Mountain soils derived from massive rocks were studied in the northwestern Wedel Jarlsberg Land. Main soil properties were examined for collected samples. Soils were classified as lithosols with common loamy and silty composition, and small amount of colloidal fraction. Soils were mostly alkaline due to high content of CaCO3. Much more organic substance occurred at westerly- than easterly-exposed hills and located close to a sea. Examined soils contained much soluble forms of Ca, Mg and occasionally Na, little of P and K. Density of plant cover corresponded to contents of organic substance.
Mapping and analysis of air photos enabled preparation of a photogeological map of the Hansbreen-Sofiekammen region in a scale of 1 : 10,000. Glacial, slope and marine landforms and sediments were distinguished. Supplied with thermoluminescence and radiocarbon data, a morphogenetic evolution of the area could be presented. Four Pleistocene and Holocene glacier advances were distinguished. Seven raised marine beaches result from the Pleistocene and the Holocene uplift of the land.
Average duration of a thermal winter in Hornsund has been determined for 216 days. Average soil temperature at depth of 5 cm in winter is equal —9.8°C. During a spring that lasts 35 days only, soil temperatures at depth of 5 cm indicate distribution nearest to a normal one. Soil temperature distribution in winter substantially differs from the one in spring.
Relief of Svalbard is an effect of varied morphogenetic, exogenic and endogenic processes. Tectonic and glacioisostatic movements of the Earth crust have occurred many a time in this region. Glacial, marine and periglacial features are particularly common. During the Late Quaternary the western Nordenskiöld Land underwent several sea transgressions, followed by glacier advances. Basing on erratics of crystalline rocks transported by sea ice, past sea levels have been established up to 250 m a.s.l. Marine terraces above 60 m a.s.l. date back to the Late Pleistocene, the lower ones are of the Holocene age.
The authors make a review of relics of Russian Hunting Stations on the Dunöyane (Down Islands), a group of small islets to the north of the mouth of the Hornsund fiord. They relate to the relics of the station from Store Dunöya and to the well known story about the groups of Russian hunters that were killed in 1819. Remnants of dwelling-houses, baths, monumental votive crosses, graves a.s.o. on Fjörnholmen are relics of a large basic stations situated very close to a convenient anchorage. Undoubtedly, it was working mainly during the second half of the 18th century.
Topography and toponymies of Dunöyane were discussed in brief. The location of Lammas Islands was considered. The author recognized it as a trace of discovery of Dunöyane by Hudson in 1607. Historical data on human activity in this region was presented with a closer look at the murder of 10 Russians in 1819 and at Norwegian economic exploitation in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The mesostigmatid mite Vulgarogamasus immanis (Berlese, 1904) is reported in Svalbard for the first time. The gamasid mite community of Svalbard is amongst the best known of invertebrate groups of the archipelago due to recent revisions based on fresh sampling campaigns. Nonetheless, a hitherto unrecorded species of gamasid mite was recently found along the strandline in Barentsburg. This record brings the total gamasid mite inventory of Svalbard to 23 species. The current inventory of Svalbard is bedeviled with synonyms and misidentifications. Nevertheless, resolving these confusions and maintaining an accurate and updated species inventory is of prime importance in understanding the ecology of this region. Especially in a period of rapid environmental change.
Pigments (chloropigments-a and carotenoids) in sediments and macroalgae samples, collected in Hornsund, in July 2015 and July 2016, were analysed (HPLC) in this work. In spite of the aerobic conditions and the periodic intensive solar irradiation in the Arctic environment, neither of which favour pigment preservation in water column and surface sediments, our results indicate that these compounds can provide information about phytoplankton composition, primary production and environmental conditions in this region. The sum of chloropigments-a, a marker of primary production, in the Hornsund sediments varied from 0.40 to 14.97 nmol/g d.w., while the sum of carotenoids ranged from 0.58 to 8.08 nmol/g d.w. Pheophorbides-a and pyropheophorbides-a made up the highest percentage in the sum of chloropigments-a in these sediments, supplying evidence for intensive zooplankton and/or zoobenthos grazing. Among the carotenoids, fucoxanthin and its derivatives (19'-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin and 19'-hexanoyloxy-4-ketofucoxanthin) contributed the highest percentage, which points to the occurrence mainly of diatoms and/or haptophytes in the water. The pigment markers show that the input of macroalgae to the total biomass could be considerable only in the intertidal zone.
Candona rectangulata is an ostracod species common in cold (<15 ° C ) shallow freshwater Arctic water bodies. This species is useful in palaeolimnological studies because only few known autecological data can be applied in reconstructions of palaeoclimate. Particular attention was paid to the temperature, which is the basic factor determining the geo− graphic range of a species. In this study a wide tolerance of C. rectangulata to the temperature was demonstrated for the first time. Its high tolerance to the temperature changes seems to be based on induction of set of proteins belonging to the family of heat shock proteins. Using PAGE−SDS electrophoresis variation in the protein profile of non−model organism undergoing stress in the field (South Spitsbergen, near Stanisław Siedlecki Polish Polar Station) and in laboratory cultures was presented. These results could explain the eurythermic range of C. rectangulata and its good adaptation to the environmental conditions which normally do not exist in Arctic freshwater ponds.
The purpose of this study was to present the current state of avifauna in the vicinity of Polish Polar Station, at Hornsund (SW Spitsbergen). During four seasons (2003-2006) ten bird species were recorded as breeding there. Among them colonial little auk and Arctic tern were most abundant. Six additional species were noted during the breeding season but none of them bred there and their visits in the study plots were a consequence of their nesting nearby study area. Remaining 11 species were recorded during migration. The most pronounced changes over the last 35 years has been a considerable increase in number of barnacle geese exploiting the tundra as their foraging and resting area.
The ostracod fauna were examined from the Kapp Starostin Formation sequences (Upper Permian) from West Spitsbergen (Svalbard). The ostracod taxa are mainly confined to 3 superfamilies: Kirkbyacea, Healdiacea and Bairdiacea. 11 taxa are identified. One new species, Kindlella bellsundi is proposed. The ostracod assemblage dominated by kirkbyacean taxa is related to open shelf marine environment.
Complex analysis ofgeomorphological glacial processes in forefields of retreating glaciers in the southern Bellsund region was undertaken. Field studies and archival cartographic materials indicate continued glacial retreat, at least since the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its average present rate of about 20 m/y is rather high and no moraine ridges are formed, except for the fluted moraines. Forefields of large glaciers are characterized by typical relief and sediments of frontal deglaciation only. Intensity and extent of glacial forefield remodelling depends mainly on activity ablation waters. At present glaciofluvial erosion predominates.
Changes taking place in weathered bedrock and vegetation of the ground moraine of Werenskiold glacier during about 50 years are presented. These results are based on phytosociological survey and analysis of the population structure of Saxifraga oppositifolia in 20 experimental fields and the analysis of physical and chemical features of the soils. In the process of succession, with chemical features not much changed and spongy structure just beginning, the number of vascular plants did not increase. In the process of succession the gradual increase in the density of S. oppositifolia population was observed. The size of its individuals and the share of flowering individuals also increased.
Quantitative data on meiobenthos distribution in four biotopes of the intertidal zone are presented. Differences in taxonomic composition and meiofauna abundance are influenced by the morphology of beaches and their sediment structure.
53 soil samples collected in the Bellsund Region in Western Spitsbergen were examined. An acid-resistant strain difficult to identify was isolated and recognized as Mycobacterium friburgensis. 54.7% of isolated strains were acid-resistant and growing at 25˚C only. They were microorganisms at borderline of Mycobacteria and Actinomycetes. Other microorganisms isolated in the studied soil samples were bacilli (55.7%) and coccaceae (15.4%).
Studies were performed in the summer of 1989 in the vicinity of the Polish Polar Station at Hornsund, Svalbard, in an attempt to characterize the functioning of selected tundra soils in terms of bioenergetics. The intensity of bioenergetical processes in the soil was evaluated by the rates of O2 consumption and CO2 production, measured in the laboratory under controlled hydrothermic conditions. Soils metabolic processes are markedly correlated with soil water content and dependent upon soil structure, water capacity and character of plant cover. The strongest correlation was observed in the more aerated soils with small water capacity and without vegetation. The respiratory quotient (RQ) decreased with the growth of soil moisture content. Soil metabolic activity began directly after the summer melting of the ground, when the soil temperature reached 0°C, and ceased in autumn, when temperatures fell below 0°C again.
The thermal state of permafrost is a crucial indicator of environmental changes occurring in the Arctic. The monitoring of ground temperatures in Svalbard has been carried out in instrumented boreholes, although only few are deeper than 10 m and none are located in southern part of Spitsbergen. Only one of them, Janssonhaugen, located in central part of the island, provides the ground temperature data down to 100 m. Recent studies have proved that significant warming of the ground surface temperatures, observed especially in the last three decades, can be detected not only just few meters below the surface, but reaches much deeper layers. The aim of this paper is evaluation of the permafrost state in the vicinity of the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund using the numerical heat transfer model CryoGrid 2. The model is calibrated with ground temperature data collected from a 2 m deep borehole established in 2013 and then validated with data from the period 1990-2014 from five depths up to 1 m, measured routinely at the Hornsund meteorological station. The study estimates modelled ground thermal profile down to 100 m in depth and presents the evolution of the ground thermal regime in the last 25 years. The simulated subsurface temperature trumpet shows that multiannual variability in that period can reach 25 m in depth. The changes of the ground thermal regime correspond to an increasing trend of air temperatures observed in Hornsund and general warming across Svalbard.
This paper presents a detailed study of melting processes conducted on Hansbreen - a tidewater glacier terminating in the Hornsund fjord, Spitsbergen. The fieldwork was carried out from April to July 2010. The study included observations of meltwater distribution within snow profiles in different locations and determination of its penetration time to the glacier ice surface. In addition, the variability of the snow temperature and heat transfer within the snow cover were measured. The main objective concerns the impact of meltwater on the diversity of physical characteristics of the snow cover and its melting dynamics. The obtained results indicate a time delay between the beginning of the melting processes and meltwater reaching the ice surface. The time necessary for meltwater to percolate through the entire snowpack in both, the ablation zone and the equilibrium line zone amounted to c. 12 days, despite a much greater snow depth at the upper site. An elongated retention of meltwater in the lower part of the glacier was caused by a higher amount of icy layers (ice formations and melt-freeze crusts), resulting from winter thaws, which delayed water penetration. For this reason, a reconstruction of rain-on-snow events was carried out. Such results give new insight into the processes of the reactivation of the glacier drainage system and the release of freshwater into the sea after the winter period.
The thermal, anemometric and bioclimatic conditions on the topoclimatic scale were investigated in the summer season in the EbbaValley region in central Spitsbergen. Eight measurement sites, representing different ecosystems and different types of active surfaces typical of Spitsbergen, were chosen and automatic, hourly recorded, measurements were per− formed at the sites between 11 and 25 of July 2009. The analysis of the spatial distribution of the air temperature and thewind−chill temperature, both for the dayswith radiation and non−ra− diation weather, indicates that the most favorable regions in the interior of Spitsbergen are those situated in the shielded central parts of the valleys and in the lower parts of the slopes with southern exposure. The thermal and wind conditions are definitely less favorable at the tops of elevations and on the glacier. Large differences between the air temperature and the wind−chill temperature were noted, particularly during the unfavorable non−radiation weather, on the glacier and on open peaks due to a large horizontal and vertical wind−chill temperature gradient. The thermal inversions observed in the Ebba Valley in July 2009 were not of the typi− cal, glacier katabatic wind origin. They appeared during the western air circulation, which brings advection of cooled air from above the cold waters of Petunia Bay. The cold air pene− trates into the valley and pushes upwards themass of warmer air in the valley, creating a rather thin inversion layer, whose upper edge is marked with thin Stratus clouds.
A 6 km long stretch of the coast of Calypsostranda between Skilvika and Josephbukta, situated on the western side of Recherchefjorden, was investigated. It is made of an accumulative marine terrace at a height of 2–8 m a.s.l. (terrace 1) and width of 40–180 m, divided by a cliffed section in the frontal moraines of Renardbreen. From the character and intensity of changes, the area was divided into 6 zones. The aim was to analyse the dynamics of changes within coastal zone from 1936 to 2007 and to characterise the influence of various morphogenetic factors (marine, fluvial, cryospheric). The important element of this study has been to determine sources and directions of sediment transport. The dynamics of changes of coastal zone in the Calypsostranda region was established from archival maps and precise GPS measurements for the periods: 1936–1960, 1960–1990, 1990–2000, 2000–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007. Comparing the extension of shoreline between 1936 and 2007 showed that there was more erosion than accumulation. Nearly 110 000 m 2 of the area of terrace 1 decreased, whereas about 77 000 m 2 appeared. The net balance for 1936–2007 was about −32 700 m 2 , on average over the whole length of the shoreline, it re − treated by 5.7 m (0.08 m a −1 ). The cease of sediment delivery in the extramarginal sandur fans area of Renardbreen caused intensification of marine processes, that made the shore − line retreat by over 100 m. Continuing sediment delivery from the Scottelva catchment, with contribution of material from erosion of the north end of the shoreline studies, caused the aggradation of coastal zone by over 60 m near its mouth.
Hornsund and Kongsfjorden are two similar-sized Arctic fjords on the West coast of Spitsbergen. They are influenced by cold coastal Arctic water (Hornsund) and warmer Atlantic water (Kongsfjorden). Environmental conditions affect the timing, quantity, spatial distribution (horizontal and vertical) of spring and summer blooms of protists as well as the taxonomic composition of those assemblages. Here, we compile published data and unpublished own measurement from the past two decades to compare the environmental factors and primary production in two fjord systems. Kongsfjorden is characterized by a deeper euphotic zone, higher biomass and greater proportion of autotrophic species. Hornsund seems to obtain more nutrients due to the extensive seabird colonies and exhibits higher turbidity compared to Kongsfjorden. The annual primary production in the analysed fjords ranges from 48 g C m-2 y-1 in Kongsfjorden to 216 g C m-2 y-1 in Hornsund, with a dominant component of microplankton (90%) followed by macrophytes and microphytobenthos.
Lacydonia (Polychaeta: Phyllodocida) is a poorly known genus containing 16 species that are sporadically collected in low densities all over the world oceans. During three cruises (in June 2014 in Ullsfjorden, northern Norway, in January 2015 in Kongsfjorden, and in June 2012 in Smeerenburg, Svalbard) nine specimens of Lacydonia eliasoni were found on sandy and muddy sediments at depths from 180 to 350 m. All specimens were incomplete and consisted of 10 to 29 chaetigers. This study presents the first record of the Lacydonia genus in the waters of Svalbard as well as the first record of L. eliasoni in coastal waters off northern Norway. This species has been reported previously in the Skagerrak and Trondheimsfjorden (southern Norway), our findings therefore may indicate a northward extension of its range, possibly due to climate changes.
Hornsund, an Arctic fjord in the west coast of Spitsbergen (Svalbard), was selected as All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) site under EU 5th Framework Concerted Action BIOMARE (2000–2002), especially due to its pristine, undisturbed natural character. On the base of large material (89 stations located throughout the fjord and 129 Van Veen grab samples) collected during cruises of RV Oceania in July in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and literature search a comprehensive list of species recorded within Hornsund area, on the soft bottom with depth range of 30–250 m is provided. Over 220 species were identified including 93 species of Polychaeta, 62 species of Mollusca and 58 species of Crustacea. Species list is supported by information on the zoogeographical status, body length and biological traits of dominant species. Need for further research on Hornsund soft bottom fauna with more sampling effort is highlighted.
Palaeomagnetic−petrographic−structural analyses of Proterozoic–Lower Palaeozoic metamorphosed carbonates from 12 locations within Oscar II Land (Western Spitsbergen) have been carried out to determine their usefulness in palaeogeographic reconstructions for Caledonian time. Structural analyses confirm that metacarbonates record several stages of deformation: D1, D2 ductile phases related to Caledonian metamorphism and a D3 brittle phase related to Late Cretaceous–Paleogene evolution of the West Spitsbergen Fold Belt. The latter is represented by thrust faults, localized folds with strain slip cleavages and late extensional collapse. Petrographic investigations reveal that Caledonian greenschist facies metamorphism was characterized by the high activity of H 2 O−CO 2 −rich fluids which promoted extensive recrystallization and within−rock spatial reorganization of sampled meta carbonates. Microscopic, SEM and microprobe analyses exclude the existence of any primary pre−metamorphic ferromagnetic minerals (primary−related to sedimentation and or early diagenesis) and point to metamorphic 4C superstructure (Fe 7 S 8 ) pyrrhotite as the main ferromagnetic carrier in investigated rocks. This is confirmed by the three−component isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) procedures and the results of thermal demagnetizations. In 12 sites a total number of 72 independently oriented palaeomagnetic samples were collected from which 181 specimens were drilled and thermally demagnetized. Sampled metacarbonates are weakly magnetized (NRM <0.2mA/m). The statistically significant palaeomagnetic results were achieved only from 1 of 12 investigated sites. In one site situated in the Western overturned limb of the Holmesletfjellet Syncline intermediate unblocking temperatures – “pyrrhotite related” component WTSJ5M superimposed on the S1 Caledonian schistosity was recognized (D = 100.7 ° , I = −21.4 °a 95% = 5.5 ° , k = 58.23). Coincidence of WTSJ5M with Silurian–Devonian sector of the Baltica reference path after unfolding of the syncline by the angle of 130 ° suggests synfolding origin of this direction. Further, this suggests that Holmesletfjellet Syncline originated as an open fold and has been transformed into an overturned syncline during the Late Caledonian shortening or in the Late Cretaceous–Palaeogene time.