Studies of permafrost and periglacial phenomena in 2000 were carried out on scientific expeditions to Spitsbergen, Svalbard. These were continuations of programmes started in previous years.

The project ESTRELA - ‘Geomorphological and biophysical processes and landscape units in Mediterranean mountains: the case study of Serra da Estrela (1999-2001) (PRAXIS/C/CTE/11153/1998)’started in October 1999 and is coordinated by António de Brum Ferreira (Centro de Estudos Geográficos, University of Lisbon).

Since the last Romanian report, the activities of the Romanian geomorphologists involved in glacial and periglacial geomorphology and permafrost were focused on the Transylvanian Alps (Southern Carpathians).

Vladimir P. Melnikov was elected Academician by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The main IPA-related research activities in Sweden during the past year are those under the PACE project and which are reported elsewhere (See PACE report).

The concept Permafrost Monitoring Switzerland (PERMOS) was approved by the Swiss Co-ordinating Group for Permafrost in November 1999 and ratified by the Glaciological Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SAS) in January 2000.

The work on the EU-funded TUNDRA project on the north Russian Arctic Usa River, by Margriet Huisink, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Sandra van der Linden, Utrecht, continues towards its final stage at the beginning of 2001. Reports and scientific publications are in progress (see also Frozen Ground 23, 1999). In the framework of the palaeo-periglacial research at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the existence of former (until yet unknown) continuous permafrost in the middle of the last glacial could be detected (dated at 33-38,000 14C years ago) in eastern Germany. The accompanying vegetation was reconstructed in great detail. A publication by Bos et al. is in press in the ‘Journal of Quaternary Science’.

Jef Vandenberghe (vanj@geo.vu.nl)

The Second International Conference on Contaminants in Freezing Ground was held at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2-5 July 2000. The Conference was organised by the Scott Polar Research Institute in collaboration with Geotechnical Science Laboratories of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. The primary theme was removing pollution in cold regions and especially that entering the ground from oil spills, military wastes, various sources of nuclear material and other contaminants.

Research programmes reported in prior issues of Frozen Ground continued and are briefly reviewed. In addition a number of workshops were conducted this year and reports on climate change impacts prepared.