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Polish Polar Research

The Journal of Committee on Polar Research of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Volume 36, Issue 4


Multidecadal (1960–2011) shoreline changes in Isbjørnhamna (Hornsund, Svalbard)

Piotr Zagórski
  • Corresponding author
  • Wydział Nauk o Ziemi i Gospodarki Przestrzennej, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Al. Kraśnicka 2cd, 20-718 Lublin, Poland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jan Rodzik
  • Wydział Nauk o Ziemi i Gospodarki Przestrzennej, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Al. Kraśnicka 2cd, 20-718 Lublin, Poland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mateusz Moskalik
  • Instytut Geofizyki, Polska Akademia Nauk, Centrum Studiów Polarnych KNOW, ul. Księcia Janusza 64, 01-452 Warszawa, Poland
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/ Mateusz C. Strzelecki
  • Instytut Geografii i Rozwoju Regionalnego, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
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/ Michael Lim
  • Northumbria University, Engineering & Environment, Wynn Jones Building 201, Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
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/ Małgorzata Błaszczyk
  • Wydział Nauk o Ziemi, Universytet Śląski, Centrum Studiów Polarnych KNOW, ul. Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
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/ Agnieszka Promińska
  • Instytut Oceanologii, Polska Akademia Nauk, ul. Powstańców Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
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/ Grzegorz Kruszewski / Anna Styszyńska
  • Katedra Urbanistyki i Planowania Regionalnego, Politechnika Gdańska, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
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Published Online: 2015-12-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/popore-2015-0019


A section of a gravel-dominated coast in Isbjørnhamna (Hornsund, Svalbard) was analysed to calculate the rate of shoreline changes and explain processes controlling coastal zone development over last 50 years. Between 1960 and 2011, coastal landscape of Isbjørnhamna experienced a significant shift from dominated by influence of tide-water glacier and protected by prolonged sea-ice conditions towards storm-affected and rapidly changing coast. Information derived from analyses of aerial images and geomorphological mapping shows that the Isbjørnhamna coastal zone is dominated by coastal erosion resulting in a shore area reduction of more than 31,600 m2. With ~3,500 m2 of local aggradation, the general balance of changes in the study area of the shore is negative, and amounts to a loss of more than 28,000 m2. Mean shoreline change is −13.1 m (−0.26 m a−1). Erosional processes threaten the Polish Polar Station infrastructure and may damage of one of the storage buildings in nearby future.

Keywords: Arctic; Spitsbergen; coastal erosion; sea-ice; shore ice; fjord system


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About the article

Received: 2015-06-16

Accepted: 2015-10-12

Published Online: 2015-12-16

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Polish Polar Research, Volume 36, Issue 4, Pages 369–390, ISSN (Online) 2081-8262, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/popore-2015-0019.

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© 2015 Polish Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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