This article presents an inventory of the marine benthic harpacticoids (Crustacea, Copepoda) from the area of Svalbard (including Bear Island). Information concetning the occurrence of 90 taxa in the shallow littoral zone of Svalbard is presented based on own samples as well as published and unpublished sources. Two species and 7 genera are reported for the first time from the investigated area.
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 infauna of the soft bottom of Nottinghambukta was studied quantitatively. The distribution of 5 most abundant species: Liocyma fluctuosa (Bivalvia), Dendrodoa grossularia (Ascidiacea), Priapulus caudatus and Halicryptus spinulosus (Priapulida) and Chone duneri (Polychaeta), in this Arctic estuary has been presented.
The list of shallow—water molluscs: chitons (2 species), gastropods (33 species) and bivalves (36 species) of Isfjorden is presented. Distribution, frequency and domination structure are discussed and zoogeographical analysis is presented.
This paper includes a check-list of Recent Svalbard marine ostracods based on published sources and on diploma theses as well as some new studies. This is the first study of this group of crustaceans from Hornsund. A total of 41 species belonging to 12 families were collected at 55 sampling stations from dredged sediments. Seven species are reported for the first time from the Svalbard Archipelago. Polycope orbicularis Sars is the most abundant species in the present fauna. Species compositions of Hornsund and the Liefdefjorden are seen to have the highest similarity (S = 50.6).
Although the terrestrial marginal zones of some glaciers on Spitsbergen are relatively well described, we are largely ignorant about the morphology of their submarine forefields. Initial reconnaissance of the forefields of the Aavatsmark and Dahl glaciers in the Kaffiøyra region and soundings made in that of the Hans Glacier (southern Spitsbergen ) indicate the occurrence of sea-floor push-moraines which can be as much as 3 m high. Their lateral separation is considered to denote annual recession rates. They appear to result from cyclical annual advances of ice-cliffs during winters when the deposits are risen up at the contact of the ice with the sea-floor. The development of the major forms may be related to surge. There is some evidence that certain elements in the sea-bed morphology date from the Little Ice Age (LIA).
Traditional mass balance measurements by stake readings and snow surveying have been conducted annually since 1996 on the Waldemar Glacier (= Waldemarbreen) in northwest Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Several indirect methods were also used for estimating its mass balance. These methods were divided into two major groups: climatological and geodetic. A comparison of the latest map (2000) with that of 1978 and climatological records enable us to calculate the change in the mass balance of Waldemarbreen over 34 years. These methods include air temperature and degree-day (PDD) models. The average mass balance of Waldemarbreen, computed by climatological methods, was -0.42 m a-1 of water equivalent (w.e.) for the period 1970-2004, and -0.51 m w.e. for 1996-2004. These balances were compared with the glaciological balance for the period 1996-2004, -0.53 m w.e.. The mass balance was also computed using geodetic method, giving -0.52 m of w.e. from 1978 to 2000. It is suggested that, from these results, the approach used for Waldemarbreen might be also useful for estimation the mass balances of other small Svalbard glaciers which terminate on land.
The species diversity of the Bryozoa in Kongsfjorden was determined based on quantitative, depth-stratified (0-30 m) samples collected by SCUBA divers (1996, 1998). One hundred and one species and 16 varieties of the three orders Cyclostomata, Ctenostomata and Cheilostomata - are reported from Kongsfjorden. Ten species are presumably new. The bryozoan fauna of Svalbard is mainly represented by Arctic and boreal-Arctic species and varieties. The few amphiboreal and subtropical-boreal species found most likely reach their northern limit of distribution near Spitsbergen. The distribution of the Bryozoa within Kongsfjorden was determined by depth and location sampled. The number of taxa increased, generally, with depth and distance from tidal glaciers located in the inner fjord. Relative decreases in species number occurred at 15-20 m depth in the middle to outer fjord. This is most likely explained by a change of water mass properties, i.e. a transition from the surface water layer to deeper marine water.
The shallow water benthic fauna was collected in Kongsfjord, West Spitsbergen. Sampling was conducted along two main environmental gradients: vertical gradient (depth 5–50 m) and horizontal gradient (sedimentation regime) along the fjord axis. A small rectangular dredge was used. Altogether 169 taxa were identified and four macrofaunal associations were distinguished. Bottom type and distance from the tidal glaciers seem to be the main factors responsible for species distribution. The Soft Bottom I Association occupying the fine mud of the Kongsbreen glacial bay consisted mostly of Crustacea with high dominance of scavenging amphipod Onisimus caricus. Bivalves prevailed in the Soft Bottom II Association, located further away from the main glacier outflows. The barren rocky shelf, deprived of vegetation by a sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis was inhabited by the Rocky Shelf Association dominated by decapods. The last distinguished association (the Kelp Association) occurred on the hard bottom overgrown with macroalgae. The gastropod Margarites helicinus and amphipods Ischyrocerus spp. made up 60% of the individuals collected there.
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.
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.
We assessed culturable soil microfungal diversity in various habitats around Hornsund, Spitsbergen in the High Arctic, using potato dextrose agar ( PDA) medium. Thermal growth classification of the fungi obtained was determined by incubating them in 4 ° Cand 25 ° C, permitting separation of those with psychrophilic, psychrotolerant and mesophilic characteristics. In total, 68 fungal isolates were obtained from 12 soil samples, and grouped into 38 mycelial morphotypes. Intergenic spacer regions of these morphotypes were sequenced, and they represented 25 distinct taxonomic units, of which 21 showed sufficient similarity with available sequence data in NCBI to be identified to species level. Soil under ornithogenic influence showed the highest species diversity, including sequences assigned to Mortierella macrocystis, M. elongata, Mortierella sp., Cudoniella sp., Varicosporium elodeae , Beauveria bassiana , Geomyces pannorum , Penicillium sp. and Atradidymella muscivora . Fourteen taxa were classified as psychrophilic, seven mesophilic, and four psychrotolerant.
The diversity of cyanobacterial assemblages from various microhabitats in the Arctic area of Petuniabukta, Billefjorden, central Svalbard, was described. The present article contains the introductory common review of the cyanobacterial diversity and ecological data concerning main habitats, while the characteristics of individual taxonomic groups will be presented in following specific studies. Eight distinct main habitats were recognized, which differed in their species composition and especially the dominant species. More than 80 morphospecies were registered during our investigation, but only about 1/3 of them could be assigned to known and described taxa. The others require additional analyses based on modern taxonomic methods (the polyphasic approach ). The composition of cyanobacterial micro flora was comparable with assemblages in coastal Antarctica. The diversity of unicellular and colonial morphotypes (36 taxa) was higher tha n other groups. The number of filamentous species without heterocytes and akinetes, with 30 species, and heterocytous types, with only 20 species, were similar in both of these ecosystems. These numbers will be surely changed in the future, but the overall proportion of different groups will likely stay the same. In contrast to the limited species diversity, simple filamentous aheterocytous species were dominant and formed massive populations. Fewheterocy tous taxa, mostly grouped within the genus Nostoc ( N. commune –complex), were dominant in tundra soils.
This paper presents distribution and properties of soils within the Fuglebekken catchment in neighbourhood of the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund, SW Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago). The present study describes 8 representative soil profiles out of 34 profiles studied for the whole catchment. Soils of the Fuglebekken catchment show initial stage of their formation because of very slow rate of chemical and biological weathering in Arctic climate conditions . Uplifted marine terraces of the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by domination of Haplic Cryosols which ar e related to stony and gravelly parent material (reworked marine sediments). Such soils constitute of 17% of the studied area. Turbic Cryosols forming characteristic micro−relief occur on flat surfaces and gentle slopes. Such soils (covering 7% of the catchment) are formed from loamy parent material. Along streams Hyperskeletic Cryosols (Reduc taquic) and Turbic Histic Cryosols occur. The last two soil units (constituting 11% of the catchment) are mantled by continuous and dense vegetation cover (especially mosses) due to high content of water rich in nutrients flowing from colonies of sea birds located on slopes of Ariekammen and Fugleberget. The studied soils are generally characterized by shallow occurrence of permafrost ( i.e. at 30–50 cm), high content of pebbles, sandy or sandy loam texture, and neutral or s lightly alkaline reaction. Soils occurring along streams and near colonies of sea birds show higher content of nutrients (N and P) in comparison with other soils and are covered by more dense vegetation. This indicates important impact of bird guano on chemical composition of soil solution and fertility of such soils.
Hansbreen, a medium size tidewater glacier in Southern Spitsbergen (Svalbard) is one of the most intensively studied glaciers in the Arctic. This work presents new digital elevation models of its surface and basal topography based on data collected during GPS/GPR campaigns conducted in the spring seasons of 2005 and 2008, as well as on other recent topographic/bathymetric sources. The mean thickness of the glacier is calculated as 171 m and its volume is estimated to be 9.6 (±0.1) km 3 . The main feature of the bedrock morphology is a vast depression that is overdeepened below sea level and extends as far as 11 km upstream from the glacier front. This depression is divided into four individual basins by distinct sills that are related to the main geological/tectonic features of the area. The bedrock morphology affects considerably the glacier’s surface topography. The influence of bedrock and surface relief on the subglacial drainage system geometry is discussed. Vast depressions on the glacier surface favor concentration of meltwater and development of moulin systems.
The organodetritic, sandy limestones of the Treskelodden Formation (Late Gzhelian to Early Artinskian) investigated in outcrops at Treskelen Peninsula, Hyrnefjellet mount and Polakkfjellet mount of south Spitsbergen, contain rich foraminiferal assemblages. Fifty eight foraminiferal species of twenty three genera, including two new species (Hemigordius hyrnefjelleti sp. nov. and Midiella arctica sp. nov.) have been identified. Three foraminiferal zones have been defined, with ages of Late Asselian (Pseudofusulinella occidentalis), Sakmarian (Midiella ovata – Calcitornella heathi) and Early Artinskian (Hemigordius hyrnefjelleti – Midiella arctica). Sedimentary features and the biotic history of the studied succession records a Late Paleozoic cooling trend that stays in accordance with Pangaea’s shift to the north.
The purpose of this study is to describe the current state of tidewater glaciers in Svalbard as an extension of the inventory of Hagen et al. (1993). The ice masses of Svalbard cover an area of ca 36 600 km2 and more than 60% of the glaciated areas are glaciers which terminate in the sea at calving ice-cliffs. Recent data on the geometry of glacier tongues, their flow velocities and front position changes have been extracted from ASTER images acquired from 2000-2006 using automated methods of satellite image analysis. Analyses have shown that 163 Svalbard glaciers are of tidewater type (having contact with the ocean) and the total length of their calving ice-cliffs is 860 km . When compared with the previous inventory, 14 glaciers retreated from the ocean to the land over a 30-40 year period. Eleven formerly land-based glaciers now terminate in the sea. A new method of assessing the dynamic state of glaciers, based on patterns of frontal crevassing, has been developed. Tidewater glacier termini are divided into four groups on the basis of differences in crevasse patterns and flow velocity: (1) very slow or stagnant glaciers, (2) slow-flowing glaciers, (3) fast-flowing glaciers, (4) surging glaciers (in the active phase) and fast ice streams. This classification has enabled us to estimate total calving flux from Svalbard glaciers with an accuracy appreciably higher than that of previous attempts. Mass loss due to calving from the whole archipelago (excluding Kvitřya) is estimated to be 5.0-8.4 km3 yr-1 (water equivalent - w.e.), with a mean value 6.75 ± 1.7 km3 yr-1 (w.e.). Thus, ablation due to calving contributes as much as 17-25% (with a mean value 21%) to the overall mass loss from Svalbard glaciers. By implication, the contribution of Svalbard iceberg flux to sea-level rise amounts to ca 0.02 mm yr-1. Also calving flux in the Arctic has been considered and the highest annual specific mass balance attributable to iceberg calving has been found for Svalbard.
Roemeripora tollinoides sp. n. (Anthozoa, Tabulata) is described from Upper Carboniferous strata of SW Nordenskiöld Land (Ingeborgfiellet), Bellsund area in West Spistbergen (Svalbard). The new species is characteristic for a phacelo-cerioid structure of entire corallum.
The list of 29 gastropod species and 33 species of bivalves occurring in Hornsund Fiord as well as their zoogeographic status are presented. The occurrence and role of Mollusca in particular parts of the fiord are discussed.
This article shows acoustic measurements from Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic, located in the Arctic Ocean. The aim of the research was to show the Svalbard soundscape as well as to record and analyse the spatial-temporal dynamics of the acoustic environment, the human impact on the soundscape and to collect baseline data for future comparative research. Svalbard is interesting for many science disciplines because it has an arctic climate and, at the same time, it is relatively easily accessible. Climatologists, geologists, glaciologists, biologists and even anthropologists could find interesting themes to investigate here. Additionally, the soundscape of Spitsbergen is worthy of detailed examination. This paper presents comparative analysis of the soundscape of various spots near Longyearbyen in Management Area 10. The soundscape analysis of selected valleys shows the strong influence of human activity on the soundscape as well as the variability and characteristic features of the natural Arctic soundscape.
Measurements of water temperatures, salinity, oxygen, suspended matter, nutrients and some metals contents were determined in the waters of the Hornsund Fjord. The investigations were carried out at the end of June and July and in mid-September 1979.
Scavenging fauna was sampled by means of baited traps in three different habitats of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Arctic). Lysianassoid amphipods, represented by nine species, made up 98.9% of the materials collected between 5 and 30 m. The dominant species were Anonyx sarsi and Onisimus caricus, which constituted 91.6% of collected individuals. The abundance of animals attracted to traps was variable and a gradual decrease in abundance with increasing depth was observed. Spatial segregation of species resulted from a number of factors ranging from depth, hydrological conditions, sedimentation regime and bottom type to food accessibility. Gut contents analysis indicated that in summer Onisimus caricus relied on zooplankton sinking due to the osmotic shock in the glacial bay; Onisimus edwardsi had a diverse diet; and Orchomenella minuta fed mostly on small crustaceans. During laboratory experiments all species were observed feeding on dead or injured zooplankton, while preying on live planktonie organisms was never noted.
Research on the chemistry of atmospheric precipitation in the Hornsund region of Svalbard has been extended by analysis of the organic contents. In rainfall samples collected in September 2003, the organics were separated by solid phase extraction (SPE), eluted and analysed on gas chromatograph coupled to a mass selective detector (GC/MS). Rainfall pH was in the range 4.72–5.45, the low values suggesting possible pollution. Concentrations of inorganic ions, expressed as total dissolved salts (TDS), were 5.40–13.18 mg L–1. Non-sea-salt (nss) sulphates were in the range 5–11 μeq L–1. In all samples, long-chain alkanes with chain length up to C36, and their methyl derivatives were detected. Among aromatic compounds biphenyl, dibenzofuran and its methyl derivatives were found. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were represented by naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluorene, acenaphthene, fluoranthene and pyrene. There were no PAHs with higher numbers of rings. The synoptic meteorological conditions in September 2003 indicate that all organic and inorganic pollutants were of local origin.
This paper presents the first results of measurements of global solar radiation, albedo, ground surface and 2−m air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction carried out in the central part of Spitsbergen Island in the period 2008–2010. The study site was located on the coastal ice−free zone of Petuniabukta (north−western branch of Billefjorden), which was strongly affected by local topography, character of the ground surface, and sea ice extent. Temporal analysis of the selected meteorological parameters shows both strong seasonal and inter−diurnal variation affected by synoptic−scale weather systems, channelling and drainage effects of the fjords and surrounding glaciers. The prevailing pattern of atmospheric circulation primarily determined the variation in global solar radiation, wind speed, ground surface and 2−m air temperatures. Furthermore, it was found that thermal differences between Petuniabukta and the nearest meteorological station (Svalbard Lufthavn) differ significantly due to differences in sea ice concentrations and ice types in the fjords during the winter and spring months.