Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2006 | vol. 27 | No 3 |

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Abstract

A sediment core (LS-1) collected from Long Lake in King George Island, South Shetland Islands (West Antarctica) was analyzed for a variety of textural, geochemical, isotopic and paleontological properties together with 14C age dates. These data combined with published records of other studies provide a detailed history of local/regional postglacial paleoproductivity variation with respect to terrestrial paleoclimate change. The lithologic contrast of a lower diamicton and an upper fine-grained sediment demonstrates glacial recession and subsequent lake formation. The upper fine-grained deposit, intercalated by mid-Holocene tephra-fallout followed by a tephra gravity flow, was formed in a lacustrine environment. Low total organic carbon (TOC) and biogenic silica (Sibio) contents with high C/N ratios characterize the diamicton, whereas an increase of TOC and Sibio contents characterize the postglacial lacustrine fine-grained sediments, which are dated at c. 4000 yrBP. More notable are the distinct TOC maxima, which may imply enhanced primary productivity during warm periods. Changes in Sibio content and δ13C values, which support the increasing paleoproductivity, are in sympathy with these organic matter variations. The uniform and low TOC contents that are decoupled by Sibio contents are attributed to the tephra gravity flows during the evolution of the lake rather than a reduced paleoproductivity. A very recent TOC maximum is also characterized by high Sibio content and δ13C values, clearly indicating increased paleoproductivity consequent upon gradual warming across King George Island . Comparable with changes in sediment geochemistry, the occurrence and abundance of several diatom species corroborate the paleoproductivity variations together with the lithologic development. However, the paleoclimatic signature in local terrestrial lake environment during the postglacial period (for example the Long Lake) seems to be less distinct, as compared to the marine environment.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ho-Il Yoon
Boo-Keun Khim
Kyung Lee
Yu-Hyeon Park
Kyu-Cheul Yoo
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Abstract

The paper presents the results of taxonomical work concerning the lichen genus Cladonia Hill ex P. Browne from the Arctic island Spitsbergen (Svalbard). The work is based on studies of herbarium material collected during several Polish expeditions (deposited in Polish herbaria) and on the field work carried out by the author in 2002. The materials originate from the west coast of the island. Specimens were studied using methods of classical taxonomy supported by chemical analysis of the lichen substances. Twenty-seven taxa have been recognized in the materials examined. The description (morphological characters and chemistry), ecology and distribution of particular taxa are presented. An updated key for identification of taxa is included. Habitus photos of the species are submitted.

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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Osyczka
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Abstract

The ablation of glaciers is an important factor in energy exchange between the atmosphere and land ice masses. The dynamics of ablation closely reflects climate changes and is important for the estimation of the outflow of meltwater, which, having penetrated a glacier to bedrock, stimulates its velocity by increasing basal sliding. More detailed studies using automatic weather stations (AWS) and the calculation of the energy budget are rarely conducted on small glaciers. The mass balance of the Hans Glacier has been monitored since 1989. Its intensified monitoring using AWS began in 2003. The results show that ablation depends more evidently on the daily mean and maximum air temperature and wind speed than on total and net radiation. Ablation, both that controlled by sonic height ranger and that measured manually on stakes, was compared with the values calculated on the basis of energy flux formulas applied by Oerlemans (2000). The statistical results allowed us to construct empirical equations, which in turn enabled us to compute the course and total ablation during the summer seasons. It can be described on the basis of two primary meteorological elements (air temperature and wind speed), as recorded in the station representing the regional area (Hornsund) or measured in situ on the glacier. Standard measurements of ablation from the years 1989-2004 were used to verify empirical model. The computed mean value of summer ablation for 1989-2004 was calculated at 1.35 m , differing from real measurements by only 10% (with SD = 0.18). The results obtained illustrate that an empirical equation can be applied in time series analyses. A regional ablation model enables us to investigate the mass-balance history of glaciers on the basis of meteorological data.

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Authors and Affiliations

Krzysztof Migała
Bogumiła A. Piwowar
Dariusz Puczko
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Abstract

The food and foraging strategy of fifteen species of seabirds and sea mammals from two high Arctic fjords were analysed. One of the fjords, Kongsfjord, is strongly influenced by warm waters from the Atlantic , while Hornsund is of a more Arctic character. Prey species in the Atlantic waters were more diverse (82 species and 16 functional groups) compared to those of Arctic waters (67 prey species and 14 functional groups). The consumption of top predators from Hornsund in the peak season of July was estimated at 2.86*106 MJ, while that in Kongsfjord was 1.35*106 MJ. For the analysed function of the ecosystem (the transfer of energy to the top trophic levels) the specific character of prey species is of key importance and not the diversity, abundance or biomass per se. Lower species diversity and biomass in Arctic waters is compensated for by the occurrence of larger individuals of these species, which permits top predators to prey directly on lower trophic levels.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jan Marcin Węsławski
Sławomir Kwaśniewski
Lech Stempniewicz
Katarzyna Błachowiak-Samołyk

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