Investigations on bedrock weathering rates and rock glacier dynamics were continued on Disko Island (70ºN), central West Greenland, by Ole Humlum, University of Copenhagen and the University Courses on Svalbard (UNIS). At sea level MAAT is about -6ºC, and most of the study sites are within the zone of continuous permafrost.
Precipitation and temperature (air, ground surface and within the active layer) are measured in headwalls, at rock glacier heads and at several locations along rock glacier flow lines by miniature data loggers. Geomorphic events and snow cover variations are daily monitored by two automatic cameras. Precipitation has been sampled on a daily basis at the Arctic Station (Qeqertarsuaq), southern Disko Island, since the early 1999 in order to calibrate the oxygen isotope signal obtained from ice within rock glaciers and other terrain elements.
In the Ammassalik area (65ºN), SE Greenland, a similar programme on bedrock weathering rates and local meteorology was initiated during August 2000, also by Ole Humlum. An extension of this programme is planned for the coming year. At sea level, MAAT is close to 0ºC, but the highest mountains (about 1000 m asl.) extend deep into the discontinuous permafrost zone. The study area is notorious for periodic very high winter wind velocities (Piteraq’s). The influence of wind on distribution of the snow cover and bedrock temperatures represents a main research topic. A study on Holocene aeolian deposits and the associated palaeowind regime at Ammassalik has been initiated by Hanne H. Christiansen, University of Copenhagen, also in August 2000.
Bo Elberling and co-workers, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, have initiated new environmental investigations of spreading of heavy metals (Zn, Pb and Cd) in aquatic environments in relation to Arctic mining. During the spring 2000, a fiord sampling programme was conducted in Strathcona Sound nearby Nanisivik Mine (Baffin Island, Canada) to obtain data for identifying possible sources of Zn, Cd and Pb in fiord sediment and to estimate potential impacts of the sources on the marine environment. In the summer detailed micro-scale oxygen profiles were performed in water-saturated/ water-covered tailings deposited on land. This part of the project reveals that oxygen consumption takes place in the upper most few mm of tailings and that water-covered tailings is a promising remediation action compared to encapsulation. The project activities continue for the coming two years and are funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark as part of DANCEA.
At the Faroe Islands the LINK (Linking Land and Sea at the Faroe Islands: Mapping and Understanding North Atlantic Changes) project has extended the air and ground surface temperature and precipitation monitoring network of miniature data loggers in the mountains around Slættaratindur, the highest mountain (882 m asl.). A complete, successful year of automatic digital photographing has provided daily photographs showing snow cover distribution in the highest located cirque valley in the islands, during days without a cloud cover. The automatic, digital photographic monitoring has now been extended to include two web cameras operating at the mountain meteorological station at Sornfelli (740 m asl). These take photographs on an hourly basis of the mountain top and the surrounding landscape, providing snow cover depth, duration and distribution data. Online photographs and data from the meteorological station at Sornfelli can be seen at http://www.metsupport. dk/data/sornfelli/. The LINK project is carried out by Ole Humlum, Hanne H. Christiansen both University of Copenhagen, and by Lis Mortensen, the Geological Survey of the Faroe Islands. For more information on LINK see http://www.geogr.ku.dk/ link/.
At Zackenberg (74ºN) in NE Greenland the ZERO monitoring programme has now been in operation for five years. Included in the monitoring programme is now five summers of CALM data from two grids. In one of the CALM grids there is now also two years of daily automatic digital photographs obtained as part of a research project on active layer dynamics in permafrost soils by Hanne H. Christiansen.
At the Danish Meteorological Institute, Jens H. Christensen recently completed numerical modelling studies of permafrost distribution in Russia’s European North as part of the TUNDRA project. Good agreement is reported between modelled and observed distribution of permafrost zonation.
The Third International Conference on Cryogenic Soils - Dynamics and Challenges of Cryosols will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, 20-24 August 2001. There will be a Post-Conference field trip to Finland August 25-31, 2001. The Conference is organised by the Working Groups on Cryosols of the International Permafrost Association and of the International Union of Soil Science. The second circular and registration form was sent in mid October 2000. The organisers from Denmark, USA, Canada, and Russia have invited scientists from different natural sciences to challenge and discuss their ideas about global change related to the functioning and climate interaction of soils, active layer-permafrost processes, soil-landscape systems and soil-plant systems in cold climates. The following scientists are invited as key note speakers: Luca Montanarella (Italy) - soil database. Charles Tarnocai (Canada) - soil data base, carbon storage. Sergey Goryachkin (Russia) - soils and global change. Walter Oechel (USA) - carbon cycling (CO2). Mark Williams (USA) - carbon and nitrogen soil dynamics and global change. Lothar Beyer (Germany) – chemical weathering and soil formation in cold soils. David Gilichinsky (Russia) - cryosols and palaeoenvironments. Brigitte Van Vliet Lanöe (France) -cryogenic processes. Bernd Etzelmüller (Norway) - permafrost and global change. Torben R. Christensen (Sweden) - carbon cycling (methane). Phil Wookey (Sweden) - soil ecology. Sven Jonasson (Denmark) - soil-microbiology-plant interactions. Ole Humlum (Norway/Denmark) – Arctic landscapes and their evidence of climate change. For further information on this meeting see http:// www.geogr.ku.dk/cryosols.
Hanne H. Christiansen (firstname.lastname@example.org)