Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2017 | vol. 38 | No 3 |

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Abstract

It is assumed that close to the margins of ice-sheets, glacial, fluvial and aeolian processes overlap, and combined with weathering processes, produce numerous sediments, in which quartz is a common mineral. Quartz grains, if available, may serve as a powerful tool in determining the depositional history, transportation mode and postdepositional processes. However, quartz grain studies in some modern glacial areas are still sparse. In this study, we examine for the first time quartz grains sampled from the modern glacial and proglacial environments of the Russell Glacier, southwest Greenland in binocular microscope and scanning electron microscope, to analyze their shape, character of surface and microtextures. We debate whether the investigated quartz grains reveal glacial characteristics and to what extent they carry a signal of another transportation and sedimentary processes. Although glacial fracturing and abrasion occur in grain suites, most mechanical origin features are not of a high frequency or freshness, potentially suggesting a reduced shear stress in the glacier from its limited thickness and influence of the pressurized water at the ice-bed. In contrast, the signal that originates from the fluvial environment is much stronger derived by numerous aqueous-induced features present on quartz grain surfaces. Aeolian-induced microtextures on grain surfaces increase among the samples the closest to the ice margin, which may be due to enhanced aeolian activity, but are practically absent in sediments taken from the small scale aeolian landforms. In contrast, aeolian grains have been found in the bigger-size (1.0-2.0 mm) investigated fraction. These grains gained the strongest aeolian abrasion, possibly due to changes in transportation mode.
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Authors and Affiliations

Edyta KALIŃSKA-NARTIŠA
Kristaps Lamsters
Jānis Karušs
Māris KRIEVĀNS
Agnis REČS
Raimonds Meija
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Abstract

The specific activity of natural gamma emitters like actinium (228Ac), bismuth (212Bi, 214Bi), lead (212Pb, 214Pb), potassium (40K), radium (224Ra), thallium (208Tl) and artificial radioisotope caesium (137Cs) was measured in 2005 in the surface layer of marine sediments in the northern Svalbard: Wijdefjorden, Woodfjorden, Vestfjorden and Bockfjorden as well as in the freshwater reservoirs in Andre Land. Nonuniform spatial distribution of these radionuclides was found. Sediment sample from Bockfjorden had the highest specific activities of all natural radionuclides. The specific radioactivity of 137Cs was much lower than specific radioactivities of natural radionuclides but there were differences between investigated locations. The distribution of 137Cs is similar to persistent organic pollutants of the lake sediments in the area.
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Authors and Affiliations

Barbara Wojtasik
Sławomir Świrydowicz
Dorota Burska
Kamil Nowiński
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Abstract

Background concentrations of main trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in pristine soils of the Beliy Island situated in the Kara Sea, Yamal autonomous region, North-West Siberia, Russia. Belyi Island is considered as reference landscpae for further investigation of soil polychemical contamination of the Yamal region. Three plots with different functional load (mature ecosystem, occasionally and permanently affected plots) were investigated with aim to evaluate the trend of long term polychemical effect on Stagnic Cryosols - benchmark soil type of the Yamal region. Accumulation of trace elements was not fixed in all soils investigated due to absence of direct sources of heavy metals on the territory of the Beliy Island. At the same time, there were essential alterations of PAHs fractional composition and content due to pronounced accumulation of the petroleum products combustion in the vicinity of the permanent meteorological station and former seasonal field base. The most intensive and statistically significant accumulation was noted for phenanthrene, anthracene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene. This indicates accumulation of the PAHs in soils, affected by the anthropogenic activity on the meteorological station. The most pronounced differences were revealed for the superficial layer of 0-5 cm. Deeper horizons of soil did not show accumulation of contaminants. Data obtained can be used for organization of further monitoring of contamination of soils and landscapes in Yamal as developing and industrial region.
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Authors and Affiliations

Evgeny Abakumov
Georgy Shamilishviliy
Andrey Yurtaev
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Abstract

This article analyses the conditions affecting the incoming global solar radiation in Hornsund (Spitsbergen) in spring of 2015. Incoming solar radiation turned out to be average for the season under analysis, as compared with longer-term data. The clearness index (KT) was 0.46, and was mainly determined by the extent of cloudiness. As a result of differences in the length of day, sunshine duration in May was greater than in April. Incoming solar radiation to the earth's surface is also affected by the atmospheric optical properties. The average value of aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm in Hornsund in spring of 2015 was 0.087. In the analysed period, increased values of AOD at 500 nm (up to 0.143) were observed, although these are not record values. Over April and May, the greatest part of optical depth was comprised of anthropogenic aerosols (41%), followed by marine aerosols (26%), desert dust (21%) and biomass-burning aerosols (12%). This indicates the significant role of the anthropogenic factor in the climatic conditions of Spitsbergen.
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Authors and Affiliations

Joanna Uscka-Kowalkowska
Rajmund Przybylak
Krzysztof M. Markowicz
Andrzej Araźny
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Abstract

Hornsund and Kongsfjorden are two similar-sized Arctic fjords on the West coast of Spitsbergen. They are influenced by cold coastal Arctic water (Hornsund) and warmer Atlantic water (Kongsfjorden). Environmental conditions affect the timing, quantity, spatial distribution (horizontal and vertical) of spring and summer blooms of protists as well as the taxonomic composition of those assemblages. Here, we compile published data and unpublished own measurement from the past two decades to compare the environmental factors and primary production in two fjord systems. Kongsfjorden is characterized by a deeper euphotic zone, higher biomass and greater proportion of autotrophic species. Hornsund seems to obtain more nutrients due to the extensive seabird colonies and exhibits higher turbidity compared to Kongsfjorden. The annual primary production in the analysed fjords ranges from 48 g C m-2 y-1 in Kongsfjorden to 216 g C m-2 y-1 in Hornsund, with a dominant component of microplankton (90%) followed by macrophytes and microphytobenthos.
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Authors and Affiliations

Zofia T. Smoła
Agnieszka Tatarek
Józef M. Wiktor
Józef M.W. Wiktor
Anna Kubiszyn
Jan M. Węsławski
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Abstract

Phytoplankton composition plays a major role in biogeochemical cycles of the ocean. The intensity of carbon fixation and export is strongly dependent on the phytoplankton community. Yet, the contribution of different types of phytoplankton to the total production on various communities is still poorly understood in the Indian Ocean sector of Southern Ocean (SO). Therefore the variability of chlorophyll- A (Chl-a) and diatoms in the frontal ecosystems of the Indian sector of SO have been investigated along with the sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface wind (SSW), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and nutrients datasets for the period of 1998-2012. Combined analysis of in-situ, model and satellite observations indicate that the variability of Chl- A and diatoms were primarily influenced by light and wind. The Chl- A was higher at the sub-Antarctic front (SAF) followed by the sub-tropical front (STF) and the polar front (PF). The diatom concentration was higher at the SAF followed by the PF and STF. Maximum concentration of Chl- A and diatoms commonly observed at the SAF region are probably due to the moderate PAR, SST and wind. Dominance of diatoms at the PF may be attributed to their adaptability for low light conditions. The results from this study in the frontal ecosystems would help to understand the biogeochemical cycle of the Indian sector of the SO.
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Authors and Affiliations

Mishra Rajani Kanta
Jena Babula
Narayana Pillai Anilkumar
Naik Ravidas Krishna
Parli Venkateswaran Bhaskar
Melena A. Soares
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Abstract

Two fungal strains, isolated from Livingston Island, Antarctica (Penicillium commune 161, psychrotolerant and Aspergillus glaucus 363, mesophilic) were investigated for a relationship between growth temperature and oxidative stress response. Cultivation at temperatures below - (10 and 15°C and 10 and 20°C for P. commune and A. glaucus, respectively) and above (25°C and 30°C for P. commune and A. glaucus, respectively) the optimum caused significant difference in growth and glucose uptake in comparison with the control cultures. Enhanced level of reserve carbohydrates (glycogen and trehalose) was determined under cultivation at different temperatures from the optimal one. While the highest content of trehalose was found in the exponential phase, glycogen accumulation was observed in the stationary phase when growth conditions deteriorate. The growth at temperature below- and above-optimum caused strain-dependent changes in two antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). While SOD activity in the psychrotolerant strain increases with decreasing of growth temperature, the mesophilic A. glaucus demonstrated marked reduction of it at below- and above-optimal temperature. Decreasing trend of CAT activity was observed in both strains below the optimal temperature indicating a lack of antioxidant protection from this enzyme under the cold stress conditions.
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Authors and Affiliations

Nedelina Kostadinova
Solveig Tosi
Boryana Spassova
Maria Angelova
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Abstract

Admiralty Bay (King George Island) is an Antarctic Specially Managed Area and one the most thoroughly studied small-scale marine basins in the Southern Ocean. Our study provides new data on the isopod fauna in this glacially affected fjord. Twelve species of isopods were recorded in this basin for the first time. Six of them were found for the first time in the region of the South Shetland Islands. The highest number of species new for Admiralty Bay were found in the families Munnopsidae (4 species) and Munnidae (3 species).
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Authors and Affiliations

Karol Zemko
Jacek Siciński
Krzysztof Pabis
Magdalena Błażewicz

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