Polar Research https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar <p><em>Polar Research</em>&nbsp;is the international, peer-reviewed journal of the&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.npolar.no/en/">Norwegian Polar Institute</a></strong>, Norway's central institution for research, environmental monitoring and mapping of the polar regions.&nbsp;</p> Norwegian Polar Institute en-US Polar Research 1751-8369 <p><span style="color: #4b7d92;">This work is licensed under a <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported License</a>.<br>Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Norwegian Polar Institute.</span></p> <p><a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="/public/site/images/ecsemiczky/cc_by_nc1.png"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Holocene environmental changes in Dicksonfjorden, west Spitsbergen, Svalbard https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3426 <p>Multi-proxy analyses of two sediment cores from Dicksonfjorden were performed to reconstruct Holocene environmental conditions in this northern branch of Isfjorden, the largest fjord system in Svalbard. Factors affecting the depositional processes include shifts in sources of sediments, ice rafting and regional glacio-isostatic rebound. Sediments were derived from Palaeozoic siliciclastics and carbonates occurring at the fjord head and sides, respectively. Their relative contributions were controlled by falling relative sea level and the resulting progradation of the major stream and delta systems closer to the core sites. Deposition of clasts from sea-ice rafting persisted throughout most of the Holocene. Following a period of low, but continuous, clast fluxes (ca. 11 000–7000 calibrated years before the present), ice rafting was most intensive between ca. 7000 and 3000 calibrated years before the present. It can be related to extensive seasonal sea-ice formation caused by regional cooling. The prograding deltas also provided coarse sediments. Reduced ice rafting from ca. 3000 calibrated years before the present suggests enhanced formation of shorefast and/or permanent sea ice, suppressing sea-ice rafting in the fjord, in response to the cool climate and reduced heat flux from Atlantic Water. Episodic inflow of Atlantic Water and low turbidity of surface water can, however, account for a larger amount of marine organic matter produced in the outer fjord. The sedimentary record in Dicksonfjorden, where tidewater glaciers are absent, reflects similar climate and oceanographic variations as reconstructed in fjords on western Spitsbergen that are influenced by tidewater glaciers.</p> Young Ji Joo Matthias Forwick Kwangkyu Park Youngjin Joe Yeong Ju Son Seung-Il Nam ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-09-26 2019-09-26 10.33265/polar.v38.3426 The marine sedimentary environments of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard: an archive of polar environmental change https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3380 <p>Kongsfjorden, a fjord in north-western Svalbard, is characterized by large environmental gradients driven by meltwater processes along the margins of tidewater glaciers and the inflow of relatively warm Atlantic Water, the main heat source for the European Arctic. These factors make Kongsfjorden a key area to investigate changes in the polar climate–ocean–glacier system and to examine the resulting effects on the marine environment. The aim of this paper is to synthesize knowledge about the marine sedimentary environment in Kongsfjorden since the last deglaciation. Fjords act as natural sedimentary traps, archiving information about past and present environmental conditions and changes. Geological studies of Kongsfjorden have demonstrated a good potential for reconstructing palaeoenvironments and establishing baselines values for the natural climate changes in the Arctic. Palaeoceanographic reconstructions reveal rising water temperatures similar to modern temperatures ca. 12 000 years ago. The extent of warm Atlantic Water entering the fjords influences processes at, and the stability of, the margins of the tidewater glaciers. Enhanced inflow may cause accelerated glacial melting that, in consequence, leads to an increase in the sediment flux from the glacial catchments into the fjord, as observed ca. 12 000 years ago and at present. However, responses of sediment flux to modern environmental changes remain poorly understood, hence long-term and monitoring studies are needed to quantify and model the effects of climate warming on the sedimentary environment of Kongsfjorden.</p> Katrine Husum John A. Howe Agnes Baltzer Matthias Forwick Maria Jensen Patrycja Jernas Sergei Korsun Arto Miettinen Rahul Mohan Caterina Morigi Per Inge Myhre Maarten A. Prins Kari Skirbekk Beata Sternal Michel Boos Noortje Dijkstra Simon Troelstra ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-09-16 2019-09-16 10.33265/polar.v38.3380 Sedimentology and petrography of the Svenskøya Formation on Hopen, Svalbard: an analogue to sandstone reservoirs in the Realgrunnen Subgroup https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3523 <p>On the island of Hopen, in the Svalbard Archipelago, the Svenskøya Formation is a succession 35 m in thickness, consisting primarily of sandstone beds and forming the youngest strata exposed on the island. We present a sedimentological and petrographic study of the formation and compare the unit with its exposures on Wilhelmøya and in Kong Karls Land, Svalbard. We also compare the onshore characteristics of the Svenskøya Formation with those of the Tubåen Formation, its time-equivalent unit in the Sentralbanken area of the northern Barents Sea. On Hopen, the Svenskøya Formation is interpreted as representing coarse clastic sediments deposited in a fluvial to tidal setting, prior to being overlain by a thin interval composed of tidal channel and marine shale deposits. The unit sits atop the regional “Rhaetian Unconformity” and represents sediments deposited during a regressive system that terminates at a flooding surface representing a local transgression of the palaeo-coastline. Petrographic studies show the formation as being arkosic, both on Hopen and in the Sentralbanken area. The reservoir quality of sandstone samples recovered from Hopen is somewhat lower compared to sandstone reservoirs in the Sentralbanken area. We attribute this to greater effects of diagenesis in the Hopen area, which caused increased compaction, mineral dissolution and extensive precipitation of pore-filling clay minerals.</p> Gareth S. Lord Mai Britt E. Mørk Atle Mørk Snorre Olaussen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-09-02 2019-09-02 10.33265/polar.v38.3523 Comparison of snow accumulation events on two High-Arctic glaciers to model-derived and observed precipitation https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3364 <p>We evaluate how precipitation forcing data used in glacier mass balance models characterize snow accumulation events on synoptic timescales for two glaciers in north-western Svalbard (Kongsvegen and Holtedahlfonna). Using sonic ranger (snow depth) and wind speed data from automatic weather stations located on the glaciers, we distinguish accumulation events occurring under either calm or windy conditions. We show clear differences in the timing and magnitude of snow accumulation events between the two neighbouring glaciers, illustrating the spatial heterogeneity of snow accumulation in this region. The accumulation measurements show that at equivalent elevations, Kongsvegen receives more snowfall than neighbouring Holtedahlfonna, and that Kongsvegen is more affected by wind-driven snow redistribution than Holtedahlfonna. This is consistent with the synoptically-driven precipitation patterns in the region. Accumulation events are then compared to precipitation data from the nearest meteorological station in Ny-Ålesund (ca. 30 km distant) and to a downscaled snowfall data product based on the ERA-Interim reanalysis (nearest gridpoint ca. 300 m distant). Evaluation of the synchrony of observed events at the glacier sites and the precipitation products shows that the ERA-Interim precipitation data reproduce more snowfall events than the Ny-Ålesund station data, suggesting that the precipitation fields from distributed reanalysis data provide a more reasonable representation of accumulation on the study glaciers, even over short timescales.</p> Ankit Pramanik Jack Kohler Thomas V. Schuler Ward van Pelt Lana Cohen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-08-30 2019-08-30 10.33265/polar.v38.3364 The life cycle of small- to medium-sized icebergs in the Amundsen Sea Embayment https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3313 <p>An object-based method for automatic iceberg detection has been applied to Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar images in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE), Antarctica. The images were acquired between 1 January 2006 and 8 April 2012 under varying meteorological, oceanographic and sea-ice conditions. During this time period, the icebergs were counted (average 1370 ± 50) and their surface area was estimated (average 1537.5 km<sup>2</sup>). The average surface area was about 2.5 times larger than the annual calved area (620 km<sup>2</sup>), indicating that the average iceberg age in the ASE is about 2.5 years, which was confirmed by observed residence times based on drift tracks. Most of the ASE icebergs were less than 1500 m long, and almost 90% of them were smaller than 2 km<sup>2</sup>. The proportion of small- and medium-sized icebergs (84.4%) was significantly higher than in the open ocean, where large icebergs (&gt;10 km<sup>2</sup>) account for nearly the whole iceberg surface area. The opposite was true for the freshly calved icebergs in the ASE. The data indicate that the creation of icebergs in the ASE is dominated by steady small- to medium-scale calving from ice shelves fringing the embayment. In addition, rare calving events of giant icebergs occur on a decadal timescale. There is also some import of icebergs from the Bellingshausen Sea further east along the coast, in particular after large calving events there.</p> Aleksandra K. Mazur Anna K. Wåhlin Ola Kalén ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-08-22 2019-08-22 10.33265/polar.v38.3313 Quantifying the relative impact of hunting and oiling on Brünnich’s guillemots in the North-west Atlantic https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3378 <p>Brünnich’s guillemot (<em>Uria lomvia)</em>, or thick-billed murre, is an abundant pan-Arctic seabird, but several Atlantic breeding populations are declining. The species is subject to traditional harvest in the important wintering areas off west Greenland and Newfoundland, and has been subject to chronic oil pollution on the east coast of Canada. Until recently, knowledge of winter distribution has been insufficient to assess the impact of these mortality sources on specific breeding populations. We collate existing information on mortality from bag statistics in Greenland and Canada and studies of oiling off Newfoundland, as well as new data on age distribution in the harvest. Based on the results of recent tracking studies, we construct a spatially explicit population model that allocates hunting and oiling mortality to breeding populations and estimates the relative impact on their growth rate. Results indicate that annual population growth rate is depressed by 0.011–0.041 (approximately 1%–4%) by anthropogenic mortality sources. In addition to affecting local breeders, hunting in Greenland mainly affects declining breeding populations in Svalbard and Iceland, while hunting and oiling in Newfoundland mainly affect guillemots breeding in Arctic Canada and north-west Greenland, where most populations are relatively stable. The strongest relative impact is predicted on the small breeding population in Atlantic Canada, which winters mainly on the Newfoundland Shelf and therefore is exposed to both hunting and oiling. Our results clarify the relationships between hunting in Greenland and Canada and growth of specific breeding populations, and thus have major implications for harvest management of guillemots.</p> Morten Frederiksen Jannie F. Linnebjerg Flemming R. Merkel Sabina I. Wilhelm Gregory J. Robertson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-08-06 2019-08-06 10.33265/polar.v38.3378 Distribution and environmental correlations of picoeukaryotes in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard) during the summer https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3390 <p>Picoeukaryotes are numerous in the summer in the High-Arctic fjord Kongsfjorden, in western Spitsbergen, Svalbard. However, little research has been conducted on the community structure and diversity of picoeukaryotes. We conducted a detailed investigation of the distribution and environmental correlations of picoeukaryotes in Kongsfjorden in July 2012, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and redundant analysis. Eight classes were classified with proportions larger than 1%. These were Mamiellophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Spirotrichea, Telonemea, Cryptophyceae, Bolidophyceae, Picomonadea and Dictyochophyceae. Five genera were classified, with&nbsp;<em>Micromonas</em>&nbsp;(55.6%) and&nbsp;<em>Bathycoccus</em>&nbsp;(7.8%) as the dominant genera. The diversity and composition of the picoeukaryote community were very distinct in different water masses sampled in the water column (i.e., vertically), but were not distinct from station to station (i.e., horizontally). Biodiversity was greater in the Atlantic waters than in glacial waters. Mamiellophyceae, Bolidophyceae, Picomonadea and Dictyochophyceae had significantly different distributions (<em>p</em>&nbsp;&lt; 0.01) in the three water masses (surface water, intermediate water and transformed Atlantic Water). Nitrogen, salinity and temperature were the first three primary environmental factors shaping the community structure of picoeukaryotes.</p> Fang Zhang Shunan Cao Yuan Gao Jianfeng He ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-08-05 2019-08-05 10.33265/polar.v38.3390 Two species of Lumbricillus (Enchytraeidae, Annelida) new to Antarctica https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3325 <p>The intertidal fauna of the Antarctic Peninsula has a relatively high species diversity, due to its warmer environment compared to other parts of Antarctica. Marine oligochaetes are, in general, one of the most diverse and ecologically important benthic organism groups, at least in the littoral zone. Antarctica has been one of the least studied areas with regard to oligochaete diversity. Here we report two&nbsp;<em>Lumbricillus</em>&nbsp;species (<em>Lumbricillus antarcticus</em>&nbsp;Stephenson, 1932 and&nbsp;<em>Lumbricillus sejongensis</em>&nbsp;sp. nov.) new to Antarctica, found in a tidal pool on the Barton Peninsula, King George Island. The diversity of this genus remains poorly known for Antarctica and the Subantarctic islands, and what we know is based on a few patchy studies.</p> Jeounghee Lee Mårten J. Klinth Jongwoo Jung ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-07-12 2019-07-12 10.33265/polar.v38.3325 Giles Land—a mystery for S.A. Andrée and other early Arctic explorers https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3433 <p>After the initial discovery of Giles Land (Kvitøya, Svalbard) by Cornelis Giles in 1707, it was most likely never seen by anyone again until 1876. During this lengthy period, Giles Land evolved into an enigma as various explorers and cartographers came to very different conclusions about its probable location, character or even existence. In 1897, when the engineer Salomon August Andrée tried to return over the ice after his failed attempt to reach the North Pole in a balloon, he passed through an area approximately 160 km north of Kvitøya where Giles Land was indicated on his map. Andrée searched for it, but there was no land in sight. The main reason why Giles Land was erroneously positioned too far north was a conjecture by a German cartographer August Petermann in 1872. While there was some distrust of Petermann’s conjecture at the time, many also believed it. The erroneous understanding that Giles Land was located far north of Kvitøya was only finally dismissed in the 1930s. This article examines how this misunderstanding regarding the identity and location of Giles Land could arise and become entrenched.</p> Björn Lantz ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-07-01 2019-07-01 10.33265/polar.v38.3433 Surface heat budget in the Southern Ocean from 42°S to the Antarctic marginal ice zone: four atmospheric reanalyses versus icebreaker <em>Aurora Australis</em> measurements https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3349 <p>Surface heat fluxes from four atmospheric reanalyses in the Southern Ocean are evaluated using air–sea measurements obtained from the&nbsp;<em>Aurora Australis</em>&nbsp;during off-winter seasons in 2010–12. The icebreaker tracked between Hobart, Tasmania (ca. 42°S), and the Antarctic continent, providing in situ benchmarks for the surface energy budget change in the Subantarctic Southern Ocean (58–42°S) and the eastern Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ, 68–58°S). We find that the reanalyses show a high-level agreement among themselves, but this agreement reflects a universal bias, not a “truth.” Downward shortwave radiation (SW↓) is overestimated (warm biased) and downward longwave radiation (LW↓) is underestimated (cold biased), an indication that the cloud amount in all models is too low. The ocean surface in both regimes shows a heat gain from the atmosphere when averaged over the seven months (October–April). However, the ocean heat gain in reanalyses is overestimated by 10–36 W m<sup>−2</sup>&nbsp;(80–220%) in the MIZ but underestimated by 6–20 W m<sup>−2</sup>&nbsp;(7–25%) in the Subantarctic. The biases in SW↓ and LW↓ cancel out each other in the MIZ, causing the surface heat budget to be dictated by the underestimation bias in sensible heat loss. These reanalyses biases affect the surface energy budget in the Southern Ocean by meaningfully affecting the timing of the seasonal transition from net heat gain to net heat loss at the surface and the relative strength of SW↓ at different regimes in summer, when the length-of-day effect can lead to increased SW↓ at high latitudes.</p> Lisan Yu Xiangze Jin Eric W. Schulz ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-28 2019-06-28 10.33265/polar.v38.3349 Arctic fox dispersal from Svalbard to Canada: one female’s long run across sea ice https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3512 <p>We report the first satellite tracking of natal dispersal by an Arctic fox (<em>Vulpes lagopus</em>) between continents and High-Arctic ecosystems. A young female left Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago, Norway) on 26 March 2018 and reached Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, 76 days later, after travelling a cumulative distance of 3506 km, bringing her ca. 1789 km away (straight-line distance) from her natal area. The total cumulative distance travelled during the entire tracking period, starting when she left her natal area on 1 March 2018 and ending when she settled on Ellesmere Island on 1 July 2018, was 4415 km. This is among the longest dispersal events ever recorded for an Arctic fox. Crossing extensive stretches of sea ice and glaciers, the female moved at an average rate of 46.3 km/day ± 41.1 SD. The maximum movement rate was 155 km/day and occurred on the ice sheet in northern Greenland. This is the fastest movement rate recorded for this species. The northernmost location recorded was on the sea ice off northern Greenland at a latitude of 84.7°N. The Arctic fox was of the blue colour morph typical for coastal environments, where Arctic foxes are adapted to food webs without lemmings but with substantial inputs of marine food resources. The Arctic fox settled on Ellesmere Island in a food web with lemmings, thereby switching ecosystems. Our observation supports evidence of gene flow across Arctic regions, including those seasonally bridged by sea ice, found in studies of the circumpolar genetic structure of Arctic fox populations.</p> <p>View the <strong><a href="https://figshare.com/articles/Large-scale_dispersal_movement_of_a_young_polar_fox_across_the_Arctic/8288159/1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">supplementary animation</a></strong>.</p> <p>This article has a related <strong><a href="https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3646">Erratum</a></strong>.</p> Eva Fuglei Arnaud Tarroux ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-24 2019-06-24 10.33265/polar.v38.3512 High-Arctic nesting geese occupying less favourable nest sites are more vulnerable to predation https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3352 <p>In a simple, rodent-free Arctic ecosystem in Svalbard, we assessed the nest-site characteristics of the main (and highly abundant) migratory herbivore—pink-footed geese (<em>Anser brachyrhynchus</em>)—to determine which nesting geese were preferentially attacked and killed by the only local predator of adult geese, the Arctic fox (<em>Vulpes lagopus</em>). We collected data on goose carcasses and nest-site characteristics at one of the main pink-footed goose breeding areas in Svalbard. Arctic foxes depredated adult pink-footed geese from just over a quarter of the unsuccessful nests in the colony and carcasses were generally found just under 10 m away from a nest. Geese that occupied nests of poorer quality (limited visibility, further distance to forage patches and situated on flatter slopes) and were less well established (indicated by the low degree of fertilization from accumulations of goose droppings) were more likely to be depredated by Arctic foxes. As geese show a high degree of nest-site fidelity and preferentially occupy nests with better protection against depredation and closer to feeding areas, we propose that Arctic foxes targeted, and were more successful in killing younger, more inexperienced or low-quality geese that occupied less favourable nest sites.</p> Helen B. Anderson Eva Fuglei Jesper Madsen René van der Wal ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-18 2019-06-18 10.33265/polar.v38.3352 Seasonal dynamics of the marine CO<sub>2</sub> system in Adventfjorden, a west Spitsbergen fjord https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3345 <p>Time series of the marine CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;system and related parameters at the IsA Station, by Adventfjorden, Svalbard, were investigated between March 2015 and November 2017. The physical and biogeochemical processes that govern changes in total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and the saturation state of the calcium carbonate mineral aragonite (Ω<sub>Ar</sub>) were assessed on a monthly timescale. The major driver for TA and DIC was changes in salinity, caused by river runoff, mixing and advection. This accounted for 77 and 45%, respectively, of the overall variability. It contributed minimally to the variability in Ω<sub>Ar</sub>&nbsp;(5%); instead, biological activity was responsible for 60% of the monthly variations. For DIC, the biological activity was also important, contributing 44%. The monthly effect of air–sea CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;fluxes accounted for 11 and 15% of the total changes in DIC and Ω<sub>Ar</sub>, respectively. Net community production (NCP) during the productive season ranged between 65 and 85 g C m<sup>−2</sup>, depending on the year and the presence of either Arctic water or transformed Atlantic water (TAW). The annual NCP as estimated from DIC consumption was 34 g C m<sup>−2</sup>&nbsp;yr<sup>−1</sup>&nbsp;in 2016, which was opposite in direction but similar in magnitude to the integrated annual air–sea CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;flux (i.e., uptake of carbon from the atmosphere) of −29 g C m<sup>−2</sup>&nbsp;yr<sup>−1</sup>&nbsp;for the same year. The results showed that increased intrusions of TAW into Adventfjorden in the future could possibly lower the NCP, with the potential to reduce the CO<sub>2</sub>buffer capacity and Ω<sub>Ar</sub>&nbsp;over the summer season.</p> Ylva Ericson Melissa Chierici Eva Falck Agneta Fransson Elizabeth Jones Svein Kristiansen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-11 2019-06-11 10.33265/polar.v38.3345 Well drilling in permafrost regions: dynamics of the thawed zone https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3351 <p>In the cold regions, warm mud is usually used to drill deep wells. This mud causes formation thawing around wells, and as a rule is an uncertain parameter. For frozen soils, ice serves as a cementing material, so the strength of frozen soils is significantly reduced at the ice–water transition. If the thawing soil cannot withstand the load of overlying layers, consolidation will take place, and the corresponding settlement can cause significant surface shifts. Therefore, for long-term drilling or oil/gas production, the radius of thawing should be estimated to predict platform stability and the integrity of the well. It is known that physical properties of formations are drastically changed at the thawing–freezing transition. When interpreting geophysical logs, it is therefore important to know the radius of thawing and its dynamics during drilling and shut-in periods. We have shown earlier that for a cylindrical system the position of the phase interface in the Stefan problem can be approximated through two functions: one function determines the position of the melting-temperature isotherm in the problem without phase transitions, and the second function does not depend on time. For the drilling period, we will use this approach to estimate the radius of thawing. For the shut-in period, we will utilize an empirical equation based on the results of numerical modelling.</p> Lev V. Eppelbaum Izzy M. Kutasov ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-05 2019-06-05 10.33265/polar.v38.3351 Dynamics and persistence of rabies in the Arctic https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3366 <p>Rabies is a major issue for human and animal health in the Arctic, yet little is known about its epidemiology. In particular, there is an ongoing debate regarding how Arctic rabies persists in its primary reservoir host, the Arctic fox (<em>Vulpes lagopus</em>), which exists in the ecosystem at very low population densities. To shed light on the mechanisms of rabies persistence in the Arctic, we built a susceptible–exposed–infectious–recovered (SEIR) epidemiological model of rabies virus transmission in an Arctic fox population interacting with red foxes (<em>Vulpes vulpes</em>), a rabies host that is increasingly present in the Arctic. The model suggests that rabies cannot be maintained in resource-poor areas of the Arctic, characterized by low Arctic fox density, even in the presence of continuous reintroduction of the virus by infected Arctic foxes from neighbouring regions. However, in populations of relatively high Arctic fox density, rabies persists under conditions of higher transmission rate, prolonged infectious period and for a broad range of incubation periods. Introducing the strong cyclical dynamics of Arctic prey availability makes simulated rabies outbreaks less regular but more intense, with an onset that does not neatly track peaks in Arctic fox density. Finally, interaction between Arctic and red foxes increases the frequency and/or the intensity of rabies outbreaks in the Arctic fox population. Our work suggests that disruption of prey cycles and increasing interactions between Arctic and red foxes due to climate change and northern development may significantly change the epidemiology of rabies across the Arctic.</p> Audrey Simon Olivia Tardy Amy Hurford Nicolas Lecomte Denise Bélanger Patrick Leighton ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-05 2019-06-05 10.33265/polar.v38.3366 A nematode in the mist: <em>Scottnema lindsayae</em> is the only soil metazoan in remote Antarctic deserts, at greater densities with altitude https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3494 <p>A decrease in biodiversity and density of terrestrial organisms with increasing altitude and latitude is a well-known ecogeographical pattern. However, studies of these trends are often taxonomically-biased toward well-known organisms and especially those with relatively large bodies, and environmental variability at the local scale may perturb these general effects. Here, we focus on understudied organisms—soil invertebrates—in Antarctic deserts, which are among the driest and coldest places on Earth. We sampled two remote Antarctic sites in the Darwin Glacier area and established an altitudinal gradient running from 210 to 836 m a.s.l. We measured soil geochemistry and organic matter content and linked these parameters with the presence of soil invertebrates. We found three general outcomes, two of which are consistent with general assumptions: (a) the hostile climatic condition of the Darwin Glacier region supports an extremely low diversity of soil metazoans represented by a single nematode species—<em>Scottnema lindsayae</em>; (b) soil geochemistry is the main factor influencing distribution of nematodes at the local scale. Contrary to our expectations, a positive correlation was found between nematode density and altitude. This last observation could be explained by an additional effect of soil moisture as we found this increased with altitude and may be caused by orographic clouds, which are present in this region. To the best of our knowledge such effects have been described in tropical and temperate regions. Potential effect of orographic clouds on soil properties in polar deserts may be a fruitful area of ecological research on soil fauna.</p> Krzysztof Zawierucha Craig J. Marshall David Wharton Karel Janko ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-07 2019-05-07 10.33265/polar.v38.3494 Freshwater input to the Arctic fjord Hornsund (Svalbard) https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3506 <p>Glaciers draining to the Hornsund basin (southern Spitsbergen, Svalbard) have experienced a significant retreat and mass volume loss over the last decades, increasing the input of freshwater into the fjord. An increase in freshwater input can influence fjord hydrology, hydrodynamics, sediment flux and biota, especially in a changing climate. Here, we describe the sources of freshwater supply to the fjord based on glaciological and meteorological data from the period 2006 to 2015. The average freshwater input from land to the Hornsund bay is calculated as 2517 ± 82 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>, with main contributions from glacier meltwater runoff (986 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>; 39%) and frontal ablation of tidewater glaciers (634 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>; 25%). Tidewater glaciers in Hornsund lose ca. 40% of their mass by frontal ablation. The terminus retreat component accounts for ca. 30% of the mass loss by frontal ablation, but it can vary between 17% and 44% depending on oceanological, meteorological and geomorphological factors. The contribution of the total precipitation over land excluding winter snowfall (520 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>), total precipitation over the fjord area (180 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>) and melting of the snow cover over unglaciated areas (197 Mt a<sup>−1</sup>) to the total freshwater input appear to be small: 21%, 7% and 8%, respectively.</p> Małgorzata Błaszczyk Dariusz Ignatiuk Aleksander Uszczyk Katarzyna Cielecka-Nowak Mariusz Grabiec Jacek A. Jania Mateusz Moskalik Waldemar Walczowski ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-16 2019-04-16 10.33265/polar.v38.3506 Groundwater discharge to the western Antarctic coastal ocean https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3497 <p>Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) measurements have been limited along the Antarctic coast, although groundwater discharge is becoming recognized as an important process in the Antarctic. Quantifying this meltwater pathway is important for hydrologic budgets, ice mass balances and solute delivery to the coastal ocean. Here, we estimate the combined discharge of subglacial and submarine groundwater to the Antarctic coastal ocean. SGD, including subglacial and submarine groundwater, is quantified along the WAP at the Marr Glacier terminus using the activities of naturally occurring radium isotopes (<sup>223</sup>Ra,&nbsp;<sup>224</sup>Ra). Estimated SGD fluxes from a&nbsp;<sup>224</sup>Ra mass balance ranged from (0.41 ± 0.14)×10<sup>4</sup>&nbsp;and (8.2 ± 2.3)×10<sup>4</sup>m<sup>3</sup>&nbsp;d<sup>−1</sup>. Using a salinity mass balance, we estimate SGD contributes up to 32% of the total freshwater to the coastal environment near Palmer Station. This study suggests that a large portion of the melting glacier may be infiltrating into the bedrock and being discharged to coastal waters along the WAP. Meltwater infiltrating as groundwater at glacier termini is an important solute delivery mechanism to the nearshore environment that can influence biological productivity. More importantly, quantifying this meltwater pathway may be worthy of attention when predicting future impacts of climate change on retreat of tidewater glaciers.</p> Kimberly A. Null D. Reide Corbett Jared Crenshaw Richard N. Peterson Leigha E. Peterson W. Berry Lyons ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-04-04 2019-04-04 10.33265/polar.v38.3497 Distribution and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon in the Arctic Ocean https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3500 <p>Dissolved organic carbon, from marine biota excretions and decomposing detritus, is one of the main components of the carbon cycle in the ocean. In this study, an attempt was made to construct maps of the distribution and fluxes of DOC in the Arctic Ocean and the exchanges with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Because of the limited data available a multiple linear regression technique was performed to identify significant relationships between DOC (2200 samples) and hydrologic parameters (temperature and salinity), as well as depth, horizon, latitude and offshore distance. Mapping of the DOC distribution and its fluxes was carried out at 38 horizons from 5 to 4150 m depth (resolution 1°×1°). Data on temperature, salinity and meridional and zonal components of current velocities were obtained from the Ocean Re-Analysis System 4 (ORAS4) database. All these parameters were averaged for the June–October period, the season of water sampling. The import of DOC in the Arctic Ocean is estimated to be 206 ± 17Tg C yr<sup>−1</sup>, and the export is 194 ± 23Tg C yr<sup>−1</sup>, so the import–export is balanced within the errors.</p> Alexander Vetrov Evgeny Romankevich ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 10.33265/polar.v38.3500 Diversity and community structure of bacterioplankton in surface waters off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3491 <p>Global climate change is significantly affecting marine life off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, but little is known about microbial ecology in this area. The main goal of this study was to investigate the bacterioplankton community structure in surface waters using pyrosequencing and to determine factors influencing this community. Pelagibacterales and Rhodobacterales (Alphaproteobacteria), Oceanospirillales and Alteromonadales (Gammaproteobacteria), and Flavobacteriales (Bacteroidetes) were the core taxa in our samples, and the five most relatively abundant genera were&nbsp;<em>Pelagibacter</em>,&nbsp;<em>Polaribacter</em>,&nbsp;<em>Octadecabacter</em>, group HTCC2207 and&nbsp;<em>Sulfitobacter</em>. Although nutrients and chlorophyll&nbsp;<em>a</em>&nbsp;(chl&nbsp;<em>a</em>) contributed more to bacterioplankton community structure than water masses or depth, only 30.39% of the variance could be explained by the investigated environmental factors, as revealed by RDA and pRDA. No significant difference with respect to nutrients and chl&nbsp;<em>a</em>&nbsp;was observed among water masses or depth, as indicated by ANOVA. Furthermore, significant correlations among the dominant bacterial genera were more common than correlations between dominant genera and environmental factors, as revealed by Spearman analysis. We conclude that nutrients and chl&nbsp;<em>a</em>&nbsp;become homogeneous and that interpopulation interactions may have a central role in influencing the bacterial community structure in surface waters off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer.</p> Shunan Cao Jianfeng He Fang Zhang Ling Lin Yuan Gao Qiming Zhou ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-21 2019-03-21 10.33265/polar.v38.3491 Summer habitat selection by ringed seals (<em>Pusa hispida</em>) in the drifting sea ice of the northern Barents Sea https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3483 <p>Ringed seals are a central component of the Arctic ecosystem; they have a circumpolar distribution and are both important predators of lower trophic animals (invertebrates and fishes) and prey for polar bears and coastal human populations. They depend on sea ice for reproduction, moulting and resting, and they consume significant amounts of ice-associated prey. The population of ringed seals in Svalbard, Norway, uses both coastal and offshore habitats, the latter being important during seasonal migrations undertaken by some animals, mostly juveniles. This study examined habitat preferences of 18 satellite-tracked ringed seals (mostly young animals, but also a few adults) during late summer/autumn migrations to the drift ice in the northern Barents Sea. Resource selection functions showed that ringed seals preferred being close to the 50% sea-ice concentration threshold; a 120 km increase in the distance to the 50% sea-ice concentration threshold halved the probability of selection of a given area. In addition, higher sea-ice concentrations (80–100%) were between 1.4 and 2.2 times as likely to be selected as lower sea-ice concentrations or open water. Ringed seals use the marginal ice zone of the Barents Sea during summer/autumn. This offshore habitat has shifted northward during recent decades, which is likely causing negative effects on ringed seals by increasing the energetic cost of offshore migrations.</p> Karen Lone Charmain D. Hamilton Jon Aars Christian Lydersen Kit M. Kovacs ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-13 2019-03-13 10.33265/polar.v38.3483 A multi-year study of narwhal occurrence in the western Fram Strait—detected via passive acoustic monitoring https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3468 <p>Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has proven to be an efficient method for studying vocally active marine mammals in areas that are difficult to access on a year-round basis. In this study, a PAM recorder was deployed on an oceanographic mooring in western Fram Strait (78°50'N, 5°W) to record the acoustic presence of narwhals (<em>Monodon monoceros</em>) over a 3-yr period. Acoustic data were recorded for 14–17 min at the start of each hour from 25 September 2010 to 26 August 2011, from 2 September 2012 to 11 April 2013 and from 8 September 2013 to 27 April 2014. Pulsed and tonal signals, as well as echolocation clicks, were detected throughout the recording periods, demonstrating that this species is present in this region throughout the year. Generalized linear mixed-effect models showed a negative correlation between the acoustic presence of narwhals and very dense sea-ice cover (≥90%). Surprisingly, a positive correlation was found between the acoustic presence of narwhals and the presence of warm Atlantic Water in the area. Available data suggest that there might be a unique stock of narwhals in the Eurasian sector of the Atlantic Arctic that do not exhibit the “traditional” narwhal pattern of seasonal migration between coastal summering areas and offshore wintering grounds, but rather remain resident year-round in deep, offshore waters.</p> Heidi Ahonen Kathleen M. Stafford Christian Lydersen Laura de Steur Kit M. Kovacs ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-06 2019-03-06 10.33265/polar.v38.3468 <em>Pseudolamarckina pseudorjasanensis </em>Dain, 1967 (Foraminifera) as a Kimmeridgian marker species and its significance for biostratigraphy, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3461 <p>This study presents a taxonomical review of the species&nbsp;<em>Pseudolamarckina pseudorjasanensis</em>&nbsp;Dain, 1967 collected at different sampling levels from the central and northern parts of European Russia and from Western Siberia. Morphological and biometrical analyses show that&nbsp;<em>P. pseudorjasanensis</em>&nbsp;is characterized by wide intraspecific variabilities and may encompass various previously described Kimmeridgian species of the genus&nbsp;<em>Pseudolamarckina</em>. The first appearance of&nbsp;<em>P. pseudorjasanensis</em>&nbsp;is recorded from the latest Early Kimmeridgian of sub-Mediterranean to Arctic regions. Furthermore,&nbsp;<em>P. pseudorjasanensis</em>&nbsp;appears to be the marker species of the foraminiferal JF41 Zone in Kimmeridgian sections of sub-boreal, boreal and Arctic regions. This JF41 Zone is particularly significant for interregional correlations. Finally,&nbsp;<em>P. pseudorjasanensis</em>&nbsp;was widespread across the Kimmeridgian basins of the Northern Hemisphere and was associated with environments predominantly located in the middle sublittoral zone.</p> Clémentine Peggy Anne-Marie Colpaert Boris Leonidovich Nikitenko ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 10.33265/polar.v38.3461 Incomplete degradation of lichen usnic acid and atranorin in Svalbard reindeer (<em>Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus</em>) https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3375 <p>Previous studies of Eurasian tundra reindeer (<em>Rangifer tarandus tarandus</em>) in Norway indicate that their rumen microbiota play a key role in degrading lichen secondary metabolites. We investigated the presence of usnic acid and atranorin in faecal samples from Svalbard reindeer&nbsp;<em>(R. tarandus platyrhynchus</em>). Samples were collected in Bolterdalen valley together with vegetation samples from the study site. The mesic tundra in this area was dominated by vascular plants (59% of vegetation cover). Bryophytes (16%) and lichens (25%) were also present. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of usnic acid and atranorin in lichen and faeces samples were performed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Contents of atranorin averaged 12.49 ± 0.41 mg g<sup>–1</sup>in the thalli of&nbsp;<em>Stereocaulon alpinum</em>, while the average level of usnic acid was lowest in&nbsp;<em>Cladonia mitis</em>&nbsp;(12.75 ± 2.86 mg g<sup>–1</sup>) and highest in&nbsp;<em>Flavocetraria cucullata</em>&nbsp;(34.87 ± 0.47 mg g<sup>–1</sup>). Atranorin and usnic acid were detected in the faecal samples, averaging 0.41 ± 0.53 and 0.74 ± 1.11 (mean ± SD) mg g<sup>–1</sup>&nbsp;dry matter, respectively. The presence of lichen secondary compounds in faeces from Svalbard reindeer shows that lichens are indeed included in their diet, although probably in small amounts because of depleted pastures. Contrary to previous findings in reindeer on mainland Norway, atranorin and usnic acid are not completely degraded or absorbed in Svalbard reindeer. To elucidate the mechanisms behind detoxification of lichen secondary compounds in reindeer, more research is needed on their respective rumen microbiomes and digestive enzymes.</p> Michał Hubert Węgrzyn Paulina Wietrzyk-Pełka Agnieszka Galanty Beata Cykowska-Marzencka Monica Alterskjær Sundset ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-22 2019-01-22 10.33265/polar.v38.3375 A gloomy future for light-bellied brent geese in Tusenøyane, Svalbard, under a changing predator regime https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3393 <p>The endangered population of light-bellied brent geese (<em>Branta bernicla hrota</em>) breeding in Svalbard and north-east Greenland used to have its core breeding area in the archipelago of Tusenøyane in south-east Svalbard. Studies carried out during 1987–1991 showed that the Tusenøyane population was subject to heavy egg predation by polar bears and, in one year, Arctic foxes. Revisiting some key nesting islands in August 2018, we found few nests used by brent geese and no families. The high density of common scurvygrass (<em>Cochlearia officinalis</em>), a food favoured by brent geese and therefore formerly depleted by them, indicates that the geese have been absent for some time. Among other bird species, such as barnacle goose and common eider, very few young were observed as well. As potential predators, polar bears, or signs of their recent presence, were observed on most islands, and great skuas occurred on almost all islands, with 60 individuals on Lurøya, formerly an important island for geese. In contrast, only a single pair of great skuas was observed 30 years ago. The observations suggest that recent expansion of great skuas in the North Atlantic, including Svalbard, has led to a novel extreme predation pressure, additional to that caused by mammalian predators. Despite the loss of Tusenøyane as a breeding ground, the population of brent geese has increased in recent decades; so we can infer that the population now recruits from remote but mainly unknown breeding grounds.</p> Jesper Madsen Cornelia Jaspers John Frikke Ove M. Gundersen Bart A. Nolet Koen Nolet Kees H.T. Schreven Christian Sonne Peter de Vries ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-06-27 2019-06-27 10.33265/polar.v38.3393 A note on digital elevation model smoothing and driving stresses https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3498 <p>Ice-flow fields, including the driving stress, provide important information on the current state and evolution of Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheet dynamics. However, computation of flow fields from continent-scale DEMs requires the use of smoothing functions and scales, the choice of which can be ad hoc. This study evaluates smoothing functions and scales for robust calculations of driving stress from Antarctic DEMs. Our approach compares a variety of filters and scales for their capacity to minimize the residual between predicted and observed flow direction fields. We find that a spatially varying triangular filter with a width of 8–10 ice thicknesses provides the closest match between the observed and predicted flow direction fields. We use the predicted flow direction fields to highlight artefacts in observed Antarctic velocities, demonstrating that comparison of multiple observational data sets has utility for quality control of continent-scale data sets.</p> Felicity S. McCormack Jason L. Roberts Lenneke M. Jong Duncan A. Young Lucas H. Beem ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-28 2019-03-28 10.33265/polar.v38.3498 First evidence of a tetrapod footprint from the Triassic of northern Victoria Land, Antarctica https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3438 <p>Here, we report on a tetrapod footprint from the Transantarctic Basin in the far north of Victoria Land, which marks the first record of terrestrial vertebrates for this region. The single specimen derives from a previously unknown lithological unit of Middle or Late Triassic age of the Beacon Supergroup in the Helliwell Hills in the central Rennick Glacier area. It differs in both size and morphology clearly from Middle Triassic trackway types from the upper Fremouw Formation of the Queen Alexandra Range in southern Victoria Land, and likely represents a primitive amniote, procolophonid or therapsid. The footprint is the third evidence of fossil vertebrate trackways in Antarctica.</p> Thomas Mörs Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki Laura Crispini Andreas Läufer Benjamin Bomfleur ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-14 2019-02-14 10.33265/polar.v38.3438 Review of <em>Four Antarctic years in the South Orkney Islands: an annotated translation of Cuatro años en las Orcadas del Sur</em>, by Jose Manuel Moneta (2017). London: Bernard Quaritch. 440 pp. ISBN 978-0-9955192-0-6. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3482 <p>(No abstract available)</p> Adrian Howkins ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-05 2019-03-05 10.33265/polar.v38.3482 Review of <em>The spectral Arctic: a history of dreams and ghosts in polar exploration</em> by Shane McCorristine (2018). London: University College London Press. 265 pp. ISBN 978-1-78735-246-9. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3376 <p>(No abstract available)</p> Dianne Chisholm ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-21 2019-01-21 10.33265/polar.v38.3376 E. Fuglei & A. Tarroux. Arctic fox dispersal from Svalbard to Canada: one female’s long run across sea ice. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/3646 <p>This Erratum relates to the following article:</p> <p>E. Fuglei &amp; A. Tarroux. Arctic fox dispersal from Svalbard to Canada: one female’s long run across sea ice.&nbsp;<em>Polar Research</em>&nbsp;2019,&nbsp;<em>38</em>, 3512,<strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.33265/polar.v38.3512" target="_base">http://dx.doi.org/10.33265/polar.v38.3512</a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Eva Fuglei Arnaud Tarroux ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-07-26 2019-07-26 10.33265/polar.v38.3646