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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

Spatial differentiation of temperature and relative humidity of air on western coast of Spitsbergen in 1979—1983 is presented. Applying the author's classification of types of atmospheric circulation in the studied area, its influence on distribution of these elements is shown. Air temperature in the area is related more to the degree of climate continentality than to its latitude. The lowest mean 5—year temperatures were calculated for stations with highest degrees of thermic continentality (Svea Gruber and Svalbard Lufthavn). The highest thermic differentiation occurs from November to March (1 —4°C) and the lowest in May—June and August—October (0.0— 1.5°C). It is opposite if relative humidity is concerned: the highest differences occur in summer (10—15%) and the lowest in winter (0—9%). Influence of atmospheric circulation on air temperature is larger during a polar night than a polar day. Again, it is opposite in the case of relative humidity. In both analyzed seasons the highest thermic differentiation occurred at the circulation type Ca. However, it was the lowest during a polar night at advection of air from northern and southern sectors, and during a polar day at advection from a northern sector and at the type Cc.
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