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 71 Next
21. Satellite validation for SAGE III (contribution to VINTERSOL/SOLVE-2)

In december 2001 the SAGE III experiment was successfully launched. The NASA science team of the SAGE III experiment has announced the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Aalesund as "anchor site" for validation, especially for such parameters as optical depth, aerosol extinction profiles and ozone profiles. Because of time coincidence NASA apprechiates support for the prospected validation activities for ENVISAT. This should be also considered as contribution to the NASA accepted project "Ground based Validation of SAGE III by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen" for SOLVE-2.

Ozone Climate variability SAGE III Climate change Arctic satellite validation
22. Dynamics of benthic bivalve communities in polar environments

Description of parameters of the population dynamics of polar bivalve communities, first year: growth and reproductive cycle of the dominant Greenland cockles (Serripes groenlandicus)

Biological effects population dynamics Biodiversity Arctic
23. stratospheric balloon soundings

In situ measurements in the stratosphere shall be carried out by means of different balloon soundings. The main goal is the investigation of aerosols in the tropopause-region and in the stratosphere during wintertime. Because generation of aerosols strongly depends on water vapour content, also water vapour will be measured.

Atmospheric processes Pollution sources Arctic balloon soundings Atmosphere
24. Optical properties, structure, and thickness of sea ice in Kongsfjorden

Study of the energy exchange between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean during freezing and melting conditions; within that, measurements of solar radiation (visible and UV) and optical properties, snow and sea ice characteristics, vertical heat and salt fluxes, oceanographic parameters.

UV radiation Geophysics Climate variability Climate remote sensing Sea ice Climate change Modelling Ice Oceanography Arctic Ice cores Atmosphere Ocean currents optical properties
25. The surface energy budget and its impact on superimposed ice formation (SEBISUP)

During the spring/summer transition, sea ice and snow properties change considerably in response to warming and the eventual reversal of temperature gradients within the snow and ice. Snow melt water percolates down towards the colder snow/ice interface, where it refreezes to form superimposed ice. On sea ice this process occurs probably longer and more intensive than on land, because throughout the summer the ice and underlying seawater is always colder than the snow. In Antarctica superimposed ice may actually form layers of some decimeters in thickness. The objective of this study is to investigate the main processes and boundary conditions for superimposed ice formation, in recognition of its importance for Antarctic sea ice, and its possible importance for Arctic sea ice in case of environmental changes due to future climate change. This will be performed by means of modeling as well as by combined measurements of the temporal evolution of snow and ice properties and the energy budget.

Snow and ice properties Sea ice Climate change Modelling Ice Ice sheets Arctic Ice cores Superimposed ice formation
26. Detection of spatial, temporal, and spectral surface changes in the Ny-Ålesund area 79 N, Svalbard, using a low cost multispectral camera in combination with spectroradiometer measurements.

Changes in surface reflection at the arctic tundra at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79 N) were monitored during the melting season 2002 using a low cost multispectral digital camera with spectral channels similar to channels 2, 3, and 4 of the Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite sensor. The camera was placed 474 m above sea level at the Zeppelin Mountain Research Station and was programmed to take an image automatically every day at solar noon. To achieve areal consistency in the images (which is necessary for mapping purposes) the images were geometrically rectified into multispectral digital orthophotos. In contrast to satellite images with high spatial resolution the orthophotos provide data with high spatial and high temporal resolution at low cost. The study area covers approximately 2 km2 and when free of snow, it mainly consists of typical high arctic tundra with patchy vegetation and bare soil in between. The spectral information in the images was used to divide the rectified images into maps representing different surface classes (including three subclasses of snow). By combining classified image data and ground measurements of surface reflectance, a model to produce daily maps of surface albedo was developed. The model takes into account that snow-albedo decreases as the snow pack ages; and that the albedo decreases very rapidly when the snow pack is shallow enough (20-30 cm) to let surface reflectance get influenced by the underlying ground. Maps representing days with no image data (due to bad weather conditions) were derived using interpolation between pixels with equal geographical coordinates. The time series of modeled albedo-maps shows that the time it takes for the albedo to get from 80% to bare ground levels varies from less than 10 days in areas near the coast or in the Ny-Ålesund settlement till more than 70 days in areas with large snow accumulations. For the entire study area the mean length of the 2002 melting period was 28.3 days with a standard deviation of 15.1 days. Finally, the duration of the snowmelt season at a location where it is measured routinely, was calculated to 23 days, which is very close to what is the average for the last two decades.

Digital camera Hydrography Mapping Geophysics Climate variability Orthophotograph Spatial trends Remote sensing Orthophoto Modelling Arctic GIS Spectral Temporal trends Ecosystems
27. Physiological adaptations of the arctic fox to high Arctic conditions

To investigate arctic foxes physiological adaptations to life at high latitudes. Resting and running metabolic rates, body weight, food intake, body core temperature, heart rate, and blood parameters were examined during different seasons and during periods of food deprivation.

Biological effects Biology Climate Arctic Ecosystems
28. Diversity and nitrogen fixation activity of cyanobacterial communities in terrestrial arctic ecosystems

Biological nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria is a key process for productivity in terrestrial Arctic ecosystems and the activity is dependent of size and diversity of cyanobacterial populations. Changes in biodiversity after pertubations of different types of habitats simulating climatic changes or other antropogenic effects will be studied by molecular methods and correlated to variations of nitrogen fixation activity.

Biology nitrogen fixation cyanobacteria Climate change Biodiversity Arctic
29. Diversity and changes on temporal and spatial scales of the cyanobacterial community in the high arctic environment of Spitsbergen, Svalbard Islands

The structure and role of the cyanobacterial communities that colonise bare soils and fix nitrogen in the arctic ecosystem will be studied. The planned activities will focus on the isolation, identification and characterisation of cyanobacteria from arctic habitats and on the changes of the cyanobacterial community along a transect from a retreating glacier front to a more stable habitat characterised by the presence of mature vegetation. For these purposes, a polyphasic approach encompassing microbiological, morphological and molecular techniques will be applied to environmental samples and isolated cultures. The obtained results will give new insights on the diversity and role of nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria in the arctic and, in more general terms, on ecosystem development under changing climatic conditions.

Biology nitrogen fixation cyanobacteria Soils Climate change Biodiversity Arctic Ecosystems
30. Monitoring of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in the Kongsfjord area

To evaluate temporal variation in arctic fox numbers and their food resourses in the Kongsfjorden area. The number of foxes captured per 100 trap-days are used as an index of fox density termed "Fox Capture Index". The observations of denning activity i.e. observation of number of arctic fox litters and litter size at den are termed "Fox Den Index" as a second index of fox abundance. A third index is termed "Fox Observation Index". This index is based on both observations of adult foxes seen away from breeding dens pr 100 h field work and reports on request from scientists and local people on observations of adult foxes during summer. In addition, reports on observation of fox tracks in the study area were collected in 1990-2001 as a fourth index, which were called "Fox Track Index". The field census are conducted for 10 days starting at the end of June. All dead foxes in the area should be collected.

Biology Climate Terrestrial mammals Arctic Reproduction Ecosystems
31. Arctic Coastal Dynamics

Part of the international project Arctic Costal Dynamics (ACD) were Department of Physical Geography, University of Oslo participates. The working group consists of Trond Eiken (UoO), Bjørn Wangensteen (UoO) and Rune Ødegård (Gjøvik University College). The aim of this part of the ACD-project is to quantify coastal cliff erosion by the use of terrestrial photogrammetry.

Geology Long trend coastal cliff erosion monitoring Arctic GIS Permafrost Temporal trends

The objectives of this project is to study the effect of environmental stochasticity on the Svalbard reindeer population dynamics, nad further evaluate how this may affect reindeer-plant interactions.

Biological effects Biology Populations Climate variability Climate Climate change Terrestrial mammals Arctic Reindeer Temporal trends Ecosystems
33. ASTAR 2000

ASTAR, Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation is a a joint German (AWI Potsdam) - Japanese (NIPR Tokyo) campaign with participation from NASA LaRC Hampton, VA (USA). In addition to AWI, NIPR, and NASA LaRC the following institutions contributed to the project: Hokkaido University (Japan), Nagoya University (Japan), Norwegian Polar Institute Tromsoe/ Longyearbyen (Norway), NILU Kjeller (Norway), MISU Stockholm (Sweden), NOAA-CMDL Boulder, CO (USA) and Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany). The campaign is based on simultaneous airborne measurements from the German research aircraft POLAR 4 and ground-based measurements in Ny-Ålesund. The main goals of the project are - to measure aerosol parameters of climate relevance, like extinction coefficient, absoprtion coefficients and phase function. - to create an Arctic Aerosol Data Set for climate impact investigation by using the regional climate model HIRHAM. - to carry out comparison measurements with the SAGE II (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) and the ground based Raman-Lidar.

Radiation Atmospheric processes Phase function Absoprtion coefficients HIRAM Climate variability Climate Climate change Aerosol Arctic Raman-Lidar Atmosphere Extinction coefficient SAGE II
34. BOS: High altitude ozone observations with a Balloon-borne Optical Sensor

In order to get detailed vertical ozone profiles above the range of standard electrochemical ozonesondes (typically 35 km), a radiosonde together with an optical ozonesensor is launchend with a special plastic foliage balloon. The balloon payload consists of a digital radiosonde (DFM 90) using GPS for altitude measurements and a two channel filter spectrometer (optical sensor) to measure the vertical ozone distribution up to more than 40 km altitude. The ozone profiles obtained by the optical sensors will be compared with ground-based microwave and lidar ozone observations as well as with the standard balloon-borne ozone measurements with electrochemical ozone sensors.

optical ozonesensor Atmospheric processes Ozone UV radiation Climate variability stratosphere Climate ozone profile Climate change ozonesonde Arctic Atmosphere balloon-borne troposphere
35. Aerosol-FTIR

The aim of the project is to study the properties (radiative effects, composition) of aerosols using FTIR emission spectroscopy. To determine seasonal changes in aerosol properties the measurements will be carried out year round on a weekly schedule.

aerosols Atmospheric processes emission spectroscopy FTIR Climate variability Climate Climate change radiative effecs Emissions Arctic Atmosphere
36. Causes for GPR reflections in an alluvial permafrost environment

3-D GPR (ground penetrating radar) profiling of permafrost deposits and examination of their geocryologic and sediment properties for verification of GPR profiles. The scientific project has the following aims: To improve the understanding of how GPR (ground penetrating radar) reflections are generated in frozen ground; to reveal the main factors (geophysical and sedimentary) controlling electromagnetic reflection characteristics and their spatial continuity as examplarily studied along a continuous permafrost section, i.e. to distinguish between physical (dielectricity, conductivity and density) and sedimentary (ice/water content, grain size distribution, content of organic matter, texture) properties and estimate their proportionate quantity on the origin of the wave reflections.

ground penetrating radar Geology Geophysics Arctic Sediments Permafrost
37. Remote sensing of the radiative properties of arctic aerosols at solar and thermal infrared wavelengths and retrieval of aerosol microphysical properties

The current scientific knowledge does not allow estimating accurately the surface radiative forcing caused by tropospheric aerosols and their influence on the evolution of the Earth climate. The radiative forcing depends on the optical properties of the aerosols at solar and thermal infrared wavelengths. These optical properties depend, in turn, on the chemical composition and size of the aerosols. Remote sensing with passive radiation sensors operating in the above-mentioned spectral ranges allows to measure the optical properties of the aerosols and to characterise their temporal variability. These data are needed for regional climate simulations of the Arctic, particularly for delineating the impact of the Arctic haze phenomenon. In this project, a synergetic effort will be made to obtain information about the radiative and microphysical properties of springtime arctic aerosols. Therefore, a polarisation-spectrometer for the solar spectral range, which is currently developed at the Free University of Berlin as a variant of the FUBISS spectrometer, will be operated from the surface in coincidence with the Fourier Transform InfraRed-spectrometer (FTIR) installed at Ny-Aalesund by the AWI. The former instrument measures the intensity and polarisation of the scattered solar radiation from the visible to the near-infrared. The latter measures the radiation emitted by the Atmosphere itself in the thermal infrared window region. Together, they thus provide a wealth of information about the aerosol optical properties at the interesting wavelengths (spectral optical depth, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor of the phase function), which will allow inferring the aerosol microphysical properties. Complementary measurements of the aerosol microphysical properties will be provided by an aerosol volatility analyser, which is maintained by the University of Leeds and will also be brought to Ny-Aalesund. This instrument comprises a fast response scanning volatility system and an optical particle counter. From the thermal response of the aerosol number and the change in the size distribution conclusions can be inferred about the chemical composition and the state of mixing of aerosols as a function of size.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Arctic haze FTIR Climate variability Climate Climate change Arctic Atmosphere Troposphere

Aim of the project is to develop a cost-effective long-term European observation system for halocarbons and to predict and assess impacts of the halocarbons on the climate and on the ozone layer. Beside the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform with FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) absorption measurements of CFCs (e.g. SF6, CCl2F2, CHF2Cl) and related species on much more observation days.

Atmospheric processes SOGE Ozone FTIR Climate variability Climate NDSC Climate change Halocarbons Modelling Arctic Atmosphere Temporal trends
39. Physiological and cellular adaptation of higher plants and snow algae to the arctic environment

The objective of the planned work with arctic higher plants is to study the range of adaptation of photosynthetic metabolism, of antioxidative and sun screen compounds in a cold and reduced UV-B climate in comparison of data already raised from high alpine plants, which live partially under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B. Further, the ultrastructure of leaf cells will be studied to clear, whether adaptations found in some high alpine plants occur similarly in arctic plants, and to connect such cytological results with metabolic functions. An additional comparison will be made with snow algae from Svalbard compared to those harvested on high alpine snow fields. It is the advantage of the planned work, that a number of investigations ranging from ultrastructural studies over different aspects of photosynthesis to assays of UV-B sensitive compounds and antioxidants will be conducted mostly with measurements and sample collection in the field during the same experimental day at one place. Therefore we expect a good connection of the data raised, back to the plant system and expect a much broader description of vitality and adaptation under the current conditions.

Arctic higher plants Biological effects Biology UV radiation Ultrastructural studies Alpine Arctic Snow algae Ecosystems Photosynthetic metabolism High alpine plants
40. Lipid biochemical adaptation of pteropods

The polar pteropod Clione limacina is characterised by high quantities of lipids with ether components (1-O-alkyldiacylglycerol=DAGE) in combination with odd-chain fatty acids. It is unknown why Clione and probably other pteropods have specialised in this manner. Furthermore the precursor of the biosynthesis of these compounds is still unknown. Therefore samples of Clione limacina and its only prey Limacina helicina will be collected by using plankton nets from small boats. The species will be kept in aquaria and feeding experiments with both species and food of different composition and nutritional value are planed.

Biological effects Clione limacina Biology Pteropods Arctic Limacina helicina Ecosystems Lipids