Sensitivity of Svalbard glaciers to climate change
SvalGlac - ESF Project

Background and Objectives
Working Groups
Research Area
Funding Agencies
Data Base



tu - Knowledge Base




About SvalGlac Project Scientific Results Outreach
Working Groups

Regional and thematic working groups were created for direct communication of members of research groups of partners.

On the diagram below there is the Svalbard map of regional spreading of the groups (press numbers to find more info). Navy boxes present six thematic working groups (press boxes to find more info).

Ground Penetrating Radar Ice coring Remote sensing Atmosphering modelling Mass balance and Automatic Weather Station Modelling - dynamics Nordaustlandet NW Spitsbergen NE Spitsbergen Working groups

Regional working groups

Regionally divided groups are an entry to the SSF data base (as "umbrella project") of field works for the Research in Svalbard (RiS) with leadership of particular partners in different geographical areas:

  1. Nordaustlandet (Dieter Scherer)
  2. NW Spitsbergen (Friedrich Obleitner)
  3. NE Spitsbergen (Veijo Pohjola)
  4. Central Spitsbergen (Francisco Navarro)
  5. South Spitsbergen (Piotr Głowacki)

Thematic working groups

  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) - on different frequencies for ice thickness and bed topography studies, for internal structure, cold/temperate ice interface mapping, annual snow pattern and superimposed ice mapping. Combined with kinematic GPS surface elevation profiling.
    Participants: Mariusz Grabiec (Poland), Yury Macheret, Evgeny Vasilenko, Andrey Glazovsky (Russia), Javier J. Lapazaran, Francisco Navarro (Spain), Rickard Pettersson (Sweden); joint work with the Ice coring group.

  • Ice coring - joint work with the GPR group:

    - Shallow drilling - down to maximum 20 meters will be taken to calibrate the high frequency radar data and to detect reference horizons (Tchernobyl) in areas were it can still be applicable.
    Participants: Piotr Głowacki (Poland), Veijo Pohjola (Sweden).

    - Deep drilling - on AF/VF and related analyses using state-of-art isotope-geochemical measurements.
    Participants: Xiao Cheng (China), Elisabeth Isacksson (Norway).

    - Analysis - Rein Vaikmäe (Estonia), John Moore (Finland).

  • Remote sensing - an array of different remote sensing data will be used both for elevation data and dynamics, including also recent satellite altimetry data from IceSat and probably CryoSat (launch in 2009), validated by ground-based data (GPS, radar), interferometry derived velocities from Terra SAR and ALOS PALSAR images and glacier front changes from ASTER images, among others. Remote sensing data will be key input for modelling studies.
    Participants: Jon Ove Hagen, Geir Moholdt, Christopher Nuth (Norway), Małgorzata Błaszczyk, Leszek Kolondra, Jacek Jania, Agnieszka Pietrzak (Poland), Christoph Schneider (Germany).

  • Mass balance and Automatic Weather Station (AWS) (measurements, modelling, also ice velocities measurements); joint work with the Atmospheric modelling group - Mass balance stakes will use for annual mass balance data and for precise GPS surveys of velocity. Automatic weather stations - for energy balance and snow/ice physical properties. A number of AWS stations will be operating in each of the selected study sites. Modelling - both energy balance models and degree day (temperature index) approaches will be used; distributed models and multi-layered models will be considered. The proposed modelling work includes both surface mass balance modelling and sensitivity analysis. The model strategy will be tailored to the scale and data availability at each locality.
    Participants: Friedrich Obleitner (Austria), Dieter Scherer, Christoph Schneider (Germany), Carleen Tijm-Reijmer (the Netherlands), Jon Ove Hagen, Thomas V. Schuler, Christopher Nuth (Norway), Dariusz Puczko, Michał Pętlicki, Dariusz Ignatiuk (Poland), Regine Hock (the United States).

  • Atmospheric modelling; joint work with the Mass balance & AWS group - Regional climate models aim at obtaining meteorological, climatological and surface mass balance fields for the whole Svalbard archipelago over the past 50 years using the Regional Atmospheric Climate model RACMO2/GR. These models need to be forced by output of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 40-year re-analysis project (ERA40) over the period 1958-present. The final resolution aimed is between 3 and 6 km. This high resolution is necessary for a good representation of the complex topography of Svalbard. Another regional model, the Weather Research & Forecasting model (WRF) will be run on even higher resolution (2 km) for a dedicated region (Nordaustlandet and northern Spitsbergen) and a short period (2000-present). This gives an excellent opportunity to perform a detailed model comparison for the period of overlap.
    Participants: Dieter Scherer, Christoph Schneider (Germany), Carleen Tijm-Reijmer, Michiel van den Broeke (the Netherlands).

  • Modelling - dynamics - Concerning models of ice dynamics, models incorporating different processes will be considered (dynamics, ice surface evolution, calving, thermal processes, basal melting); models with different level of geometrical complexity (1D, 2D, 3D) and approximation to the dynamical equations (shallow ice approximation - e.g. SICOPOLIS - for modelling of full ice caps such as Austfonna and Vestfonna, versus high order or full-Stokes models - e.g. ELMER - for smaller glaciers) will be used. Different teams are specialized or have developed codes based on various mathematical techniques (finite differences, finite elements, finite volumes).
    Participants: John Moore (Finland), Daniela Mansutti (Italy), Thorben Dunse (Norway), Jaime Otero, Francisco Navarro (Spain), (Sweden?).
Coordination Secretariat: Joanna Szafraniec (University of Silesia), tel. +48 32 3689589, e-mail:
© 2010-2013 Dept. of Geomorphology, University of Silesia