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 - 7 of 7
1. 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
2. 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
3. Marine food webs as vector of human patogens

Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.

Pathways Biological effects Hydrography Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Shipping Polar bear Exposure Arctic Local pollution Seabirds Shellfish Food webs Waste Human health Human intake Marine mammals
4. Effects of UV-B radiation on Microbial communities in Kongsfjorden

Effects of UV-B radiation on microbial communities in Kongsfjorden in relation to metal and dissolved organic matter availabillity.

Biological effects Ozone Biology UV radiation Heavy metals Environmental management Exposure Arctic Model ecosystem Ecosystems
5. Environmental Assessment in van Mijenfjorden, Svalbard

The project aims to describe the environmental status of marine sediments in van Mijenfjorden. This to provide baseline data of contaminants and biodiversity, as well as for monitoring of eventual contamination from industrial activities (coal mining).

Biological effects Glaciers Biology Populations Discharges Spatial trends Environmental management Mining Oceanography Biodiversity Arctic Sediments Temporal trends Ecosystems
6. Benthic fauna in the Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

Investigation of benthic faunal communities for: taxon distribution/ biodiversity mapping; examination of effects of glacial and physical disturbance on community structure; relation between faunal structure and sediment contaminants.

Biological effects Glaciers Biology Mapping Physical disturbance Spatial trends Pollution sources Environmental management Climate change Biodiversity Arctic Sediments Temporal trends Ecosystems
7. Environmental assessment of the Isfjorden complex, Svalbard

The project aims to carry out an environmental assessment of the marine environment close to the three main settlements in the Isfjorden complex; Barentsburg, Longyearbyen and Pyramiden. The study comprises analyses of sediment geochemistry and soft-bottom benthic fauna. Attention is given to distinguishing atmospheric transport of contaminants from those arising from local sources.

Biological effects Sources Pollution sources Contaminant transport Mining Primary recipient Radionuclides Modelling Dioxins/furans Sediments Pesticides Waste secondary recipient Biology Organochlorines PCBs Mapping Heavy metals PAHs Long-range transport Discharges Spatial trends Environmental management Petroleum hydrocarbons Biodiversity Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Data management Temporal trends Ecosystems