Research on permafrost and periglacial phenomena is carried out on Spitsbergen, Svalbard in the Arctic and at the H. Arctowski Polar Station on King George Island in the Western Antarctica and in the alpine zone of the Tatra Mountains in Poland.

The geomorphological studies in Poland focus on relief evolution and deposits formed in the periglacial conditions of the Pleistocene. Research in polar areas focuses on thermal conditions and dynamics of the development of permafrost and active layer; periglacial processes (weathering, mass movement, the development of frost forms and structures); hydrological regime; frost heave and cryochemical processes and their role in shaping the polar geoecosystems; ecological effects of climate changes and anthropogenic effects in periglacial ecosystems. The programmes are carried out by expeditions organised by the Polish Academy of Sciences (Department of Antarctic Biology, Institute of Geophysics) and the Silesian University in Sosnowiec, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, the Mikolaj Kopernik University in Torun and the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin. Research is mainly performed on Svalbard in the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund and at university stations on the western coast of Spitsbergen.

Monitoring of the active layer in the Calypsostranda area continues. Research is done by Janina Repelewska-Pekalowa, Department of Geomorphology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin. It begun in 1986 and is now part of the CALM programme. Since 2000 it has been part of a project entitled ‘Functioning of periglacial geoecosystems under the influence of climate changes and anthropopression’. The project is financed by the Science Research Committee. Results of the research on periglacial phenomena are presented at conferences organised by the Committee on Polar Research, the Polar Club of the Polish Geographical Society, and the Associations of Polish Geomorphologists. They are also published in several periodicals: Polish Polar Research and Studies and Landform Analysis. The Biuletyn Peryglacjalny No 38 (by Societatis Scientiarum Lodziensis) included papers presented at the Lódz Symposium on ‘Periglacial Environments, Past, Present and Future’, to celebrate 50 years of periglacial research under the aegis of the International Geographical Union.

Kazimierz Pekala (geomorf @ biotop. umcs. lublin. pl)