Svalbard: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Svalbard as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 56 Next
1. Environmental Monitoring System for Svalbard and Jan Mayen

MOSJ (Environmental Monitoring of Svalbard and Jan Mayen) is an environmental monitoring system and part of the Government’s environmental monitoring in Norway. An important function is to provide a basis for seeing whether the political targets set for the development of the environment in the North are being attained

Atmosphere Ecosystems Human health Oceanography
2. Measurements of climate-influencing substances on Svalbard

National Environmental Monitoring in Sweden in the "Air" programme. The objective of the project is to follow climate-changing gases and particles and which effects they could have on the climate of earth. To understand and assess the human effect on the climate, regionally and globally, the atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases are monitored. The project aims follow: (i) detecting long-term trends in the carbon dioxide level, as well as trends in the amount or composition of aerosols in the background atmosphere; (ii) provide a basis to study the processes that control the aerosol life cycle from their formation through aging and transformation, until being removed from the atmosphere; (iii) provide a basis to study the processes (sources, sinks, and transport pathways) that control the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; (iv) contribute to the global network of stations that perform continous measurements of atmospheric particles and trace gases to determine their effect on the earths radiation balance and interaction with clouds and climate.

Arctic Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Carbon dioxide CH4 Climate Climate change Climate variability CO2 Contaminant transport Data management Emissions Light absorption Light dispersion Long-range transport methane Particle concentrations Particle size distribution Temporal trends
3. Zepplin Carbon dioxide and trace gas concentrations + aerosols (Carbon dioxide and trace gas)

At the Zeppelin Station on Svalbard, Stockholm University, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) measures trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide in background atmosphere (Table 4, #1.6, Table 5, ##3–4). In collaboration with NOAA/CMDL in Boulder, USA, air is regularly sampled in flasks for analysis of CO2, CH4, CO, 13CO2, H2, N2O, SF6, and 18O in CO2. At the top of the micrometeorological tower (102 m) at Norunda north of Uppsala, carbon dioxide and methane concentrations are also measured (Fig. 2, Table 5, #5). Other sites for CO2 measurements are the flux sites described below. Air samples are taken at 10 sites in northern Sweden for analysis of SO2, NO2, and surface-near ozone (Fig. 2, Table 4, #1.2) in the air- and precipitation chemistry network. At the Zeppelin Station on Svalbard, Stockholm University, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) also measures the amount and composition of aerosols in the background atmosphere. Measurements include particle concentration and size distribution, light absorption and scattering, and cloud residual properties (cloud residuals are the particles which took part in cloud droplet or ice crystal formation)

4. Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation

Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation

aerosols trace gases Arctic Arctic haze Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Climate Climate change Emissions Long-range transport
5. Synoptic meteorological observations, including radiosonde observations

Weather forecasting Main gaps: These observations are operational observations of METNO

6. Norwegian greenhouse gas monitoring

Continuous measurements of greenhouse gases and particles to monitor changes in the atmosphere. The programme is operated by Norwegian Institute of Air Research (NILU) on behalf of Norwegian Environment Agency. The Zeppelin Observatory is a major contributor of data on a global as well as a regional scale.The programme is decribed in the link.

Aerosol Arctic haze Atmosphere CH4 chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) CO2 Halocarbons trace gases CO
7. Monitoring of long range transboundary air pollution, greenhouse gases, ozone layer and natural ultraviolet radiation

The main objective is to quantify the levels of air pollution in the artctic, and to document any changes in the exposures. It includes the necessary components to address impacts on ecosystems, human health, materials and climate change. 

AMAP Arctic air Arctic haze Atmosphere Atmospheric chemistry monitoring Atmospheric processes Carbon dioxide chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) Climate heavy metals methane Montreal & Kyoto Protocols PAHs PCBs POPs total gaseous mercury total ozone UV
8. National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV)

INGV operates in the Arctic region with observational activities in Svalbard, near the area of Ny-Ålesund, where the Institute has installed three stations to monitor ionospheric scintillation, currently in operation. In Svalbard, the PEGASO (Polar Explorer for Geomagnetic And other Scientific Observations) project has performed several stratospheric balloon launches (Pathfinders) with the aim of studying the Earth's magnetic field in an area with poor coverage measurements and of studying the possible trajectories of circumpolar winds at high altitudes. At the Greenland Base of Thule, INGV in collaboration with CNR, DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute), University of Rome La Sapienza and ENEA, carries out spectrometric observations for the analysis of stratospheric chemistry and mesosphere to monitor the ozone layer. In cooperation with In addition, an upper atmosphere permanent observatory for magnetosphere and Ionosphere sounding, including Auroras, and other geophysical processes is operated in Greenland, Zackemberg station in cooperation with Danish scientists. INGV is currently involved in the coordination of two European initiatives: a) EMSO (European Multidisciplinary seafloor Observatory) a European research infrastructure of ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures), which counts to establish a multi-parametric permanent network in the surrounding European seas, including the Arctic area. The project began in April 2008 with the participation of 11 European countries; b) EUROANDRILL, created under the aegis of the European Science Foundation, aims to drill key areas of polar areas to study past and future climate. The project involves the involvement of 10 European and 3 extra-European countries. The Institute is also active in other projects in the Arctic, in particular actively participates in the seismic network GLISN, developed from the existing stations in and around Greenland.

Geology Oceanography Atmosphere
9. Spain general summary

Our objective in present SAON meeting was to know more about SAON activities and plannings to coordinate and promote guidelines criteria for observations in the ARctic Present Spain Research in Arctic is performed mainly for universities and scientific institutions , down the responsability of the Science Department with the support of several national institutions including the Defense Department and Foreign Affairs Institutions are coordinated by the National Polar Committee. The National Scientific Program finance the activities in the polar zones Although our main scientific activities are in Antarctica the activity of Spain in Arctic is rapidly increasing following the fact that Arctic research is a priority task in our Science Program At present we have detected 16 scientific groups working activelly in the differnts fields of Arctic topics (glaciology, meteorology, permafrost, high atmosphere, ecology, physical oceanography, marine geology and biology) These activities are mainly performed in cooperation with Arctic countries Institutions via institutional or researchers contacts About our media to work in Arctic ocean Spain has at present two multiporposes oceanographic research ships In the last years our Ocanographic ship Hesperides has developed two campaigns in The area of Greenland and Svalvars Island in the fields of marine Geology , marine biology and physical oceanography For next summer Hesperides will perform a third oceanographic campaign close to the Atlantic coast of Greenland Other national institutions have been working in marine biology campaigns including fisheries stock evolution Spain has a National Centre of Polar Data were all researchers must enter their raw data gathered in the polar campaigns We considerer , at present , our interest to cooperate inside SAON board, considering that besides other possible cooperation to SAON tasks could be a cooperation with our Polar Data Centre

Geology Oceanography Atmosphere Ecosystems
10. Dynamic Response of Arctic Tidewater Glaciers to Climate Change (GLACIODYN-T)

University of Silesia in close cooperation with the Institute of Geophysics, Polosh Academy of Sciences (PAS) has developed and maintain monitoring of glaciers in SW Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Monitoring network of land ice masses in Southern Spitsbergen is aimed to study the response of tidewater glaciers to climate warming, with focus on mass loss due to calving. Seasonal and interannual changes in glacier flow velocity, fluctuation of terminus position and calving rate are studied for better understanding of ice berg calving. The target glacier Hansbreen has a comprehensive ground observing system (Figure 21). It consists of mass balance stakes, automatic weather stations (AWS), time lapse GPS survey of velocity at stake T4, two time lapse cameras, automatic laser ranger and panoramic radar for measurements of ice cliff fluctuations. Moreover, mass balance, including snow cover studies are conducted every year since 1989. In some years high frequency ground penetrating radar is used for snow thickness measurements along the same profiles on the glacier. Satellite remote sensing is used for extraction of data on glacier flow velocity and fluctuation of termini and calculation of mass loss by calving. Up-to-dated inventory of glaciers in Southern Spitsbergen has been done by remote sensing methods (Figure 23). Studies are conducted in cooperation with Spanish, Norwegian and Italian partners. Cooperation with Institute of Oceanology, PAS (since 2010) is developed to monitor sea water parameters for studies of sea water - ice cliff interaction. Main gaps: Gaps in series of observations due to failures of equipment, lack of power supply or damage by polar bears. Long term tide and wave record required. More tidewater glaciers advisable with monitoring of flow velocity by GPS as ground truth data for calibration of remote sensing survey.

11. Hans Glacier Monitoring (HGM) (HGM)

Main objectives of Hans Monitoring Network are collecting long-term record of mass-balance measurements and surface glacier velocities. Additionally we collect meteorological parameter at 3 AWSs located in ablation and accumulation area and ELA.

12. 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
13. 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.

14. 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
15. Atmospheric Monitoring Network for Antropogenic Pollution in Polar Regions (ATMOPOL)

The project aims at establishing a long-term Arctic-Antarctic network of monitoring stations for atmospheric monitoring of anthropogenic pollution. Based upon the long and excellent experiences with different scientific groups performing air monitoring within the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), an expanded network will be established including all AMAP stations and all major Antarctic “year-around” research stations. As an integrated project within the “International Polar Year 2007-08” initiative, the ATMOPOL co-operation intend to • Establish a long-term coordinated international Arctic-Antarctic contaminant programme. • Develop and implement a joint sampling and monitoring strategy as an official guideline for all participating stations. • Support bi-polar international atmospheric research with high-quality data on atmospheric long-range transport of contaminants (sources, pathways and fate). • Support future risk assessment of contaminants for Polar Regions based on effects of relevant contamination levels and polar organisms Based upon the well-established experiences of circum-Arctic atmospheric contaminant monitoring in the Arctic under the AMAP umbrella, a bi-polar atmospheric contaminant network will be established and maintained. In conjunction with the polar network of atmospheric monitoring stations for air pollution, surface-based and satellite instrumentation will be utilised to provide the characterization of the Arctic atmospheric-water-ice cycle. Together with numerical weather prediction and chemical transport model calculations, simultaneous measurements of pollutants at various locations in the Arctic and Antarctic will enhance our understanding of chemical transport and distribution as well as their long-term atmospheric trends. In addition to investigating the importance of atmospheric transport of pollutants an understanding of the transference and impact of these pollutants on both terrestrial and marine environments will be sought. A secretariat and a “scientific project board” will be established. During this initial phase of the project (2006), a guideline on priority target compounds, sampling strategies, equipment and instrumentation, analytical requirements, as well as quality assurance protocols (including laboratory intercalibration exercises) will be developed and implemented. The ATMOPOL initiative aims to address highly relevant environmental change processes and, thus, will strive to answering the following scientific questions: • How does climate change influence the atmospheric long-range transport of pollutants? • Are environmental scientists able to fill the gaps in international pollution inventories and identification of possible sources for atmospheric pollution in Polar Regions? • What are the differences in transport pathways and distribution patterns of various atmospheric pollutants between Arctic and Antarctic environments? Why are there such differences? What is the final fate of atmospherically transported pollutants and how does this impact on the environment and indigenous people?In order to understand the underlying atmospheric chemistry of pollution, e.g. atmospheric mercury deposition events, routine surface measurements of UV radiation as well as campaign related measurements of UV radiation profiles will also be included.The project will establish a cooperative network on atmospheric contaminant monitoring in Polar Regions far beyond the IPY 2007/08 period and is, thus, planned as an “open-end” programme. All produced data will be available for all participating institutions for scientific purposes as basis for joint publications and reports from the ATMOPOL database to be developed.

Pathways Atmospheric processes Heavy metals Long-range transport Contaminant transport Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Atmosphere
16. ISACCO(Ionospheric Scintillations Arctic Campaign Coordinated Observations)

The polar ionosphere is sensible to the enhancement of the electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles coming from the Sun expecially around a maximum of solar activity . Some typical phenomena can occur such as, among the others, geomagnetic storms, sub-storms and ionospheric irregularities. In this frame the high latitude ionosphere may become highly turbulent showing the presence of small-scale (from centimetres to meters) structures or irregularities imbedded in the large-scale (tens of kilometers) ambient ionosphere. These irregularities produce short term phase and amplitude fluctuations in the carrier of the radio waves which pass through them. These effects are commonly called Amplitude and Phase Ionospheric Scintillations that can affect the reliability of GPS navigational systems and satellite communications. The goal of this proposal is to contribute to the understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible of the ionospheric scintillations as well as to data collecting for nowcasting/forecasting purposes at high latitude. As the scarceness of polar observations, the specific site near Ny-Ålesund is of particular experimental interest.

Mapping Geophysics Modelling Arctic Atmosphere ionospheric scintillation and TEC (Total Electron Content) monitoring.

The 2004-2007 scientific research program CHIMERPOL II consists in improving the results obtained during the CHIMERPOL I programme around three main ideas: 1-Understand physico-chemical processes of oxidation of elemental gaseous mercury in the atmosphere during Mercury Depletion Events (MDE) in Corbel, Svalbard from 2004 to 2007 with a continuous monitoring station for gaseous mercury and its speciation, 2-Evaluate deposition and emission fluxes of mercury above the Arctic snow pack by a continuous monitoring of these fluxes in Corbel, Svalbard and in Station Nord, Greenland, from 2005 to 2007. 3-Determine the Air-Snow-Firn-Ice transfer function for mercury and its speciation with a complete balance of mercury in the different compartments in Summit, Greenland from 2006 to 2007.

Ozone Heavy metals Contaminant transport Radionuclides Ice cores Atmosphere
18. NOx and SO2 samplings - Corbel station

This technological program aims to get a better view of the Corbel site quality (78 54 N, 12 07 E, Svalbard close to Ny Alesunsd) for atmospheric chemistry. Nox and SO2 samplers are deployed on 16 places on a 4 km2 area around the Station (79°N, Svalbard), protected from snowscooters activity. The influence of Ny Alesund village is also studied. Programme 2004 April 2004 : poles installation and samplers deployment on the 16 stations; analysis will be made by CNR.

Atmospheric processes Long-range transport Climate Pollution sources Contaminant transport Climate change Emissions Arctic Local pollution Atmosphere
19. Determination of atmospheric fluxes of Radionuclides, Heavy Metals and Persistent Organic pollutants in well defined watershed, lakes and coastal marine sediments of Svalbard from the beginning of nuclear age

The 2003 field activity will be mainly dedicated to coring activity which includes: 1. the sampling of snow and ice cores from a Ny-Ålesund nearby glacier (midre Lovenbreen). 2. the collection of near coast (Kongsfjorden) and lakes sediments (maximum under pack depth 30 m). Sampling collection of ice and sediment cores will be performed using a portable, electric operated, sampling corer. The transport of all materials up to each sampling station should be performed with snowcats.

Atmospheric processes Biology Hydrography Heavy metals Radioactivity Radionuclides Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Sediments Atmosphere Ecosystems
20. Long-Term and Solar Variability effects in the Upper Atmosphere

Objective: to determine how solar activity influences temperatures, winds, electric currents and minor constituents and to allow possible anthropogenic influences to be determined. Uses primarily measurements by the ESRAD and EISCAT radars, plus ground-based and balloon-borne measurements of atmospheric electric fields and currents.

Atmospheric processes Noctilucent clouds Geophysics Climate variability Solar Proton Events Climate Climate change Modelling Emissions Arctic Atmosphere Polar mesospheric summer echoes (PMSE) Temporal trends