Sensitivity of Svalbard glaciers to climate change
SvalGlac - ESF Project

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About SvalGlac Project Scientific Results Outreach
Research Area

Svalbard map

A network of automatic weather stations (AWS) and ablation/ice velocity stakes was installed during IPY-KINNVIKA research activities (cf. RIS database project ID 3408). Four of these stations were deinstalled during the field campaigns in 2009 (Kinnvika: LAND; Vestfonna: ECS1, ECS3 and AWS2).

Nordaustlandet - research area
Locations of AWS on Vestfonna installed during the IPY KINNVIKA field campaign in spring 2008

It is planned to continue the measurements at the two remaining AWS, i.e., AWS1 and ECS2 and to continue ice temperature, ablation and ice velocities measurements at all five sites on DeGeerfonna and Vestfonna.

The AWS sites shall be visited in August 2010, May and August 2011 and May 2012, i.e. before the start of the ablation season and at its ending. Visits are required for maintenance of AWS (sensor checks, data logger readings, repairs), ablation stake readings and DGPS measurements for ice velocity ground truth. Spring operations will be done by helicopter flights to Donckerfjellet, where temporary camps will be erected, and by foot operations to the AWS sites. Summer campaigns will be done by boat anchoring in Nordvika, and by foot operations to the AWS sites.

Text by Roman Finkelnburg

In this area the Kongsvegen glacier with mass balance data available since 1987 is considered as a main object of research. It is the surge-type glacier with a well developed polythermal structure.
Aims and objectives for this area:
- reanalyse existing data in the Kongsvegen environment (multidisciplinary data);
- conduct field work (set up a network of automatic weather stations, snow pit and surface observations, mass balance work at Kongsvegen glacier);
- perform local mass and energy balance modelling at key sites on Kongsvegen (also snow micro-structure effects);
- investigate the potential of different sources and methodologies to derive spatially distributed input for glacier mass and energy balance modelling (using high-resolution atmospheric model output);
- perform long-term spatially distributed modelling of the mass and energy balance of Kongsvegen;
- perform climate sensitivity studies.

Lomonosovfonna/Nordenskioldbreen - this field is object of the mass balance measurements by the Norwegian team as well as ice coring research (shallow and deeper) by the Norwegian-Dutch-Swedish-Estonian cooperation.
The dynamic ice program was started (Sweden) to determine the balance flux through Nordenskioldbreen from Lomonosovfonna - knowledge about the reason of its frontal changes. To improve the model the set of mass balance and velocity stakes are maintained (Sweden and the Netherlands).
There is also maintained an AWS and to densify the ice geometry profiling done by ice radar and DGPS.
Coordination Secretariat: Joanna Szafraniec (University of Silesia), tel. +48 32 3689589, e-mail:
© 2010-2013 Dept. of Geomorphology, University of Silesia