In marine seismic wide−angle profiling the recorded wave field is dominated by waves propagating in the water. These strong direct and multiple water waves are generally treated as noise, and considerable processing efforts are employed in order minimize their influences. In this paper we demonstrate how the water arrivals can be used to determine the water velocity beneath the seismic wide−angle profile acquired in the Northern Atlantic. The pattern of water multiples generated by air−guns and recorded by Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) changes with ocean depth and allows determination of 2D model of velocity. Along the profile, the water velocity is found to change from about 1450 to approximately 1490 m/s. In the uppermost 400 m the velocities are in the range of 1455–1475 m/s, corresponding to the oceanic thermocline. In the deep ocean there is a velocity decrease with depth, and a minimum velocity of about 1450 m/s is reached at about 1.5 km depth. Be − low that, the velocity increases to about 1495 m/s at approximately 2.5 km depth. Our model compares well with estimates from CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) data collected nearby, suggesting that the modelling of water multiples from OBS data might be − come an important oceanographic tool.
This paper presents a study of the seismic P−wave velocity and density structure of the lithosphere−asthenosphere system along a 800 km long transect extending from the actively spreading Knipovich Ridge, across southern Spitsbergen to the Kong Karls Land Volcanic Province. The 2D seismic and density model documents 6–8 km thick oceanic crust formed at the Knipovich Ridge, a distinct continent−ocean−boundary (COB), the eastern boundary of the dominantly sheared Hornsund Fault Zone, and the eastern boundary of the Early Cenozoic West Spitsbergen Fold−and−Thrust Belt. The crustal continent−ocean transitional zone has significant excess of density (more than 0.1 g/cm 3 in average), characteristic for mafic/ultramafic and high−grade metamorphic rocks. The main Caledonian suture zone between Laurentia and Barentsia is interpreted based on variations in crustal thickness, velocities and densities. A high velocity body in the lower crust is preferably interpreted in terms of Early Cretaceous magmatism channelled from an Arctic source southwards along the proto−Hornsund zone of weakness. The continental upper mantle expresses high velocities (8.24 km/s) and densities (3.2 g/cm 3 ), which may be interpreted in terms of low heat−flow and composition dominated by dunites. The lower velocities (7.85 km/s) and densities (3.1 g/cm 3 ) observed in the oceanic lithosphere suggest composition dominated by primitive peridotites. The model of mantle allows for successful direct description of subcrustal masses distribution compensating isostatically uneven crustal load. The estimated low value of correlation between density and velocity in the mantle 0.12 kg × s × m −4 suggests that horizontal density differences between oceanic and continental mantle would be dominated by compositional changes.
The aim of the study is to describe aspects of the life history of the Atlantic poacher (Leptagonus decagonus) obtained during early October 2010 and late September 2011 from the Hinlopen Strait, located between Nordaustlandet and the Spitsbergen Archipelago. Length was measured for 142 individuals, and 82 out of these were weighed, sexed and the age in years determined. The sex distribution in the population was 45% females and 55% males. Gut content examination revealed the domination of the mesopelagic and hyper−benthic calanoid Bradyidius similis that was recorded in 87% of the stomachs analysed. Overall there was a significant difference in size (length and weight) between the sexes, and a difference in length and weight at age between the sexes. There was no difference in age distribution between the sexes, but there was a larger age range within the male population than in the female population. The sexual dimorphism in size is likely linked to different reproductive strategies. This study represents the first data on the life history of the Atlantic poacher in Svalbard waters.
The Fleming Fjord Formation (Jameson Land, East Greenland) documents a diverse assemblage of terrestrial vertebrates of Late Triassic age. Expeditions from the turn of the 21st century have discovered many important fossils that form the basis of our current knowledge of Late Triassic Greenlandic faunas. However, due to the scarcity and incompleteness of the fossils and their insufficient study, our understanding of the taxonomic diversity of the Fleming Fjord Formation is hindered. Here, we report the preliminary findings of a Polish−Danish expedition to the Fleming Fjord Formation that took place in 2014. Three areas were visited – the fairly well known MacKnight Bjerg and Wood Bjerg and the virtually unexplored Liasryggen. MacKnigth Bjerg and Liasryggen yielded fossils which promise to significantly broaden our knowledge of vertebrate evolution in the Late Triassic. Stem−mammal remains were discovered at Liasryggen. Other fossils found at both sites include remains of actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, temnospondyl amphibians and various archosaurs (including early dinosaurs). Numerous vertebrate trace fossils, including coprolites, pseudosuchian footprints, theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur tracks, were also discovered. Newly discovered skeletal remains as well as abundant trace fossils indicate higher tetrapod diversity in the Late Triassic of Greenland than previously thought. Trace fossils also allow inferences of early theropod and sauropodomorph dinosaur behaviour.
Significant retreat of glaciers terminating in Hornsund Fjord (Southern Spits− bergen, Svalbard) has been observed during the 20th century and in the first decade of the 21st century. The objective of this paper is to present, as complete as possible, a record of front positions changes of 14 tidewater glaciers during this period and to distinguish the main factors influencing their fluctuations. Results are based on a GIS analysis of archival maps, field measurements, and aerial and satellite images. Accuracy was based on an assessment of seasonal fluctuations of a glacier’s ice cliff position with respect to its mini− mum length in winter (November–December) and its maximum advance position in June or July. Morphometric features and the environmental setting of each glacier are also presented. The total area of the glacier cover in Hornsund Fjord in the period of 1899–2010 diminished approximately 172 km 2 , with an average areal retreat rate of 1.6 km 2 a −1 .The recession rate increased from ~1 km 2 a −1 in first decades of the 20th century up to ~3 km 2 a −1 in years 2001–2010. The latest period was more thoroughly studied using optical satellite images acquired almost every year. The importance of glacier morphology and hypsometry, as well as fjord bathymetry and topography is analyzed. Large glacier systems with low slopes terminating in deeper waters are retreating faster than small steep glaciers terminating in shallower water. A relation between mean annual air temperature and aerial retreat rate of tidewater glaciers was found for long time scales. A sudden temperature in − crease, known as the early 20th century warming in Svalbard, and an increase in temperatures during recent decades are well reflected in deglaciation rate. Influence of sea water temperatures on calving and retreat of glaciers was considered and is significant in short−time intervals of the last decade. Surge events are non−climatic factors which com − plicate the record. They are reflected in front advance or fast retreat due to a massive calving depending on the relation between ice thickness and water depth. Despite the influence of many factors, the response of tidewater glaciers to climate change is evident. The average linear retreat rate of all the tidewater glaciers in Hornsund amounted to ~70 ma −1 in 2001–2010 and was higher than the average retreat of other Svalbard tidewater glaciers (~45 ma −1 ). Thus, glaciers of this basin can be considered as more sensitive to climate than glaciers of other regions of the archipelago.
Humification plays an important role in stabilization of organic matter in soils of the cryolithic zone. In this context, the degree of organic matter stabilization has been assessed, using instrumental methods, for permafrost peat soils of the eastern European Arctic, based on selected plots from within the Komi Republic (Russian Federation). Humic substances (HSs) isolated from the mire permafrost peats of the forest-tundra subzone of the European Arctic have been characterized in terms of molecular composition. This was accomplished using elemental and amino acid fragments (AAFs) composition. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) spectroscopy was utilized to identify the structure of HSs. Changes in the molar x(H) : x(C) ratio, ratio of aromatic to paraffin fragments and ratio of hydroxy AAFs to heterocyclic AAFs along the peat profiles have been revealed. They are due to the activation of cryogenic processes in the upper part of the seasonally thawing layer, the natural selection of condensed humic molecules, the botanical composition and degree of degradation of peat, which reflect the climatic features of the area in the Holocene. Humic acids and fulvic acids of the peat soils showed the prevalence of compounds with a low degree of condensation and a low portion of aromatic fragments. The aromaticity degree showed the trend to increase within the depth. Changes of quantitative and qualitative parameters of specific organic compounds occur at the permafrost boundary of peatlands, which can serve as an indicator of recent climate changes in environments from the high latitudes. The presented data can be useful in the evaluation of soil organic matter stabilization degree in the active layer and below the permafrost table.
The buoyant hypopycnal flow of brackish water and suspended sediment transport and settling were studied in two sub-polar fjords: the glacial Kongsfjörden and the outwash (non-glacial contact) Adventfjörden, Svalbard . The data presented indicates faster water mixing on the tidal flat in comparison to the englacial runoff, which leads to faster horizontal density gradients decreases in the non-glaciated fjord. The fast settling of particles in the narrow zone of the steep slope at the edge of the tidal flat leads to the removal of 25% of the surface suspended sediment. The rapid settling is due to increasing salinity, decreasing velocity, and flocculation of fine particles. The fast settling of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the tidal flat area causes sediment redeposition and resuspension followed by sediment transport along the bottom with hyperpycnal flows. This leads to grain sorting in the fjord head. In contrast, at the glacier front, SPM is transported farther into the fjord, where tidal pumping and water mixing lead to the removal of 71% of total SPM. The fjords investigated represent two different sedimentological regimes. In the glaciated Kongsfjörden, the buoyant hypopycnal flow of brackish water is the main sediment transporting factor. In the non-glacial Adventfjörden, hyperpycnal flows transport sediment along the bottom.
In the framework of the 4th International Polar Year Panel “Plate Tectonics and Polar Gateways” the international project “The Dynamic Continental Margin Between the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge System (Mohns Ridge, Knipovich Ridge) and the Bear Island Region” was undertaken in 2007-2008. As a part of this project a new three-component seismic broadband station was installed in September 2007 in the area of the Polish Polar Station Hornsund in Southern Spitsbergen . The new HSPB station has the coordinates: Φ = 77.0019°N, λ = 15.5332°E, H = 11 m a.s.l. During the first years of operation a number of good quality teleseismic events were recorded. This gives the opportunity for a first determination of crustal and mantle structure beneath the station by using receiver function (RF) and SKS splitting techniques. The Moho depth determined using RF is about 32 km beneath HSPB. Significant amplitudes on the transverse components of the RF indicate a shallowly dipping discontinuity (sedimentary-basement) towards the south-west. The fast polarization of SKS phases is near parallel to the border between the continental and the oceanic crust and the Hornsund fault (α = 151.8°). The average time delay dt between “fast” and “slow” directions is 0.68 s, which implies ca. 2% anisotropy in a 100- 200 km thick layer in the mantle.
The succesive fifth whole-year research expedition stayed at the polar station of the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, in the Hornsund fiord from July 1982 to August 1973. Continuous observations as well as sejsmologic, magnetic and meteorological records, constituting continuation of the investigations started in summer 1978. were carried out by the wintering group of 8 men. Also separate research programmes: physics of atmosphere and ionosphere, sedimcntologo-oceanological, geomorphological and medical investigations, including observations of white bears, were realized. Many technical works, repairs and adaptations were carried out as well.
The Slyngfjellet Conglomerate which occurs at the base of the Upper Proterozoic Sofiebogen Group in South Spitsbergen had formed predominantly as a debris-flow deposit, with subordinate contribution by fluvial and probably lacustrine sediments. There is no evidence for glacial conditions at the time of formation of the conglomerate, the latter being much older than the latest Proterozoic Varangian glaciation tillites elsewhere in Svalbard. The Slyngfjellet Conglomerate originally filled buried valleys eroded by rivers in block-faulted and uplifted western margin of the Mid-Proterozoic Torellian Basin.
In the years 1987-1989, within the frames of the international program "Greenland Sea Project", the Institute of Oceanology of Polish Academy of Sciences carried out the oceanographic investigations in the energoactive zones of the Northern Atlantic. The paper presents some results of these investigations, characterizing interannual variability of aero- and hydrophysical fields and the causal connections between hydrological and hydrobiological anomalies. Main results of these investigations indicate that the summer season of 1988 was an anomaly in the region of confluence of Barents and Norwegian Seas. This result is irrefutably confirmed by biological data concerning species, and hydrophysical data, such as light attenuation coefficient, fluorescence, spatial distributions of water temperature, salinity, density and current velocity, as well as mass and heat fluxes. It arises from these information that the southern border of the confluence zone was normally the heat „source", while in 1988 it was the heat „sink". The results obtained indicate two reasons responsible for such a situation. The first is the anticyclonic eddy structure of cold Barents Sea waters, penetrating the confluence zone. The second reason seems to be a mechanism blocking the transport of Atlantic water masses through the transect between Faeroe and Shetland Islands.
Humic acids, isolated from selected soils of Grønfjorden area (Spitsbergen) were investigated in terms of molecular composition and resistance of decomposition. The degree of soils organic matter stabilization has been assessed with the use of modern instrumental methods (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (CP/MAS 13C-NMR). Analysis of the humic acids showed that aromatic compounds prevail in the organic matter formed in cryoconites, located on the glaciers surfaces. The predominance of aliphatic fragments is revealed in the soils in tidal zone that form on the coastal terrace. This could be caused by sedimentation of fresh organic matter exhibiting low decomposition stage due to the harsh climate and processes of hydrogenation in the humic acids, destruction of the C-C bonds and formation of chains with a high hydrogen content. These processes result in formation of aliphatic fragments in the humic acids. In general, soils of the studied region characterizes by low stabilized soil organic matter which is indicated by low aromaticity of the HAs.
Information on lichens of Franz Josef Land is summarized based on original and literature data. Two hundred twenty nine lichen species are documented, of which 59 species and two varieties are newly reported for this territory. This represents only 13% of the Arctic lichen flora richness. We have found 28 rare lichen species in the archipelago and recommend to include 9 species in the Red Data Book of the Arkhangelsk Region of Russia.
This article comprises an analysis of the variability of meteorological conditions on Kaffiøyra (NW Spitsbergen, Svalbard) in 2013–2017 in connection with atmospheric circulation and the extent of sea ice. The obtained results were compared with the results of observations made at the Ny-Ålesund station. Due to the situation of the area in the polar region and the large amount of clouds, especially in summer, the annual sum of incoming solar radiation was small, amounting to an average of 2,237.8 MJ.m-2 per year. The mean air temperature in the considered period was -2.0°C. Its extreme values ranged from 15.2°C to -23.8°C. In the annual course, the highest mean temperature occurred in July (6.5°C), and the lowest in March (-7.8°C). The mean relative humidity of air was high (83%). The prevailing wind directions were from south and north sectors and this coincided with the orientation of Forlandsundet. The mean wind speed was 3.6 m.s-1. In the summer season in 1975–2017, a statistically significant air temperature increase was observed, reaching 0.28°C/10 years. The high variability of local weather conditions was caused mainly by atmospheric circulation and the impact of sea ice was much smaller in comparison.
The Marhřgda Bed occurring at base of the Adventdalen Group in Sassenfjorden, Spitsbergen contains common ankeritereplaced belemnite skeletons. Petrographic, major element geochemical, and stable carbon and oxygen isotopic data indicate that the ankerite originated in a catagenic environment associated with thermal degradation of kerogenan d hydrocarbongen erationinthe sequence. It formed at maximum temperature of 150°C under burial of approx. 2 000 m, most probably during Paleogene filling and subsidence of the Central Spitsbergen Basin. Dissolution of biogenic calcite and precipitation of ankerite reflect extensive heat flow through the Adventdalen Group sequence related to the Cretaceous and Paleogene magmatic and orogenic activity in Svalbard.
Diagenetic carbonate deposits (concretions, cementation bodies and cementstone bands) commonly occur in organic carbon-rich sequence of the Agardhfjellet Formation (Upper Jurassic) in Spitsbergen . They are dominated by dolomite/ankerite and siderite. These deposits originated as a result of displacive cementation of host sediment in a range of post-depositional environments, from shallow subsurface to deep-burial ones. Preliminary results of the carbon and oxygen isotopic survey of these deposits in southern Spitsbergen (Lĺgkollane, Ingebrigtsenbukta, Reinodden, and Lidfjellet sections) show the δ13C values ranging between –13.0‰ and –1.8‰ VPDB, and the δ18O values between –16.0‰ and –7.7‰ VPDB. These results suggest that the major stage of formation of the carbonate deposits occurred during burial diagenesis under increased temperature, most probably in late diagenetic to early catagenic environments. Carbonate carbon for mineral precipitation was derived from dissolution of skeletal carbonate and from thermal decomposition of organic matter.
In this paper, the recent ice regime variations in the Kara Sea have been described and quantified based on the high-resolution remote sensing database from 2003 to 2017. In general, the Kara Sea is fully covered with thicker sea ice in winter, but sea ice cover is continuously declining during the summer. The year 2003 was the year with the most severe ice conditions, while 2012 and 2016 were the least severe. The extensive sea ice begins to break up before May and becomes completely frozen at the end of December again. The duration of ice melting is approximately twice than that of the freezing. Since 2007, the minimum ice coverage has always been below 5%, resulting in wide open-waters in summer. Furthermore, the relevant local driving factors of external atmospheric forcing on ice conditions have been quantitatively calculated and analyzed. Winter accumulated surface air temperature has been playing a primary role on the ice concentration and thickness condition in winter and determining ice coverage index in the following melt-freeze stage. Correlation coefficients between winter accumulated temperature and ice thickness anomaly index, the ice coverage anomaly index, duration of melt-freeze stage can approach -0.72, -0.83 and 0.80, respectively. In summer, meridional winds contribute closely to summer ice coverage anomaly index, with correlation coefficient exceeding 0.80 since 2007 and 0.90 since 2010.
Trace metal composition of snowpack, snow-melt filter residues and top-soils were determined along transects through industrial towns in the Usa River Basin: Inta, Usinsk and Vorkuta. Elevated concentrations of deposition elements and pH in snow and soils associated with alkaline coal ash within 25-40 km of Vorkuta and Inta were found. Atmospheric deposition in the vicinity of Vorkuta and Inta, added significantly to the soil contaminant loading as a result of ash fallout. The element concentrations in soils within 20-30 km of Vorkuta do not reflect current deposition rates, but instead, reflect an historical pollution legacy, when coal mining activity peaked in the 1960s. There is little evidence of anthropogenic metal deposition around the gas and oil town of Usinsk.
The area of NW Wedel Jarlsberg Land south of Bellsund (Spitsbergen), between Dunderbukta in the west and the Berzeliustinden mountain group in the east, consists of five fault-bounded blocks: (1) the Renardbreen Block (Middle–Late Proterozoic basement rocks), (2) the Chamberlindalen Block (Late Proterozoic basement rocks), (3) the Martinfjella Block (Late Proterozoic through Early Ordovician basement rocks), (4) the Berzeliustinden Block (Late Proterozoic and Early Ordovician basement rocks covered by Late Palaeozoic–Tertiary platform deposits), (5) the Reinodden Block (Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks). The paper presents an outline of lithostratigraphy (Middle/Upper Proterozoic–Lower Ordovician: Hecla Hoek Succession) and architecture of the Caledonian basement in which several thrust-sheets and thrust-folds have been recognized. It also discusses some aspects of Tertiary overthrusting, faulting and rotation with affected the basement rocks and remodelled its Caledonian architecture.