Beach pollution is one of the most common hazards in present-day anthropogenic environments. Even in the remote Svalbard Archipelago, pollution impacts the beach system and can pose environmental threats. The significant increase in human activity observed in Svalbard over the last 20–30 years has resulted in a visible change in the amount of coastal pollution. A 5 km long transect of modern beach developed along Calypsostranda (Recherchefjorden, Bellsund) was surveyed in the summer of 2015 in order to characterize the beach pollution. During the survey 296 pieces of trash were found on beach surface. 82% of found trash was plastic, followed by glass (8%), and metal (5%). The comparison with previous pollution survey showed the significant increase of plastic waste in local beach environment. Similar problem has been recently recorded in other parts of Svalbard suggesting an urgent need for coastal pollution monitoring.
The objective of this research is to determine the impact of waves on the segregation of sediment within the area of its supply in the context of meteorological conditions. The research was conducted on a 4 km section of the shore of Calypsostranda (Bellsund, West Spitsbergen), shaped by waves such as swell, wind waves, and tides. Particular attention was paid to the diversity and variability of the surface texture within the intertidal zone. Meteorological measurements, recording of wave climate, as well as analysis of the grain-size distribution of the beach sediments were performed. Nearshore bathymetry, longshore drifts, episodic sediment delivery from land, as well as resistance of the shore to coastal erosion and direction of transport of sediments in the shore zone are important factors controlling shore development. Data show that wind waves contribute to erosion and discharge of material from the nearshore and intertidal zone. The research also shows that oceanic swell, altered by diffraction, reaching the shore of Calypsostranda contributes to better sorting of sediment deposited on the shore through washing it out from among gravels, and longshore transport of its finest fraction. The grain size distribution of shore sediments is significantly changed already during one tidal cycle. The degree of this modification depends not only on wave height and period but on the direction of wave impact. The shore of Calypsostranda can be regarded as transitional between high and low energy coasts.