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.
The results from a hydrological monitoring program of Breelva basin (Spitsbergen, Svalbard) have been analysed to improve the understanding of the Werenskiöld Glacier system’s functioning in the High Arctic. Hydrographs of a 44 km 2 river basin (27 km 2 of which was covered by a glacier) were analysed for the period 2007–2012. Seasonal discharge fluctuations were linked to glacier ablation and meteorological parameters, including atmospheric circulation types. A dichotomy was found in the discharge peaks generation during the hydrologically active season, with the main role played by snow and ice melt events during its first part and the rainfall regime dominating its second part. Foehn type strong winds played a significant role in the generation of ablation type floods ( e.g. in August 2011). A simple classification of the runoff regime was applied to the examined six−year period, resulting in the identification of its three types: the ablation type (dominant in 2007 and 2009), the rainfall type (in the years 2011–2012), and the mixed type (during 2008 and 2010). According to publications the river flow season in Spitsbergen begins in June and end with freeze−up in September or at the beginning of October. Recently, this season for Breelva tend to be extended with the mid−May onset and end in the second part of October. A multiannual trend was noted that reflects a growing importance of rainfalls, especially in September. Rainfall waters play a more distinct role in outflow from the Breelva catchment recently.