Scope of research

Year-round scientific research in the following fields is now conducted at the Hornsund Polish Polar Station:

Meteorology

lidar

photo: Grzegorz Karasiński

Data for forecasting and climatological purposes is collected at the Station. The Hornsund weather station works as part of the Norwegian station network and is registered by the WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) as number 01003. Basic meteorological parameters are measured and observed here systematically, 24 hours a day, pursuant WMO standards.

Seismology

The seismology station in Hornsund belongs to the international network of seismological observatories. It is the only station constituting part of the Polish seismological network but located outside Polish territory. The main purpose of the seismology lab in Hornsund is to continuously record local earth tremors caused by plate tectonics and glaciers.

Earth magnetism

Changes in elements of the Earth’s natural magnetic field are continuously recorded at the Station. Due to its geographic location, the Hornsund observatory records some of the greatest changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. They are approximately five times greater than those observed in Poland, for instance, so the results of this research are significant for scientists the world over. Since 2002, the Hornsund magnetic observatory has been part of the INTERMAGNET global research network.

Ionospheric research

The Station carries out long-term research on the structure of the ionosphere. This is aimed at determining the impact of particles and plasma originating from Solar flares on our planet.

Glaciology

The nearby Hans Glacier forms the object of glaciological research in the Hornsund region. Measurements are taken here to determine the mass balance and glacier change dynamics and, in addition, the depth of the snow cover is observed. This data is sent to the World Glacier Monitoring Service.

Atmospheric physics and optics

Observations of atmospheric phenomena include changes in the Earth’s electric field, UV radiation and aerosol. This data is sent to the international AERONET network and to NASA.

Environmental research

scientific field works

photo: Adam Nawrot

The Station’s chemical laboratory analyses the chemical composition of surface and precipitation waters. The purpose of this is to determine the biogeochemical processes occurring in them, as well as the quantities of pollutants reaching this region and depositing here, also of anthropogenic origin.

Apart from the research conducted as part of the Station’s year-round research plan, in the spring and summer various groups of scientists pursuing their own scientific projects, conduct research – including in the fields of biology, geology, geodesy, geomorphology, glaciology and oceanology – in the Hornsund region. They then use the logistical and scientific facilities of the Station.

The Polish Polar Station in Hornsund also participates in numerous scientific projects, both Polish and international.