The Stanisław Siedlecki Polish Polar Station in Hornsund is located at the bay of Isbjørnhamna in the fjord of Hornsund in the southern part of Spitsbergen. It lies within the South Spitsbergen National Park, which was established to protect the unique Arctic nature.
THE YEAR-ROUND Polish Polar Station in Hornsund is run by the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The location of the facility gives researchers a rare opportunity to study climate change and changes in biological diversity. Southern Spitsbergen is a particularly attractive place for research, because it shows a cross section of all geological formations on a short stretch of 40 kilometres. In addition, the station was built at the site of the strongest climatic fluctuations in the area.
‘Being a modern, interdisciplinary research platform, the station offers a range of laboratories, including chemistry, biology, oceanography, seismology, meteorology, atmospheric physics and Earth magnetism labs,’ says Station Manager Włodzimierz Sielski. The expanded living area can lodge up to forty people at once.
Arctic Studies in Various Fields
The scientists at the station carry out Arctic studies in various fields, including atmospheric physics, glaciology, biology, polar ecology, geophysics and geology. The research is conducted by Polish and international teams, including teams from Norway, Czechia, France, the US and Italy. The station maintains international cooperation with more than thirty research institutions. One of the flagship projects it is involved in is INTERACT.
INTERACT is an international cooperation network of polar research stations and research institutions that conduct polar studies. The network’s objectives are to make the infrastructure of polar stations more available to scientists and to strengthen cooperation between research institutions and research stations.
The Hornsund station is a permanent member of this prestigious network, which offers access to research sites as well as logistical support to scientists from around the globe.
Unique Data Collection
Moreover, the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund carries out an extensive year-round monitoring programme, including seismological, Earth magnetism, glaciological and oceanographic observations. The data collected as a result of the measurements are sent to a number of international databases. Researchers interested in using the Polar Stations’s infrastructure in their studies should register in the database Research in Svalbard (RiS) and then fill in the application form on the station’s website.
Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences
Stanisław Siedlecki Polish Polar Station in Hornsund