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.
Chlorophyll α, phytoplankton, suspensions and zooplankton beneath the fast ice have been studied in Spitsbergen fjords (Hornsund, Bellsund, Sassenfjord, Gronfjord and Kongsfjord) in 1982, 1984/85,1987 and 1988. Observations on ice associated Polar cod and wildlife have been collected simultaneously. There were no typical sympagic communities observed at the West Spitsbergen fast ice. Exception was spring 1982 and 1988 when drifting ice from Barents Sea contributed to the fjords fauna. Fast ice on the investigated fjords was poor in adjacent zooplankton (biomass below 0.06 g/m3). Ice phytoplankton reflects the autumn situation and no specific communities of algae have been found. Chlorophyll α amount and organic sedimentation from ice and from the adjacent water were very similar (0.4 to 1.7 mg/m3 chlorophyll and 8 to 10 g d.w./m2/day sedimenling matter). The diet of Polar cod reflected the food items occurrence, Calanus has been the most common food. N o specific concentration of seabirds have been observed at fjords ice.
The zooplankton community structure was studied in the Svalbard area at three shelf stations: Billefjorden, Kongsfjorden and Hinlopen (Spitsbergen shelf area), and at two open water stations: Ice West and Ice East (north of Spitsbergen, in the Arctic Ocean). Two different plankton nets WP-2 and WP-3 were used to collect a size range of zooplankton. The Bray-Curtis similarity analysis showed differences between sampling stations based on total zooplankton abundance, species composition, and comparison of Calanus spp. development. Total abundance was the highest in Kongsfjorden and Hinlopen. The small omnivorous copepod Oithona similis Claus, 1863 was the dominating species at all localities and the Atlantic copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus, 1765) was found at all stations. Calanus spp. development was delayed at the ice stations when compared to the shelf stations. Results are discussed in relation to differences in environmental factors among stations.
Zooplankton was investigated at fixed site in 24 hours in Kongsfjorden, a glacial fjord situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) (79°N, 12°E), in order to unveil the level of diurnal variability in community composition and abundance. Parallel to zooplankton study water temperature and salinity were measured while information on local tides and winds was obtained from external sources. Observed changes did not exceed the range of variability regarded intrinsic, resulting from the nature of plankton. Because of this low variability we are of the opinion that the data presented can be regarded a valid measure of the natural heterogeneity of zooplankton communities in hydrologically dynamic Arctic coastal waters in summer. The observed changes in zooplankton were primarily induced by the complex dynamics of the fjord’s water masses. In spite of importance of tidal forcing, the variability in zooplankton did not demonstrate similar temporal fluctuations due to modification of the water movement by other irregular forces (local wind). Also, we have not found any indication of diel vertical migration in coastal water in the Arctic under the condition of midnight sun.
The total numbers and biomass of bacterioplankton in two Arctic glacial fjords off west Spitsbergen were studied. Samples were collected from different water depth layers – from the surface to 80–90 m depth. Total bacterial number (TBN), biomass and morphological structure (shape of bacteria) were determined using the acridine orange direct count method. The highest values of TBN and biomass in the water column were found in Kongsfjorden in the stations adjacent to Kongsbreen Glacier, and the lowest values in the outer part of the Krossfjorden. The local maxima of bacterioplankton were observed in water layers around pycnocline. The morphological structure was similar in all samples – the bacteria were dominated by rods (over 65%), followed by cocci (16–20%) and vibrios (11–15%).
Fjords of West Spitsbergen are very dynamic in terms of hydrology. Here we tested whether the qualitative analysis of the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton may be useful as a fast method to assess the origin of the waters and whether it can give any additional information to hydrological data. Phytoplankton samples were collected along transects in Hornsund and Kongsfjord. Among total of 109 taxa identified, only 49 were common in both fjords. The assemblages in Hornsund implied that inflow of the cold waters of the Sřrkapp Current had occurred some time before samples collection, while in Kongsfjord the taxonomic composition was typical for the summer and did not show any recent, unusual hydrological phenomenon. Concluding, the method can be useful in the surveys in which hydrological data are collected infrequently.
Eleven species of cumaceans were found in 105 samples collected in Admiralty Bay (King George Island) in the summers of 1984/85 and 1985/86, from 20 to 500 m depth range. Four cumacean assemblages were distinguished using the multivariate analysis. They were characterized by the dominance of one or two species often with low density values. Two assemblages were found in open waters of Admiralty Bay. The first inhabited on sandy−clay−silt and silty−clay−sand bottom deposits in the depth range from 140 to 330 m, with Campylaspis maculata (1.6 ± 2.1 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 72.4%) and Leucon sp. (1.4 ± 1.6 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 68.9%) as key species. The second assemblage was found in the depth range from 50 to 120 m with silty−sand sediments, and it was characterized by the presence of Vauthompsonia inermis (6.5 ± 6.6 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 92.0%). A third assemblage was found in shallow waters influenced by glaciers in the bottom area of Ezcurra Inlet. It was characterized by sandy−clay−silt sediments and the presence of Eudorella splendida (14.6 ± 9.4 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 100.0%) as a core species. The last assemblage was found in the shallow sublittoral (50–100 m) of Ezcurra Inlet and the central basin, with Diastylis anderssoni armata (1.5 ± 1.1 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 85.7%) and Diastylopsis goekei (1.1 ± 1.0 ind./0.1m 2 ; F = 71.4%) as the most frequent and abundant species. V. inermis is considered a eurytopic species with high frequency in the whole material, and was present in all four distinguished assemblages. E. splendida and D. goekei were also recorded in each of the assemblages, but their total frequency was lower.
The environments of inlets, coves and lagoons varies widely. Climate warming has lead to retreat of glaciers directly entering the sea. In lagoons this is accompanied by exposure of an uncolonized substratum. Colonization processes in these lagoon appear to describe processes which have previously occurred in bays and fjords of glacial origin in the South Shetlands.
Intertidal zone of four gravel beaches in Hornsund Fjord (West Spitsbergen) were investigated in order to study macrofaunal distribution and diversity in these poor habitats. A total of 12 macrofaunal taxa were found in the collected material. The most frequent and the most abundant taxon was Lumbricillus sp. (Oligochaeta). The next most numerous group were juvenile Gammarus spp. juv. The fauna included also polychaetes, molluscs and other crustaceans. The diversity measured with Shannon-Weaver index was low and varied from 0 to 1.4. The analysis revealed that there were no statistically important differences in macrofaunal distribution among stations in fjord. However there were significant differences among various tidal mark zones and high patchiness in animals abundance at each station. Also species composition, density and biomass were diversified along the tide level profile.
This paper addresses the influence of land topography and cover on 3D radiative effects under cloudless skies in the Hornsund area, Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The authors used Monte Carlo simulations of solar radiation transfer over a heterogeneous surface to study the impact of a non-uniform surface on: (1) the spatial distribution of irradiance transmittance at the fjord surface under cloudless skies; (2) the spectral shortwave aerosol radiative forcing at the fjord surface; (3) normalized nadir radiance at the Top Of the Atmosphere (TOA) over the fjord. The modelled transmittances and radiances over the fjord are compared to the transmittances and radiances over the open ocean under the same conditions. The dependence of the 3D radiative effects on aerosol optical thickness, aerosol type, surface albedo distribution, solar azimuth and zenith angle and spectral channel is discussed. The analysis was done for channels 3 (459-479 nm) and 2 (841-876 nm) of the MODIS radiometer. In the simulations a flat water surface was assumed. The study shows that snow-covered land surrounding the fjord strongly modifies the radiation environment over the fjord surface. The enhancement of the mean irradiance transmittance over the fjord with respect to the open ocean is up to 0.06 for channel 3. The enhancement exceeds 0.11 in the vicinity of sunlit cliffs. The influence of the snow-covered land on the TOA radiance over the fjord in channel 3 is comparable to the impact of an increase in aerosol optical thickness of over 100%, and in lateral fjords of up to several hundred percent. The increase in TOA radiance is wavelength dependent. These effects may affect retrievals of aerosol optical thickness.
The Fleming Fjord Formation (Jameson Land, East Greenland) documents a diverse assemblage of terrestrial vertebrates of Late Triassic age. Expeditions from the turn of the 21st century have discovered many important fossils that form the basis of our current knowledge of Late Triassic Greenlandic faunas. However, due to the scarcity and incompleteness of the fossils and their insufficient study, our understanding of the taxonomic diversity of the Fleming Fjord Formation is hindered. Here, we report the preliminary findings of a Polish−Danish expedition to the Fleming Fjord Formation that took place in 2014. Three areas were visited – the fairly well known MacKnight Bjerg and Wood Bjerg and the virtually unexplored Liasryggen. MacKnigth Bjerg and Liasryggen yielded fossils which promise to significantly broaden our knowledge of vertebrate evolution in the Late Triassic. Stem−mammal remains were discovered at Liasryggen. Other fossils found at both sites include remains of actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, temnospondyl amphibians and various archosaurs (including early dinosaurs). Numerous vertebrate trace fossils, including coprolites, pseudosuchian footprints, theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur tracks, were also discovered. Newly discovered skeletal remains as well as abundant trace fossils indicate higher tetrapod diversity in the Late Triassic of Greenland than previously thought. Trace fossils also allow inferences of early theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur behaviour.
The buoyant hypopycnal flow of brackish water and suspended sediment transport and settling were studied in two sub-polar fjords: the glacial Kongsfjörden and the outwash (non-glacial contact) Adventfjörden, Svalbard . The data presented indicates faster water mixing on the tidal flat in comparison to the englacial runoff, which leads to faster horizontal density gradients decreases in the non-glaciated fjord. The fast settling of particles in the narrow zone of the steep slope at the edge of the tidal flat leads to the removal of 25% of the surface suspended sediment. The rapid settling is due to increasing salinity, decreasing velocity, and flocculation of fine particles. The fast settling of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the tidal flat area causes sediment redeposition and resuspension followed by sediment transport along the bottom with hyperpycnal flows. This leads to grain sorting in the fjord head. In contrast, at the glacier front, SPM is transported farther into the fjord, where tidal pumping and water mixing lead to the removal of 71% of total SPM. The fjords investigated represent two different sedimentological regimes. In the glaciated Kongsfjörden, the buoyant hypopycnal flow of brackish water is the main sediment transporting factor. In the non-glacial Adventfjörden, hyperpycnal flows transport sediment along the bottom.