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: 21 - 40 of 154 Next
21. 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.

22. Soft Bottom Fauna time series (BIODAFF) (BIODAFF)

EMBOS is a continuation of BIOMARE and aims for integrating marine biological – biodiversity observations Long Term Large Scale in set of selected stations across Europe. Poland (IOPAS) is responsible for the Hornsund site and together with Norway (Norsk Polarinstitutt, UNIS, AKVAPLAN) IOPAS is responsible for the Kongsfjorden site. Main gaps: Sediment chemistry

23. POLAR-AOD and the Arctic Oceanographic Observations (AREX)

The Arctic region represents a sensitive ecosystem, which is susceptible to even small changes in the local climate. Special conditions of usually high surface albedo and low solar elevations cause enhanced aerosol/cloud effects due to multiple scattering. It is suspected that this increased interaction between solar radiation and the aerosol particles/clouds magnifies their radiative impact. Thus, for a given aerosol distribution, the specific optical properties are enhanced in the polar regions. For the same reasons, results from field experiments at low latitudes are difficult to transfer to polar regions and as a consequence there is an urgent need to conduct specific measurement programs in high latitude regions. In order to improve the knowledge about the origin, transport pathways, vertical structure of aerosol physical and chemical properties as well as the impact on climate in the polar regions, a combined effort of surface-based, airborne and spaceborne measurements is needed. Therefore, this proposed project is aiming at a determination of the vertical structure of the chemical, physical and optical properties of Arctic aerosol particles, including solar radiative closure between observed and calculated aerosol properties (direct climate effect)

24. 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.

25. 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).

26. 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
27. 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
28. 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
29. 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.

30. 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
31. 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

32. Sweden permafrost monitoring

Increasing temperature in the Arctic will increase the soil temperature and decrease the area covered by permafrost. Depending on the situation, microbial decomposition of stored soil organic carbon will increase and release carbon dioxide and eventually methane, two greenhouse gases that may accelerate climate change. Some international programs study permafrost development. At 1540 meters altitude in Tarfala, temperature is measured in one borehole down to 100 m and another down to 15 m below soil surface in the Permafrost and Climate in Europe (PACE) program coupled to the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTNP) (Table 5, #2.5). Four more shallow, boreholes near Abisko are suggested candidates for PACE, one managed by Luleå Technical University and three managed by Lund University (Table 5, #1.21). Abisko Research Station carries out manual sonding of the active permafrost layer at Stordalen, an activity on behalf of Geobiosphere Science Center (CGB), Lund University and part of the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) (Table 3). The active layer has been monitored at 11 sites along an 80 km east-west profile from 1978 to 2002. Eight of these were bog sites situated in a transect from the dry and cold east to the milder and wetter west, all at approximately 390 m altitude. Permafrost monitoring started in 1972 at Kapp Linné, Svalbard, by the Geobiosphere Science Center (CGB), Lund University (Table 5, #23), and was reported for the period 1972 to 2002. Soil moisture and soil temperature were also monitored. The 10 monitoring sites differed in vegetation cover, elevation, substrate, active periglacial processes, and distance to the sea.

33. Contaminants in Polar Regions – Dynamic Range of Contaminants in Polar Marine Ecosystems (COPOL)

The IPY-project ‘COPOL’ has a main objective of understanding the dynamic range of man-made contaminants in marine ecosystems of polar regions, in order to better predict how possible future climate change will be reflected in levels and effects at higher trophic levels. This aim will be addressed by 4 integrated work packages covering the scopes of 1) food web contaminant exposure and flux, 2) transfer to higher trophic levels and potential effects, 3) chemical analyses and screening, 4) synthesis and integration. To study the relations between climate and environmental contaminants within a project period of four years, a “location-substitutes-time”-approach will be employed. The sampling is focussed towards specific areas in the Arctic, representing different climatic conditions. Two areas that are influenced differently by different water masses are chosen; the Kongsfjord on the West-coast of Spitzbergen (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 22 E). The main effort is concentrated in the Kongsfjord. This fjord has been identified as particularly suitable as a study site of contaminants processes, due to the remoteness of sources, and for influences of climatic changes, due to the documented relation between Atlantic water influx and the climatic index North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The water masses of the Rijpfjord have Arctic origin and serves as a strictly Arctic reference. Variable Atlantic water influx will not only influence abiotic contaminant exposure, but also food web structure, food quality and energy pathways, as different water masses carry different phyto- and zooplankton assemblages. This may affect the flux of contaminants through the food web to high trophic level predators such as seabirds and seals, due to altered food quality and energy pathways.

Biological effects Organochlorines Heavy metals Fish Climate variability Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Seabirds Food webs Ecosystems
34. Haliclona natural products

In contrast to many other marine regions, chemical interactions between organisms in Arctic waters are little understood. This project investigates natural products and chemical interactions in the sponge genus Haliclona in temperate and polar waters. Several new secondary metabolites isolated from Haliclona show feeding deterrence and activity against bacteria and fungi, but the compound composition varies with habitat and year. That raises the question whether sponges of the genus Haliclona as a model are able to adapt to changing environmental factors such as water temperature and colonization by bacteria by varying their secondary metabolite composition.

Biological effects Climate change Biodiversity natural products Ecosystems
35. Investigation of the physiological and cellular adaptation of plants to the arctic environ-ment – comparison with high alpine conditions

The objective of our work with arctic terrestrial plants and with algae is to study the range of climate adaptation as is expressed in special ultrastructure of cells and tissues, in photosynthetic metabolism, in antioxidative and sun screen compounds under a cold and reduced PAR / UV-B environment (climate different to alpine conditions). This is a comparison of ecophysiological processes already worked out mainly from high alpine plants, which live periodically under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B and PAR irradiation. We want to find out, whether adaptations found in some alpine organisms occur similarly in polar forms.

Ultrastructure Biological effects UV radiation physiology stress adaptation Climate change Arctic Cold stress Ecosystems
36. 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
37. Ice caves in order to reconstruct Holocene glacier recessions

The objective of the project was the investigation of englacial melt water channels of Svalbard glaciers in order to find in situ organic material within glacier caves. Specified organic material found beneath glaciers was meant for radiocarbon dating and creation of reliable geochronologies of glacier recessions with considerable smaller glacier termini than present on Svalbard. First radiocarbon dating results ever from organic material found under a glacier’s bottom of glacier Longyearbreen will be published this year. The different moss species ranging from Tomentypnum nitens, Sanionia uncinata, Distichium spp., Syntrichia ruralis gave ages between 1900 and 1100 cal yr BP (Humlum et al., 2004).

Glaciers Geology Climate variability Ice caves Radionuclides Ice
38. 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.
39. 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
40. Contaminants in polar fox

Arctic animals utilize periods with high food availability for feeding and lipid deposition, whereas they rely on stored lipids during unfavorable periods. Hence, many arctic inhabitants exhibit profound seasonal cycles of fattening and emaciation. In the Arctic, feeding is associated with fat deposition and contaminant accumulation. When lipids are mobilized, accumulated contaminants are released into the circulation. Consequently, blood contaminant concentrations may increase markedly and result in a redistribution of the contaminant(s) from “insensitive”, adipose tissues to sensitive organs, and increased contaminant bioavailability. Such variations complicate interpretations of pollutant toxicity, both in effect studies and in monitoring programs, and remains an important future reseach area. In the present study, we will use arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) as a model species for investigating tissue distribution and bioavailability of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in relation to natural variations in lipid status (field study). These data will be supplemented and validated through a contamination study with blue fox (A. lagopus), where the seasonal changes in lipid status of wild fox are simulated in the laboratory. In both the field and laboratory study, possible effects of OCs on steroid hormone synthesis, and plasma levels of hormones, vitamin E and retinol will also be assessed.

Biological effects Biology Organochlorines PCBs Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Pesticides