Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

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Polish Polar Research | 2012 | No 1 |

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Abstract

Neoproterozoic ( c. 640 Ma) amphibolite facies metamorphism and deformation have been shown recently to have affected the Isbj ø rnhamna and Eimfjellet Complex of Wedel Jarlsberg Land in southwestern Spitsbergen. New SHRIMP zircon U−Pb and in situ electron microprobe monazite and uraninite U−Th−total Pb ages are presented here on a pegmatite occurring within the Isbj ø rnhamna metasedimentary rocks. Although the dated zircons are full of inclusions, have high−U contents and are metamict and hence have experienced notable Pb−loss, the new Cryogenian ages are consistent with the age of regional metamorphism of the host metasediments, providing additional evidence for a clear distinction of the Southwestern Province from the other parts of the Svalbard Caledonides.
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Authors and Affiliations

Jarosław Majka
Alexander N. Larionov
David G. Gee
Jerzy Czerny
Jaroslav Pršek
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Abstract

The coreless winters ( i.e. not having a cold core) were distinguished in four stations within the European sector of the Arctic. Anomalies of the frequency of the Niedźwiedź’s (2011) circulation types were calculated separately for the mid−winter warm months and for cold months preceding and following the warm−spells. Furthermore, composite and anomaly maps of the sea level pressure as s well as anomaly maps of the air temperature at 850 gpm (geopotential meters) were constructed separately for the mid−winter warm events and for the cold months before and after warming. Different pressure patterns were recognized among the days of mid−winter warm spells, using the clustering method. The occurrence of coreless winters in the study area seems to be highly controlled by the position, extension and intensity of large scale atmospheric systems, mainly the Icelandic Low. When the Low spreads to the east and its centre locates over the Barents Sea the inflow of air masses from the northern quadrant is observed over the North Atlantic. This brings cold air of Arctic origin to the islands and causes an essential drop in the air temperature. Such situation takes place during the cold months preceding and following the warm mid−winter events. During the warm spells the Icelandic Low gets deeper−than−usual and it is pushed to the northeast, which contributes to the air inflow from the southern quadrant.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Bednorz
Krzysztof Fortuniak
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Abstract

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.
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Authors and Affiliations

Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz
Torstein Solhøy
Stephen J. Coulson
Natalia V. Lebedeva
Elena N. Melekhina
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Abstract

New evidence of Eocene preglacial environments has been found on the southern coast of Ezcurra Inlet on King George Island, South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica. Plant remains (trunks, leaves, detritus) and carbonaceous seams and beds occur in sedimentary strata in a 4 km long Cytadela outcrop of the Point Thomas Formation. They are an evidence for the presence and diversity of terrestrial vegetation in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region. The forests were composed mostly of Podocarpaceae– Araucaria – Nothofagus , with an undergrowth of hygrophilous and thermophilous ferns, and grew on volcanic slopes and surrounding lowland areas of King George Island during breaks in volcanic activity. The succession that crops out at Cytadela provides a record of changing climatic conditions from a warm and wet climate with extensive vegetation to a much drier climate with limited vegetation and ubiquitous weathering of volcanic bedrock. The geochemical indices of weathering (CIA, PIA and CIW) have narrow and relatively high value ranges (76–88), suggesting moderate to high chemical weathering under warm and humid climate conditions. The decrease in humidity and the decline in plant life through the succession can be related to the gradually cooling climate preceding development of the Oligocene ice cover across the Antarctic continent.
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Authors and Affiliations

Anna Mozer
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Abstract

Poa annua L. is the only non−native vascular plant that was successfully established in the maritime Antarctic. This project aimed to determine the amount of genetic and epigenetic variation within and between two populations of P. annua , one from South Shetland Is. (Antarctic) and the other one from Central Europe. We applied two AFLP marker systems, using endonucleases that recognised the same restriction site but differed in their sensitivity towards methylation. The Antarctic population differed from the Polish one both at the genetic and epigenetic levels. Genetic variability in the Antarctic population was lower than in the Polish one. Some loci in the Antarctic population showed signs of selection. The difference between Polish and Antarctic populations might be due to a weak bottleneck effect followed by population expansion. Using only epigenetic markers, the Ant − arctic population exhibited increased variation level compared to the Polish one. These may have resulted from plastic responses to environmental factors and could be associated with survival in extreme conditions.
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Authors and Affiliations

Katarzyna J. Chwedorzewska
Piotr B. Bednarek
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Abstract

A new genus and species of heteronemertean from the Antarctic (Bellingshausen Sea), Oligodendrorhynchus hesperides , is described and illustrated. Some morphological features with major systematic significance are following: the mode of branching of the proboscis and its low number of terminal branches; the lack of horizontal lateral cephalic slits but in their place a pair of shallow epidermal depressions; a gelatinous amorphous connective stratum between the outer longitudinal and circular muscle layers; the presence of a rhynchocoelic nerve; isolated fibres of the rhynchocoel circular muscle layer interwoven with bundles of the adjacent body−wall inner longitudinal muscle fibres in the intestinal region. Other anatomical characters which can also be used to distinguish the new taxon from existing heteronemertean species that have a branched proboscis are also discussed.
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Authors and Affiliations

Fernando Ángel Fernández-Alvarez
Nuria Anadón
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Abstract

A comparison between the levels of infection with Acanthocephala of the fish Notothenia coriiceps in Admiralty Bay (South Shetland Islands, Antarctic) in 1978/79 and 2007/08 is presented. The same eight acanthocephalan species, three echinorhynchids maturing in fish, Aspersentis megarhynchus (dominant species), Metacanthocephalus johnstoni (subdominant species) and M. dalmori (common species), and five polymorphids maturing in mammals and birds, Corynosoma hamanni , C. pseudohamanni (both co−dominant species), C. arctocephali and C. bullosum (both common species), and C. shackletoni (rare species), were found. Echinorhynchids were more numerous in 2007/08 (mean abundance 46.54 versus 35.35 in 1978/79), whereas polymorphids more numerous in 1978/79 (mean abundance 74.35 versus 36.40 in 2007/08). The overall results therefore demonstrated that echinorhynchids were more numerous than polymorphids in 2007/08 and the reverse was true in 1978/79. This situation is dependent mainly upon the decreased infections with C. hamanni , C. pseudohamanni and C. bullosum , and to a lesser degree upon the increasing of infections with M. johnstoni . The decrease of the three Corynosoma spp. is possibly associated with the decreasing of populations of final hosts, seals, on the shore of Admiralty Bay in the vicinity of Arctowski Station.
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Authors and Affiliations

Małgorzata Korczak-Abshire
Krzysztof Zdzitowiecki
Zdzisław Laskowski

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