Preliminary results of hydrological investigations carried through at southern shore of Bellsund are presented. Negative meltwater budget of the permafrost was noted for summer 1986. Temperature and total mineralization of waters are varied in space. Temperature of outflowing meltwaters is related to air temperature. Diurnal rhythm of temperature has been distinguished in springs.
Measurements of pollutants scavenged from air masses over southern Svalbard in summer precipitation are presented. Rainfall was sampled in July and August 2002 at Calypsobyen, Bellsund. Specific conductivity (SpC) and pH were measured and ion concentrations were determined by ion chromatography. Ions of marine origin were subtracted, assuming that all chlorides were of marine origin. The FLEXTRA trajectory model was applied to discover the sources of air masses arriving at Svalbard and track the paths of pollutant transport. Average (v/w) rainfall pH was 4.94, mean SpC amounted to 34.8 µS cm-1. Total dissolved solids concentration (TDS) ranged from 12.6 to 67 mg L-1, with ions of marine origin (Cl-, Na+, Mg2+) prevailing. Rains with the highest percentage of marine salts occurred with winds from the East at above average velocities. Non-sea salt (nss) sulphate concentrations ranged from 0.5 µeq L-1 to 23 µeq L-1, (v/w) average was 17 µeq L-1. Nitrate concentrations ranged from 0 to 24 µeq L-1. The highest concentrations of nss-SO42- and NO3- were measured on 25 August, when the highest rainfall occurred (27 mm) and pH was the lowest (4.65). Rainfall at Calypsobyen deposited 194 kg km-2 of acidifying anions and 263 kg km-2 of base cations over the recording period. The polluted air masses were mostly from northern and central Europe. Rainfalls scavenging air masses formed over Greenland and Norwegian Seas displayed similar concentrations, being probably polluted by SOx and NOx from ship emissions.
Spitsbergen glaciers react rapidly to changes in the polar environment, which is expressed in differences in extent of their fronts and surface geometry. The Scott Glacier, which is situated in the NW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land, is an example of the glacier that has undergone almost continuous recession since the Little Ice Age, interrupted by surges. The variations in recession are characterised based on multiannual data with particularly consideration of the period 1990–2005 and the season 2005/2006. Acceleration of front recession and lowering the surface was found only within the tongue up to a height of about 220 m a.s.l. Whereas, in the area situated in the zone of rock steps and above in the ablation zone, the change of glacier surface ablation (Dh) has been recorded compared to the mean annual recession for the period 1990–2005. Moreover, for the upper firn field, the positive surface ablation (DhS7 = +0.19 m) was observed. As the result of progressive reduction of the Scott Glacier mass, with the participation of other factors (bedrock relief among others), new surfaces of roche moutonnée are uncovering particularly in the tongue zone.