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.
Polish Polar Station, Hornsund
Air Temperature, Relative Humidity, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Solar Radiation, Net Radiation, Snow Depth/ice ablation Accumulation & ablation on stakes – manual readings; snow thickness and density, glacier movement velocity by time lapse precise GPS every 3 h at stake T4, glacier terminus position fluctuations and calving event by time lapse photos every 3 h – year round, high time resolution (10 min) and high accuracy (±0.5 m) survey of ice cliff position changes in one point by laser distance ranger, entire ice cliff position changes every day by panoramic radar (low precision ±12.5 m). Sea water temperature and salinity. Snow cover monitoring by high frequency ground penetration radar in 2006, 2008, 2011, t.b.c. Fluctuations of Hornsund tidewater glaciers termini (by satellite remote sensing). Database of optical satellite images for Southern Spitsbergen since 2004; few archive optical satellite images 1975 - 1993, radar satellite images 2000-2009.
University of Silesia (US)
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. Networks: World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS)