MEMBERS OF THE XXIII POLISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION

1998 - 2000

TO THE HENRYK ARCTOWSKI SCIENTIFIC STATION

 

                                  1.        Zbigniew BATTKE - Leader

                                  2.        Adam BARCIKOWSKI – summer group

                                  3.        Piotr BATTKE

                                  4.        Robert CHRUŚCIŃSKI

                                  5.        Jan CZABROWSKI

                                  6.        Marek JUCHNOWICZ-BIERBASZ

                                  7.        Dariusz KALATA

                                  8.        Ewa KAMLER – summer group

                                  9.        Marian KULAK

                              10.        Roman MOC

                              11.        Rafał PUDEŁKO

                              12.        Stanisław RAKUSA-SUSZCZEWSKI – summer group

                              13.        Ladislav REKTORIS (CZ)

                              14.        Bernard STONEHOUSE (UK) – summer group

                              15.        Marcin SĘKOWSKI – summer group

                              16.        Piotr TEDERKO

                              17.        Piotr WĘGLEŃSKI – summer group

                              18.        Lech WIŚNIEWSKI

                              19.        Sławomir ZBLEWSKI

 

 

 

HUMAN ACTIVITY ON KING GEORGE ISLAND

 

The South Shetlands Archipelago was discovered in February 1819 by William Smith during the voyage of his ship „William” from Montevideo to Valparaiso. The first humans thought to reach King George Island were the crew of a Spanish ship, „San Telmo” which sank in the vicinity of the Island a year before the arrival of Smith, who discovered the wreck. Smith returned to the Archipelago in October 1819. On October 17 he landed at North Foreland on the north-eastern edge of the Island and named the Island New South Britain. During Smith’s next expedition, in January of 1820, the senior naval officer sir Edward Bransfield took possession of the Archipelago in the name of King George III.

               Russian captain Faddiej F. Bellingshausen reached King George Island during an expedition on S. V. „Vostok” and dropped anchor by North Foreland in February 1821. Bellingshausen named the Island Waterloo, after a victory of Russians over Napoleon.

               Smith created the first of the Archipelago and edited it in London in 1821. Richard Sherratt, captain of S. V.„Lady Towerbridge” authored the second map covering the central section of the Archipelago. On December 25, 1820, „Lady Towerbridge” was wrecked off Cape Melville in the south-eastern corner of the Island.

               Economically, the South Shetlands Archipelago served as a rich source of fur seals. The animals were hunted for their pelts. Between 1821 and 1822 numerous expeditions to the region of Scotia Sea resulted in the death of about 320 thousand adults and 100 thousand pups. By the early thirties uncontrolled hunting brought the species close to extinction. Whalers took advantage of the shores of the South Shetlands for deployment of bases designed for initial processing of the hunted whales. Numerous bones scattered on the beaches remain as a sad memento of whaling.

               In 1947 a British scientific station was built on Keller Peninsula in Admiralty Bay. Later in the same season Argentineans set up a small hut located only 25 meters from the British base. In 1953 a new Argentinean station, Tenniente Jubany, was founded at Potter Cove. The Russian Bellingshausen station situated on Fildes Penninsula was established in 1968. The same year, Chileans erected their base Presidente Eduardo Frei, also on the Fildes Penninsula. In the austral summer of 1976-77 the United States intiated a seasonal research camp Peter J. Lenie Station) in Admiralty Bay. The Polish Station Henryk Arctowski was founded in 1977, also in Admiralty bay. In 1985 Brazil built Commandante Ferraz Station on the site of the British station which had been abandoned since 1961. In 1984 China’s Great Wall Station and Uruguayan Artigas Station joined the group of nations supporting scientific research on King George Island. Since 1988, with the founding of South Korean King Sejong Station in Maxwell Bay, eight research stations have operated year-round on King George Island. Additional human activities on the Island now include a  seasonal base run by Peru (Machu Picchu Station) and an Ecuadorian refuge, both in Admiralty Bay.

 

Piotr Tederko 16.11.1999r.

 

 

 
SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM
OF XXIII POLISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1998 – 2000

TO ACTOWSKI STATION

I.             Changes of chemistry in interstitial groundwater and fresh water bodies at the area of Arctowski Station.

(Department of Antarctic Biology of PAS)

 

II.           Continuation of 20 years series of hydrometerological observations as a part of fundamental research of global changes of climate.

(Mariner High School -  Gdynia - Poland)

 

III.          Ice condition studies at the Admiralty Bay region.

(Norwegian Polar Institute - Tromso – Norway)

 

IV.          Updating of cartographic and geographic datas elaborated during the former expeditions at Arctowski Station.

(Department of Antarctic Biology of PAS)

 

V.           Establishment of control network for GIS and for monitoring of ecosystem of the region.

(Institute of Geodesy and Cartography – Warsaw – Poland)

 

VI.          Participation in Internationnal Antarctic GPS 99 Epoch Campaign as a part of GIANT program of Working Group on Geodesy and Geographic Information of SCAR.

(Institute of Geodesy and Cartography – Warsaw – Poland)

 

VII.            Polish contribution in international  antarctic research program for psychosocial dynamics of small isolated groups .

(University of Connecticut, East Virginia University – USA)

 

VIII.       Study of psychological and psychosomatic events in wintering members  of  the polar expedition.

(collaboration with Departament of Psychology, Warsaw Universit - Poland)

 

 

Topic I            HYDROCHEMISTRY

 

The investigations have been done during the period of Australian summer 1999. The variability of main physical and chemical features were analyzed in the ground interstitial water according to the structure and composition of soil and under to the influence of precipitation and meltwater. Changes of nutrient concentration in fresh water bodies were analyzed too, according to the same parameters. Interstitial water was collected using sampling equipment for soil (“Prenart” soil water sampler lizymeters and piezometers). Ranges of nutrient concentration and physico-chemical characteristics (min – max) for interstitial water (lizymeters & piezometers) and fresh water bodies are shown in Table 1.

 

Table 1. Ranges of the main physico-chemical characteristics in fresh water

 

P-PO4

Si-SiO2

N-NO3

N-NH4

N-NO2

N-urea

pH

Cond1

TDS2

Chl-a3

Interstitial water

Lizymeter

0.015

20.14

5.14

77.758

0

9.014

0.224

282.1

0

3.999

0.001

0.138

2.43

5.43

135

1063

152

1184

-

Piezometer

0.13

8.407

1.747

49.058

0

9.246

0.02

2.57

0

3.928

0.057

0.361

2.7

7.07

81.7

805

95

897

-

Fresh water bodies

0.014

43.69

0.168

10.366

0

3.743

0.054

423.6

0.0004

3.224

0.043

1.773

3.47

9.17

64.4

3.57*

72

1596

13.01

521.254

P-PO4; Si-SiO2; N-NO3; N-NH4; N-NO2 mmol dm-3; N-urea mg dm-3; 1- Cond (conductivity -mS cm-1 ); 2 - TDS (total dissolved solids - mg dm-3); 3 - Chl-a (chlorophyll-a mg dm-3); * - volume in mS cm-

Marek Juchnowicz-Bierbasz 12.06.1999r

 

Topic II and III          ICE AND HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL STUDIES

 

Mean month air temperatures of summer and autumn in 1999 (January-May) are significantly higher than long term mean temperature values based on the datas recorded between 1977 and 1996. Mean month air temperature was higher by 4,1°C in January, by 0,4°C in February, in March by 1,4°C in March, by 3,3°C in April, and by 3,7°C in May. Positive air temperatures predominanted in autumn. Only four days with positive mean 24h temperature were noted in March, whereas in April only six such days  were observed. More significant air cooling has been recorded at the beginning of May, when the  air temperature falled to -6,3°C. Other meteorological factors as cloudiness, air pressure, wind velocity and precipitation were not significantly different from the long term values.

Between January and May only  ices of land origin (growler, brash ice) has been observed. Four small icebergs passed into the Admirality Bay in April and May. Almost every day icebergs of different size and shape have been observed on Brasfield Strait. Formation of sea ice was not noticed yet.

Sławomir Zblewski 10.06.1999r.

 

 

Topic IV, V and VI             GIS i GPS 99  GEODETIC RESULTS

 

Taking part in GIS and GPS 99 program we elaborated a net of topographic points on King George Island (see figure of GPS points localisation). The program was designed to verify already existing triangular stations accuracy and create a measuring basis. These datas could serve also as a supplement for studies of dynamics of the Antarctic, Antilian, American and African Plates. We have used GPS double frequency receiver Asteck Z 12 with differentiative observation system based on Jasnorzewski topographic station - concrete column in the vicinity of Arctowski Station. The measurments allowed to establish absolute values of net point's coordinates with the accuracy of 1 milimeter. Obtained results allow to observe directions and range of Penguin Island shifting. Together with correlation to the points on King George Island it could be helpful in local tectonic dynamics studies. We have created a 1: 25000 map of Penguin Island. Such a map, supplemented with topographic and bothanic datas, will be helpful in further studies in the described area.

Zbigniew Battke, Rafał Pudełko, Marcin Sękowski  10.06.1999r.

 


 

 

 


Determination of the Co-ordinates of an Eternal Point (Jasnorzewski hitherto existing Doppler Station)

 

The following data were obtained by continuos GPS measurements taken from January 1st to March 6th 1999:

 

LAT - 620 09' 41''.38 S  standard deviation 0.05 (sec.)  LON - 580 28' 09''.2, standard deviation 0.09 (sec.)

H = 41.50 m. WGS 84.

 

On February 18th, 1999, there was an elevation difference between the Jasnorzewski Doppler Station, which is stabilised with a concrete pillar, and a bench mark determined by nivelation.

 dh = + 1.134 m. with standard deviation 0.009 m.

 

The mean elevation of the Doppler Station in 1999 was 3.111 + 1.134 = 4.245 m over the sea level. H = sea level + dh =  3.111 + 1.134 = 4.245 m.

 

The elevation variation (difference between geoid and the ellipsoid WGS 84) was

 dH = H WGS 84 - H above sea level 41.50 - 4.245 = 37.255 m.

 

Differences between elevations measured by GPS (WGS 84) in 1999 and those obtained from trigonometric points in 1958  follow:

Chabrier Rock      dH  =  77.30  -  43.60 = 33.70 m.

Hennequin Point  dH = 323.40 - 288.50 = 34.90 m.

Thomas Point       dH = 207.40 - 173.50 = 33.90 m.

The Tower           dH = 402.00 -  366.90 = 35.10 m.

 

Zbigniew Battke  06.12.1999

 

 

 

 

Tidal recording between  December 6, 1998 and December 6, 1999

 

 

The original elevation of the bench mark, which is stabilised by a brass sign, was measured by geographer Leopold Dutkiewicz during the First Antarctic Expedition of Polish Academy of Sciences in 1977/78.  The bench mark is situated on a rock beneath the lighthouse at Arctowski Station. Elevation of the bench mark was determinated in 1978 as H  = 3.00m above sea level. During the 12th Antarctic Expedition (1988), the elevation observed by Zbigniew Battke was as high as H = 3.30m.

 

The following table presents mean monthly low tide levels in the Admiralty Bay, King George Island. Data collected in 1998 and 1999:          

 

Year

1988

1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Month

XII

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

me. m.

3.033

3.108

3.200

3.232

3.118

3.028

3.158

3.158

3.217

3.138

3.188

3.048

*) me - mean elevation (given in meters)

 

Bench mark elevation above the mean lowest sea level of 1999 (taken from December 6th 1998 to December 6th 1999) H = 3.135m.

An elevation difference between the bench mark and the eternal point (dh = + 1.134m) determined by nivelation is 4.269m. above sea level. The highest sea level was noted on October 25, 1999 at 23.00 UTC, whereas the lowest sea level was observed on November 24, 1999 at 17.00 UTC. The same day the maximal tidal difference (2.48 m.) in Admiralty Bay was recorded. The maximal difference between the lowest and the highest tides by 1999 was 2.51 m.

 

Zbigniew Battke 06.12.1999.

 

 

 

 

Topic VII and VIII    SOCIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES ON

 

WINTERING MEMBERS OF 23RD POLISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION

 

A new fashioned interest for interpersonal events in small isolated groups has been recently appeared by rapid development of space programs. Planning a long lasting manned space flight one should be aware of unusual and surprising social phenomena arising during isolation in extreme conditions. A winter crew of polar station seems to be an ideal model for such a studies. From March to October Arctowski Station is usually unavailable for anyone but members of other polar expeditions. Isolation, short day-span and rapidly changing, hard meteorological conditions are some of the most important stress factors.

23rd Polish Antarctic Expedition takes part in the three-year international sociological study, co-ordinated by specialists from University of Connecticut, East Virginia University and supervised by NASA. Similar investigations  have been currently carried on at Russian, Indian and Chinese Antarctic stations.  The research program is a continuation of a long term American study on wintering crews at Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station.

Psychological and psychosomatic studies of wintering members of 23rd Polish Antarctic Expedition were arranged with  collaboration of Psychology Department of Warsaw University and Psychosomatic Institute in Warsaw. Some of the study’s tests were adapted from the Life Quality Questionnaire (author: Prof. Janusz Czapiñski, Warsaw University)- a long-term program for psycho-socialogical community monitoring, and experimental version of psychic construction questionnaire by Doctor Bogdan Zawadzki and Prof. Jan Strelau (Warsaw University). Psychosomatic datas are collected during medical examinations of the crew members.

 

Piotr Tederko  26 07.1999r.

 

 

 

 

PENGUIN ISLAND

 

North-east to the King George Island, 0,5 km form Turret Point, rises an inactive volcano called Penguin Island. 15 meters high rock slopes form about 90 % of the island's shore.  There is a marble beach which not excesses 100 meters in width at the base of the slope. There are only two places suitable for boat landing (see map 1: 25000 of Penguin Island). The volcano consists of two craters. Its surface is about 1.5 square kilometer. The maximal height does not exceed 180 meters. The larger crater with a diameter of about 600 meters is heaped with a volcanic dross that also forms a 50 meters high cone inside. The second crater filled with water is deep in 20 and high in 15 meters. There is a vertical stoned lava column high in 15 and wide in 5 meters protrouding above the southern wall of the main crater. A topographic point called GPS 2 has been situated on this column. About 1 kilometer to the Turret Point on the flat area formed with lava chips, 15 meters above the sea level, the GPS 1 point has been stabilized. Both points were signed with brass plugs with a cross in the middle. The X Y Z coordinates were determinated for both points. GPS 1 and GPS 2 points were included to the triangular net of King George Island (see figure). We drew up a 1: 25000 map of Penguin Island,  including batimetric datas.

Topographic description of the Turret Point area. An ice free area of about 1 square kilometer in size, rises from 0 to 150 meters above the see level. There are several fresh water lakes connected and fed by glacier creeks. There is a safe boat landing site from King George Bay. The sand bottom gradualy elevates from the depth of 35 meters about 1500 meters from the shore to the depth of 5 meters 100 meters from the shore. Maximal twenty-four hour tidal variation is 2,5 meters. There is a dangerous rocky spit between Penguin Island and Turret Point submersed 2,5 to 4,5 meters below the sea level. Turret Point is exeptionally interesting as far as bothanic resourses and earth surface sculpture are concerned. The area is an excellent place for all year or summer only research station.

 

Zbigniew Battke  10.06.1999r.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VULCAN PENQUIN ISLAND

(KING GEORGE ISLAND)

SKALA 1:25000

 


 

 

 


VEGETATION CHARACTERISTICS OF TURRET POINT LOCALITY

 

All types of vegetation formation, which are mentioned by Longton (1988) as the typical for Cold Antarctica, can be found on the locality of Turret Point. The most dominant plant community of this area is formed by grass and cushion chamaephyte subformation of Deschampsia antarctica –Colobanthus quitensis association. Total cover of this community is several times larger than in the vicinity of Arctowski Station (Jasnorzewski Garden - sensu lato). The distance between the front part of inland glacier and the sea shore line is long enough for establishment and zonal composition of characteristic plant communities along the glacier creeks system, which irrigate the area. The fresh deglaciated and wet habitats of bare soil near the front of the glacier are colonised by Cyanobakterium mats community with species of Leptolyngbia antartica, Phormidium sp. div. The oligotrofic habitats on mineral substratum near the glacier creeks occupy short turf mosses community of Pohlia nutans, Pohlia cruda, Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Ceratodon grossiretis. On Antarctic meadows, which accumulate dead organic matter and form the shallow peat sediments, dominate species of Deschampsia antarctica, Colobanthus quitensis, Polytrichum alpinum, Sanionia uncinata, Ochrolechia frigida. Habitats, where the stagnant water near the ground surface is appeared during all the year, are covered by bryophyte carpet subformation of Calliergon sarmentosum, Calliergidium austro-salebrosum =Warnstorfia laculosa, Brachythecium austro-salebrosum, Sanionia uncinata.  Higher above the sea level situated “mountain-like” microhabitats are characterised by dominant occurrence of halophobous and nitrophobous lichen subformation of Himantormia lugubris, Usnea fasciata, Usnea antartica, Placopsis contortuliplicata, Alectoria chalybeiformis and turf mosses formation with Andrea regularis, Andrea depressinervis, Schistidium antarticum, Bartramia patens, Polytrichum juniperinum, Dicranoweisia crispula, Tortulla excelsa. The occurrence of typical ornithogenic communities of nitrophilous lichens such as Rhamalina terebrata, Caloplaca sublobulatula, Xanthoria spp., Mastodia tesselata, is closely connected with presence of Giant Petrel`s colonies (Macronectes giganteus), which are situated around the rock elevations of otherwise gently sloped and relatively flat area. The most important factor, which manages described area is the periodical huge import of nutrients through the excreta by sea mammals Arctocephalus tropicalis gazella ,  Mirounga leonia australis ,  and birds colonies of  Pygostelis adelie, P. antarctica, P. papua,  Macronectes giganteus,  which prefer this locality as the gathering  and breeding place during summer period. The area represents an excellent locality for biological researches.

 

Ladislav Rektoris 10.06.1999r.

 

 

DETERMINATION OF THE CO-ORDINATES OF BASAL POINTS AT THE BOUNDARY OF THE SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST NO. 8 (KING GEORGE ISLAND)

The co-ordinates have been established with Global Positioning System receivers Ashtech  Z 12

 by static measurement based on the ellipsoid WGS 84 between January 28th and February 2nd 1999.

 

The land boundary of the SSSI – 8 is formed by straight lines based on the following points (according to the Schema of the Topographic Changes 1986 -1999):

 

1.      Stabilised point situated on the cape of Rakusa Point with co-ordinates 620 09’ 44’’ S; 

      580 27’ 49’’ W;

2.      Jardine Peak with co-ordinates 620 10’ 03’’ S;   580 29’ 54’’ W;

3.      Stabilised point The Tower with co-ordinates 620 12’ 55’’ S;   580 28’ 48’’ W;

4.      Western edge of the cape of Patelnia with co-ordinates 620 14’ 03’’ S;  580 28’ 28’’ W;

From the south and east the natural boundary of the SSSI – 8 is formed by the shoreline running between Rakusa Point (620 09’ 44’’S; 580 27’ 49’’ W) and Patelnia (620 14’ 03’’ S; 580 28’28’’ W).  Small coastal rocky islands within Bransfield Strait and Admiralty Bay also belong to the SSSI – 8.

Stabilisation of the points was obtained by placing a brass sign with a centrally engraved cross.

 

The SSSI - 8 occupies area of 17.31 km2 in which:

Glaciers take up 7.98 km2, that is 46.10% of the SSSI – 8 area.

Ice-free land occupies 9.06 km2 (52.34% of the SSSI – 8 area).

Newly formed bays connected with glacial fronts (at Ecology Glacier and Baranowski Glacier) – 0.27 km2,

that is 1.56% of the SSSI – 8 area.

 

The western section of the boundary runs within the Warsaw Icefield. The north - western corner of the SSSI – 8 is free of ice in the vicinity of Jardine Peak. North to the northern section of the boundary there is a small area of an ice-free land. There are steep cliffs descending to a narrow beach by Ezcurra Inlet in the northern edge of the area.

There is an area of teaching and scientific interest of Polish Antarctic Station H. Arctowski situated north to the northern section of the SSSI – 8 boundary (see the Schema of the Topographic Changes 1986 - 1999).

H. Arctowski station is located on a wide beach 400 meters outside the SSSI - 8.

Since 1985 a season scientific American Pieter Lennie Station has been carrying investigations within the territory of the SSSI – 8.

 
Schema of the Topographic Changes 1986 – 1999

Site of  Special Scientefic Interest No 8