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The network of observations of SR phenomena consists of 3 points: Hornsund (Svalbard), Belsk (Poland), Nagycenk (Hungary). The data from this network are used for scientific analysis.
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.
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.
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 (www.stacja.arktyka.com), 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.
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.
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.
Station realizes optical active remote sensing using multiwavelength elastic and Raman scattering lidar. It gives a view to the atmospheric stratification and aerosol concentration. By spatial and time localization of the higher aerosol concentration evidence there is possible determination of source of aerosol origin using HYSPLIT backward trajectory model. Station is also member of AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) within NASA and performing observation of solar radiation for determination of atmospheric optical properties.