Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2007 | vol. 28 | No 4 |

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Abstract

The current climate warming results in a quick recession of glaciers on the northern slopes and valleys of the Lindströmfjellet-Hĺbergnuten mountain ridge in Nordenskiöld Land. The equilibrium line altitude has risen from c. 500-550 m in 1936 to c.750 m in 2001 and c. 800 m in 2006. The slopes, almost completely glaciated during the Little Ice Age, and even in 1936, have mostly been abandoned by glaciers afterwards. The upper parts of the glaciers undergo a clear retreat diminishing their accumulative (firn) fields. The lower parts of the active glacial tongues have been transformed into marginal zones built of dead ice covered with morainic and glacifluvial deposits. The surfaces of the marginal zones are progressively lowered due to ablation of dead ice. The state of the described glaciers is not balanced under the current climatic conditions. Thus, the landscape transformation of the mountain ridge will most certainly continue.

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Authors and Affiliations

Wiesław Ziaja
Robert Pipała
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Abstract

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.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ireneusz Sobota
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Abstract

Sphagnum riparium (Bryophyta) is recorded and described from the Wedel Jarlsberg Land on Spitsbergen, the Arctic Svalbard Archipelago. It is the northernmost known population of the species in the Northern Hemisphere. The distribution of the two known Sphagnum species in the Hornsund area, viz. S. riparium and S. squarrosum is mapped and described.

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Authors and Affiliations

Bronisław Wojtuń
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Abstract

Eighty five faecal samples of the Svalbard reindeer inhabiting the coastal terrace of the northern side of Hornsund were collected in July 2005 and analyzed coprologically. The standard flotation method revealed a 97.6% prevalence of infection at an average intensity of 20 eggs in a single subsample. The quantitative, modified McMaster method helped to estimate the mean number of eggs in a gram of faeces (EPG) at 134.7. In the studied samples eggs of nematodes representing two species, i.e. Ostertagia gruehneri (97.6%, on average 20 eggs in a sample) and Marshallagia marshalli (2.3%, single eggs), were identified.

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Authors and Affiliations

Marcin Popiołek
Justyna Szczęsna
Jan Kotusz
Jan Kusznierz
Andrzej Witkowski
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Abstract

In 72 samples collected from various types of habitats of West Spitsbergen 150 algal taxa have been identified, including 100 taxa of Cyanoprokaryota, 40 of Chlorophyceae, and 10 of Xanthophyceae. Seventy-two species, mainly blue-green algae (55 taxa) are considered as new for Svalbard flora.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jan Matuła
Mirosława Pietryka
Dorota Richter
Bronisław Wojtuń

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The quarterly Polish Polar Research invites original scientific papers dealing with all aspects of polar research. The journal aims to provide a forum for publication of high-quality research papers, which are of international interest.

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