The paper presents the first physicochemical and microbiological studies conducted in the northern area of Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Ten sediment samples were collected from the bottom of the longest fjord in the region, Wijdef jorden. Bottom sediments from ten lakes located along the shores of Wijdefjorden and Woodfjorden were also sampled. Organic matter content (LOI), water content, temperature, pH, and salinity of the sediments were determined. The quantity of aerobic bacteria cultured on various growth media at 4 ° C, 14 ° C, and 37 ° C ranged from 10 2 to 10 6 cfu/g of wet sediment mass, depending on the type of sampling station (fjord or lake). The number of bacteria did not co rrelate with organic matter content. Out of the 37 bacterial strains isolated from Wijdefjorden, 48% and 70% revealed ureolytic and proteolytic activity, respectively. The proportion of freshwater strains with ureolytic and proteolytic activity was 32% and 55%, respectively. Antibiotic resistance testing indicated that bacterial strains from the bottom sediments of the lakes were resistant to 8 antibiotics (out of the 18 investigated). Possible sources of this resistance are discussed. Using 16S DNA analysis, bacterial isolates from the lakes were identified as Pseudomonas sp., whereas frequently occurring strains in bottom sediment of the fjord were Pseudoalteromonas sp.
An early Permian (late Artinskian–Roadian) cladid crinoid (Catacrinidae gen. et sp. indet.) is reported for the first time from the V ø ringen Member of the Kapp Starostin Formation of Spitsbergen. The specimen is partly articulated and preserves a considerable part of its stalk and a complete cup, but only the proximal portions of its arms. Thus, it cannot be identified with any degree of certainty at the generic level. Despite this, our finding is important as it constitutes one of the youngest records of catacrinid crinoids to date and considerably extends the palaeogeographic distribution of this group.
Suspended matter, phytoplankton and light attenuation were investigated in various North East Greenland, Svalbard and Siberian river mouths in 1992-1994. The amount of mineral suspensions well correlated with freshwater discharge in the case of tidal glacier bays, while such correlation in Siberian rivers and pack ice meltwater was not found. Freshwater phytoplankton species were found in Siberian estuaries only and in two other ecosystems marine and ice phytoplankton species prevailed. The light attenuation connected with freshwater discharge seems to be a key factor limiting primary production in coastal Actic waters in the summer. The amount of glacial suspensions well correlated with the salinity drop in the case of Svalbard, while Siberian river estuaries produced very turbid waters with the suspension loads not correlated to freshwater or depth.
Starostinella nordica gen. et sp. n. is described from the uppermost Permian (Kapp Starostin Formation) of the Kapp Starostin (Isfjorden) in West Spitsbergen. The new genus is attributed to Trachypsammiidae Gerth - a family incertae sedis among Cnidaria. Members of the Trachypsammiidae have been previously associated with different higher rank taxa within the Cnidaria, or their skeletons were interpreted as a result of symbiosis of a cladochonoidal organism (Tabulata) with an indeterminate hydroid or stromatoporoid. S. nordica gen. et sp. n. seems to support the latter assumption. Hydrocoralla of S. nordica have a simpler structure than those of other Trachypsammiidae and are branching like those of Cladochonus. Their thick-walled, horn-shaped hydrocorallites are surrounded with a very thick cortical zone of sclerenchyme organized into trabecular microstructure. The proper corallite wall is fibro-radial in structure, sharply distinct from the outer cortical zone.
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.
Research on permafrost in the Abisko area of northern Sweden date from the 1950s. A mean annual air temperature of −3°C in the Abisko mountains (i.e. 1000 m a.s.l.) and −1°C beyond the mountain area at an altitude of around 400m suggests that both moun− tain and arctic permafrost occur there. Several geophysical surveys were performed by means of resistivity tomography (ERT) and electromagnetic mapping (EM). Wherever pos− sible the geophysical survey results were calibrated by digging tests pits. The results show that permafrost occurs extensively in the mountain areas, especially those above 900m a.s.l. and also sporadically at lower altitudes. At 400 m a.s.l. permafrost may be up to 30 m thick. Its thickness and extent are determined largely by the very variable local rock and soil con− ditions. Fossil permafrost is also likely to occur in this area.
The results and method of measurements of D, H and T carried out at Hornsund in the summer of 1979 are presented. The relative and absolute values of these elements are given in reduction to the Polish magnetic station at Hornsund. An initial evaluation of changes in the magnetic field from 1957 to 1979 is carried out.
This paper gives the daily values of chosen meteorological elements measured at the Polar Station of the Polish Academy of Sciences at Hornsund, during the Vlth Expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences to Spitsbergen. The tables give average daily values of air temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloud amount and wind speed, daily amounts of precipitation and bright sunshine, extreme temperature values, maximum instantaneous wind speed and snow cover thickness for all the days in the period under study.
Quaternary sediments in the southwestern Nordenskiöld Land are described with particular emphasis put on distribution of erratics against their basset matrices. Results confirm previous suppositions on directions of past glacial advances from east westwards. The latter separated by sea submergences, caused translocations of the rock material. This process was most intensive in upstreams of large mountain valleys.
Benthic gastropods (45 taxa) inhabiting 11 coastal areas of South-West Svalbard are listed. The dominant species are indicated; frequency of occurrence of various gastropods in different areas is discussed.
The dynamics of some features of arctic soils and their connection with air-water relations are presented. Investigations of 5 selected profiles were carried out in 1987. Considerable dynamics of moisture, redox potential (Eh) and oxygen diffusion rate (ODR) during the summer season were confirmed. Oscillations of these features in individual profiles and sometimes in their horizons were distinguished.
Landforms of aeolian origin from western Sörkapp Land, Spitsbergen, are described. Development of aeolian hillocks, sand banks and drifts as well as of aeolian covers on marine beaches and permafrost hillocks is discussed in connection with conditions of transport and deposition. Horizons of fossil organic matter found in some forms prove their persistence.
The paper describes the communities of laminarians and their macrofauna at the western coasts of Spitsbergen. The following aspects are considered: specific composition of fauna, spatial distribution of animals within the algae, trophic structure of fauna associated with the laminarians. Some zoogeographic remarks are included.
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.
This paper presents the results of magnetic mapping carried out in the area of the metamorphic series of Ariekammen and Skoddefjellet. On the basis of qualitative interpretation of measurements a number of anomalous zones were distinguished, whose position can be correlated with local changes in mineralitation and polymetallic ore content in the Fuglebergsletta area. The SE-NW orientation, skew to the almost meridional run of the layers of slates and marbles making up the metamorphic complex, dominates in the course of the anomalous zones.
The paper presents the method and results of measurements carried out at four secular points: P, — Wilczekodden, P2 — Hyttevika, P3 — Gashamna and P4 — Treskelodden. No essential changes were found in the distribution of the anomalous field ΔT with respect to the results of observations made in 1979.
On the basis of selected mean monthly climatic elements from the 5-year period of whole-year expedition of the Polish Academy of Sciences to Spitsbergen climatic conditions in Hornsund are presented. Thermal seasons of year have been distinguished and the weather course in the annual cycle is discussed.
This paper presents the results of geomorphological investigations in the area of Ebba Glacier. A granulometric characteristic is presented of some types of deposits localised both within the glacier and in its forefiels. Some complexes of glacial forms were distinguished, on the basis of which an attempt was made to establish the chronology of events responsible for the development of Ebba Valley. Their preliminary analysis permitted the hypothesis of the Wiirm glaciation of the valley and of the four — fold advancement of Holocene glaciers to be set.
Seismic refraction studies on Central Spitsbergen have shown that there is the fault systems with north-south strike directions, which divide the crust into western, central and eastern blocks. Thickness of the crust in this area varies from 35 to 40 km. Interpretation and modelling of seismic refraction data indicate that the Moho boundary beneath the Central Spitsbergen Basin is a complicated transition zone between crust and upper mantle with the thickness of about 5 km.
An analysis of seismic shocks from the Heer Land and the Nordaustlandet was made (shocks recorded by the Hornsund seismological station). Kinematic models and synthetic seismograms were constructed. A system of horizontal discontinuities located in the upper mantle was assumed. A good agreement between observational data from the seismograms and theoretical results was obtained.
On the ground of results obtained by the seismoacoustic profiling carried out in 1985 and primary examination of core samples the following main seismoacoustic units are distinguished and characterized: unit A — bedrock, unit B — till and/or compacted glaciomarine deposit, unit C — glaciomarine ice-front deposit, unit D — glaciomarine mud. These results enabled to present the distribution of seismoacoustic units along the fiord and its extension on the shelf, as well as to determine a relation of bottom structures to Late Vistulian(?) deglaciation and the action of Holocene tributary glaciers, probably during the Little Ice Age. The position of marginal structures corresponding to local retreat stages of the glacier front is also presented.
In Northwestern and Central Spitsbergen geomorphological and botanical data were collected on slope deposits associated with infrequent meteorological events. In hillslope debris flows triggered by heavy rainfall, compact volumes of debris range from 1 to 600 m3 . Recurrence intervals of major episodes are tentatively estimated from lichenometry at 80 to 500 years. Such debris flows are widespread in Spitsbergen and induce conspicuous geomorphological effects. Nevertheless, typical levees and lobes are small-sized because of the thinness of permafrost and they rarely survive more than one century. In contrast, catastrophic slush avalanches mobilize 1300 to 7000 m3 of rock debris every 500 years, forming long boulder tongues and fans. Such accumulations can been observed in much more restricted sites. In Central Spitsbergen at least three generations of slush avalanche deposits have been identified and lichenometry suggests that such boulder tongues survive for at least 2000 years. So the geomorphic impact of sporadic slush avalanches appears much more important than the effects of recurrent spring snow avalanches which do not generate original and long-lasting landforms. Botanical studies show that investigations of saxicolous lichen communities allow more reliable chronological reconstructions than observations of phanerogamic and bryophytic vegetation cover. Rhizocarpon diameters are partly interpreted from growth curves from Baffin Island and North Alaska. The results will be refined when a curve is published for Spitsbergen. Nevertheless, recurrence intervals proposed here seem to be consistent and are fruitfully compared with previous evaluations from Swedish Lappland and Colorado.
Studies of Quaternary sediments of South Spitsbergen (Hornsund, Bellsund and northern Billefjorden regions) focus on their occurrence, origin and chronostratigraphy. Methods and results of geological mapping are described. Glacial, glaciofluvial, glaciolacustrine and aeolian sedimentary environments, rock glaciers, taluses and raised marine beaches are presented. Mutual relations of these sediments as well as their radiocarbon and thermoluminescence datings made chronostratigraphy of Late Quaternary glacial episodes possible. Results of preliminary neotectonic studies are also presented, the same as works on periglacial phenomena, chemical weathering and tundra vegetation. Key significance of the studies for the Quaternary evolution of the Arctic and for better recognition of geodynamic phenomena of Pleistocene glaciations in Poland (Tatra and Sudeten Mts included) is underlined.
Permanent renewal of measurements of phenomena occuring on Earth sufrace — the main task of geodesy and cartography — is the important element of geodynamic studies of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Insitute of Geodesy and Cartography participates in the program of research led by Polish Academy of Sciences for over 10 years, using conventional geodetic methods, as well as new types of data, acquired from satellite observations and through remote sensing techniques. This activity is evidenced by setting-up astronomical main points close to Hornsund Station in 1958, as well as at Arctowski Station in 1976, where cyclic astronomical and satellite measurements were performed on these points. Geodynamic test site was organized in the Hornsund Region. As a result of these works numerous topographic and thematic maps were produced and many scientific publications were prepared by Institute specialists.