is manned year round makes it possible to collect and carry out measurements also during winter.As location Qeqertarsuaq on the south coast of the Disko island, represent a Greenlandic west coast climate, with annual mean temperatures just below 0°C, with discontinuous permafrost, and as such remarkably different from the two existing GEM sites. Further, the Disko bay area is highly interesting from a socioeconomic perspective due its high population and active fishery industry, and as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greenland.
The primary objective of GeoBasis Disko is to establish baseline knowledge on the dynamics of fundamental abiotic terrestrial parameters within the environment/ecosystem around Arctic Station. This is done through a long term collection of data that includes the following sub-topics;
GeoBasis focuses on selected abiotic parameters in order to describe the state of Arctic terrestrial environments and their potential feedback effects in a changing climate. As such, inter-annual variation and long-term trends are of paramount importance.
The GeoBasis programme collects data describing the physical and geomorphological environment in Zackenberg, North East Greenland. This includes meteorology, carbon flux and energy exchange, snow cover and permafrost, soil moisture, –chemistry and nutrient balance, hydrology, river discharge and – sediment
Ice sheet meltwater and sediment discharge is measured at only very few sites in Greenland. The measurements provide detailed insights into ice sheet surface melting, englacial meltwater routing, subglacial erosion, etc., and their importance increase with the lengthening of the time series. Monitoring was initiated by IGN (Copenhagen University) in 2006, and taken over by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in 2014. Data are available through the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (www.PROMICE.dk).
Fluvial transport, its dynamics and structure, constitute a good indicator of the condition of the natural environment in various climatic zones. Analysis of fluvial transport components allows for precise determination of the rate and directions of transformations of geosystems of any importance. In the polar zone, very sensitive to global changes, it seems expedient to identify the mechanisms and structure of fluvial transport, particularly in the conditions of the observed glacier retreat, the main alimentation source of proglacial rivers. Studies carried out in the zone revealed difficulties in determination of fluvial transport structure, particularly the actual bedload of gravel-bed rivers based on direct measurements, resulting from: short measurement series, lack of standardization of research methods and measurement equipment, and strategy of selection of study objects and sampling. The research project presented concerns determination of mechanisms of fluvial transport and sediment supply to Arctic gravel-bed river channels. The mechanisms reflect the processes of adaptation of proglacial rivers of the Arctic zone to changing environmental conditions, and indicate the dominant directions of transformations of paraglacial geosystems of various importance. For studies on Arctic geosystems, the region of the south Bellsund (SW Spitsbergen) was selected due to extensive knowledge on its hydro-meteorological and glacial-geomorphological conditions, and long-term measurement series carried out by the research station of the MCSU, among others within the framework of the international monitoring network: SEDIBUD (IAG) and Small-CATCHMENT program. For detailed studies, rivers with various hydrological regimes were selected, functioning at the forefield of the Scott and Renard Glaciers. The Scott River glacial catchment and glacier-free catchments of the Reindeer Stream and the Wydrzyca Stream (with a snow-permafrost hydrological regime) meet the selection criteria for representative test catchments analyzed for the following programs: SEDIFLUX, SEDIBUD, and POP.