Studies on the thermics, humidity and refreezing rate of two types of periglacial soils of the marine lowlands of the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen) were carried out during spring ablation of the snow cover (1.06.—30.06.1987). Structural soil and peat soil (moss community) were chosen. The soils were studied in places almost completely devoid of the snow cover. A considerable differentiation of temperature in vertical profile and of humidity of surface layer in both soils were found. The dynamics of ground water table and the course and depth of spring refreezing of both soils were also different. The differences reflect the different origin of soils and consequently, their different grain-size distribution, physical properties and morphology of both types of soils as well as their water balance.
Research in Hornsund (SW Spitsbergen) aimed to determine time distribution of heat flux in various soils of Arctic periglacial zone in spring and summer. Typical soils were analysed: tundra gleyey cryogenic soil (Pergelic Cryaquent), tundra peaty soil (Pergelic Histosot) and arctic desert soil (Pergelic Cryorthent). Research sites were located in low plains not covered with ice, near a sea, at 7—13 m a.s.l. Heat flux in soils was measured and recorded automatically every 60 s throughout a whole observation period and concurrently at three sites. In spring and summer intensive heat accumulation was observed in all examined soils. Independently on the weather, a cryogenic gleyey soil received greatest heat throughout a day. Environmental conditions have distinct influence on heat resources in soils.