In Svalbard there are several ongoing programs concerning rock glaciers. One project was started by the University of Oslo, Department of Physical Geography, in 1986 in the Ny-Ålesund aream, with monitoring of surface movements of the Bragger rock glacier. The movement is 3-5 cm/year. Another movement monitoring program of two rock glaciers in the Longyearbyen area was started in 1994 by the UNIS (the University Courses on Svalbard). Preliminary results show a surface creep rate of 8-13 cm/year, with a mean surface temperature of -5° to -7°C. Both programs will be continued. This summer a new rock glacier program will be started by the same department on the northern part of Prins Kids Forland, Svalbard, to calculate volume, form and surface changes of selected rock glaciers through historical time. The program is supported by the Norwegian Research Institute.
Investigation of frost heave phenomena on the runway at Svalbard Lufthaven (LYR), Longyearbyen, was started two years ago by the University of Oslo, Department of Physical Geography, in cooperation with NP, UNIS and Luftfarwerket. High resolution elevation measurements are made several times a year, during thaw and freeze-up periods, to identify problem areas for more detailed studies.
The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in Oslo has continued its research at the Permafrost Station at Sveagruva, central western Spitsbergen. The station was established in 1978. Basic dimate and near-surface ground temperature data are logged every hour year-round in addition to manual observations of snow height, thawing depth, and water content of topsoil.
In northern Spitsbergen, hot springs in Woodfjorden will be studied this summer by the Agricultural University of Norway, Department of Soil and Water Science.
A field course in Arctic Geornorphology for graduate and doctoral students will be conducted by the University of Oslo, Department of Physical Geography, in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, during the first two weeks of August. The course is part of the Norwegian Net university courses.
Kaare Semneset reports that the University Courses on Svalbard (UNIS) are attended by about 100 students, including foreign students from Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Russia and the United States. Graduate and undergraduate courses for the 1996-97 academic year include arctic biology, geology, geophysics, and technology. The handbook of studies and application forms are available from UNIS, B.P. 156, N-9170 Longyearbyen, Norway. Tel: 47 79 02 3300; Fax: 47 79 02 3301; E-mail: email@example.com. Their website contains updated information: http://www.unis.no.
On the mainland, permafrost research programs are running at Finse in Jotunheimen and at Dovre in southern Norway. A new program will be started in Varanger, northern Norway, this August. The program is run by the University of Oslo, Department of Physical Geography. At Finse a monitoring prpgram of geomorphological features was started in 1995 as part of a Ph.D. study. In Jotunheimen and Dovre mapping of the permafrost thickness has been the main subject. Results are newly published in Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, vol. 50, no. 1. In Varanger the goal is to investigate the distribution pattern of permafrost for that area.
Submitted by Johan Ludvig Sollid (firstname.lastname@example.org)