ATCM
Antarctic Treaty
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Party: Czech Republic
2008/2009 Annual Information
Forward Plans
Scientific Information - Forward Plans
Science Plan/Program/Project: Contribution of the Czech Republic to the Detection of the State of the Earth´s Ozone Layer and Solar UV-radiation in Antarctica (No. VaV MZP SPII 1a9/23/07)
Planned Operating Period: From     To 
Details/Description: The research project is financed by the Czech Ministry of Environment and approved for 2007-2011.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Areas of Activity
Science Plan/Program/Project: Multidisciplinary research of Antarctic terrestrial vegetation within IPY (No. Kontakt ME 945)
Planned Operating Period: From     To 
Details/Description:
Link (URL): www.ibot.cas.cz
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Science Plan/Program/Project: Recent deglaciation of the northern part of James Ross Island, Antarctica (No. 205/09/1876)
Planned Operating Period: From     To 
Details/Description:
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Science Plan/Program/Project: The effect on atmospheric factors on the regime of UV radiation in the region of Antarctic Peninsula (No. 205/07/1377)
Planned Operating Period: From     To 
Details/Description:
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Science Activities in Previous Year
Scientific Information - Science Activities in Previous Year
Project Name/Number: Biodiversity of moss, lichen and fungus species
Discipline: physiology
Principal Investigator: Milos Bartak, Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno
Main Activity/ Remarks: The work consisted of several collections of lichen and moss samples in different parts of the deglaciated area of James Ross Island, including specific ecosystems like, e.g., wet rock-wall surfaces. Some of species were found at James Ross Island for the first time. The samples were transferred to the Czech Republic, where they will be determined using various approaches ranging from optical microscopy to molecular biology methods. Newly obtained data will be used for a biodiversity study of James Ross Island.
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: Biodiversity of terrestrial and aquatic cyanobacteria and green algae
Discipline: biology
Principal Investigator: Jiri Komarek, Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic located in Trebon
Main Activity/ Remarks: The work was a continuation of studies commenced in previous years. Populations of cyanobacteria and algae from all types of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems were collected and studied under a microscope and samples were preserved. The critical species were isolated in cultures (about 60 monospecific strains of cyanobacteria and about 30 strains of green algae). The work was focused on less well-known biotopes and on critical and important genera (Phormidium, Nostoc), particularly from lakes, moraine pools, seepages and glacial creeks. The living material will be used for laboratory studies of ecological and morphological diversity and molecular evaluations. Special samples for molecular sequencing were prepared from the genus Nostoc, which is dominant in all biotopes and commonly participates in symbiotic life with lichens. Unique strains of coccoid and heterocytous cyanobacteria were particularly isolated and their diversity and ecological function reviewed. Several new types of filamentous and branched green algae were found in geologically old and stable lakes. A review of cyanobacterial diversity of James Ross Island is being prepared for publication in several articles.
Link (URL): www.ibot.cas.cz
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Project Name/Number: Biological studies - birds, mammals
Discipline: biology
Principal Investigator: Vaclav Pavel, Palacky University, Olomouc
Main Activity/ Remarks: The biological study found a new colony of sooty albatrosses (Poebetria palpebrata) – probably the most southerly nesting site on the Earth; publication in Polar Biology is being prepared (cooperation with German ornithologists). The following activities were performed on James Ross Island (December 31, 2008 – February 5, 2009): • monitoring of birds and mammals, nesting: mapping of approx. 90 km2, 10 species of birds and 2 species of mammals were found. 4 nesting species of birds at JRI, south polar skua (Stercorarius maccormicki,), Antarctic tern (Sterna vittata), kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), probably snow petrel (Padodroma nivea) and Wilson’s storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) was also found, without demonstration of nesting. • nesting biology of the Antarctic tern (dataloggers, videomonitoring): 21 colonies found, total of 481 nests (78 active), use of temperature dataloggers (33 nests measured); continuous videomonitoring introduced at 16 nests; predation of skua studied. Predation experiments with “artificial” nests: 264 artificial clutches installed, abandoned tern eggs, quail eggs, empty tern nests, artificial nests, located on the open ground.
Link (URL):
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Project Name/Number: Climatological studies
Discipline: climatology
Principal Investigator: Michal Janouch, Czech Hydrometeorological Institute
Main Activity/ Remarks: Time plan B-1). Purchase of a Brewer spectrophotometer, its transport, installation and testing in Antarctica on Seymour Island (70 km from the Czech Mendel Polar Station), regular measurement of the total amount of ozone and UV-radiation, data transfer to SOO, calibration/control of the Brewer spectrophotometer, maintenance, data control. A tender procedure was successfully held and a contract concluded for the purchase of a Brewer spectrophotometer. The Brewer spectrophotometer is currently under production. According to the latest information from the manufacturer (Kipp & Zonen), the instrument will be supplied in the first half of September 2009. Provided through SEF. Time plan B-2 and B-3). Test operation of transfer and processing of ozone and UV measurements to SOO, analysis of the quality and data transfer, completion of test operations of data processing and transfer, evaluation of test operations for ozone and UV measurements, comparative analysis with the satellite system for the area of the Antarctic Peninsula and control for SOO, presentation of activities at conferences. Operational transfer and processing of ozone and UV measurements to SOO, analysis and transfer of data in the routine regime. Within this task, cooperation was increased with the validation groups of the individual satellite systems (NASA, Finnish Meteorological Institute). At the present time, the first validation of the satellite measurements in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula is taking place. These results will be employed in the measuring project.
Link (URL): www.chmi.cz/meteo/ozon/hk.html
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Project Name/Number: Experimental studies - pollutants
Discipline:
Principal Investigator: Eva Francu, Czech Geological Survey
Main Activity/ Remarks: In December of 2008, in the framework of project 2221, three stainless steel passive air samplers and 15 polyurethane foam filters were purchased (both from Labicom, spol. s r.o., order No. 162/530/2008). At the end of 2008, one of the samplers and several PUF filters were sent with the polar expedition to the Czech scientific base on James Ross Island. Simultaneously, the second sampler was placed on the roof of the CGS building in Brno and the third sampler was located at a comparison location in Česká Třebová.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: Geological mapping
Discipline: geology
Principal Investigator: Bedrich Mlcoch, Czech Geological Survey
Main Activity/ Remarks: In the framework of this year’s mapping season, work has continued in the St. Martha, Monolith Lake, Lachman crags, Solorina v. and Davis Dome areas. A total of 4 camps have been set up in the field, one of which in cooperation with the Argentinean team. This year’s season was climatically quite unfavourable: of 62 days of stay on JRI, only 27 days could be used for work in the field. Windstorms and blizzards occurred or snow fell and it was not possible to work in the field on the remaining days. Samples were processed at the base camp, databases of documentation points were filled in and maps were drawn on these days. In the 2009 season, 49 samples were taken for polished sections, together with 6 samples for mineralogy (zeolites), 10 samples for ChA or Ar-Ar dating, 2 oriented samples for paleomagnetism, 18 samples for apatite separation from 7 locations and a sample for dating using Comp. isotopes. The main professional benefits of this year’s field stage included: new discordances between the individual volcanic phases and new locations of veins of doleritic basalts and volcanic chimneys were discovered and mapped; work continued in cooperation with Argentinean colleagues (Juan Manuel Lirio, Alan Mackern) on the part of the map formed by Cretaceous sediments and biostratigraphic boundaries in the Cretaceous sediments were defined in Monolith Lake and Brandy Bay areas.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: In-situ long-term measurements of photosynthetic activity of moss species
Discipline: physiology
Principal Investigator: Milos Bartak, Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno
Main Activity/ Remarks: Two different measuring systems based on chlorophyll fluorescence and the saturation pulse method were installed at a research plot in order to estimate the diurnal variation in photosynthesis in moss species dominating coastal vegetation oases. The effective quantum yield of photosynthetic processes in photosystem II (II) was measured in 15 min. steps for 7 weeks in Jan-Feb 2009. Simultaneously, data on incident photosynthetically active radiation, air temperature and relative air humidity were recorded. To analyze the importance of particular physical factor for moss photosynthesis, the electron transport rate of the photosynthetic processes was calculated from II data and related to the irradiation, temperature and water supply. Since the water status of a thallus is the most limiting factor for photosynthesis in Antarctic poikilohydric vegetation, hydration-response curves of were measured in the laboratory at the J.G. Mendel station using a water-potential meter and fluorometric CCD camera. The above research was performed by M. Barták and P. Váczi.
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: Limnological study of lake ecosystems, Ulu peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctica
Discipline:
Principal Investigator: Josef Elster, Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic located in Trebon
Main Activity/ Remarks: This part of project was performed by L. Nedbalová and J. Elster. 16 different lakes (shallow lakes, permanently frozen and/or seasonally unfrozen deep glacial lakes) were studied. Bathymetry, temperature, O2, pH, conductivity, reactive-Si, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, soluble reactive phosphorus, chloride, nitrate, nitrite and ammonium nitrogen, sulphur and iron together with hydrobiological parameters (bacterioplankton, phytoplankton, chlorophyll a, zooplankton abundance and diversity) were measured. Simultaneously, samples were also collected for determination of the periphyton composition. This part of the project describes the diversity of freshwater lakes in the studied area.
Link (URL): www.ibot.cas.cz
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Project Name/Number: Paleoclimatological and paleogeographic reconstruction of glaciation
Discipline: geology
Principal Investigator: Daniel Nyvlt, Czech Geological Survey
Main Activity/ Remarks: Within the framework of paleoclimatological and paleogeographic reconstruction of glaciation, geomorphological mapping was continued in the Torrent Valley, Solorina Valley, Davis Dome, Whisky Glacier and Bibby-Blueberry-Lachman areas. Research on the development of glaciation continued on James Ross Island with dating of deglaciation using cosmogenic radionuclides of beryllium. The set of samples was extended to 20 items, sufficient for publication of the history of glaciation over the past 130 thousand years with documentation of the last deglaciation event at 11,651 ± 2,382 years BP. Research was commenced on contemporary deglaciation of James Ross Island at the Davis Dome location with monitoring of the balance of the glacier and its active movement. Work was begun on monitoring the active permafrost layer and monitoring the solifluction movement of weathered rocks in the Bibby Point, Berry Hill and Lachman Crags areas.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Project Name/Number: Paleontological studies
Discipline:
Principal Investigator: Radek Vodrazka, Czech Geological Survey
Main Activity/ Remarks: In the framework of study of global changes at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and paleontological research as a contribution to the creation of basic geological maps of the deglaciated northern part of James Ross Island, 5 basic subjects were studied: Taxonomic – geochemical evaluation of Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous fossil wood samples (Sakala, J., Matysová, P., Franců, E., Franců, J., Vodrážka, R.): – 58 polished uncovered thin sections were analyzed from the standpoint of systematic paleobotanical research. The greatest emphasis on the research was placed on the La Meseta Eocenic group of beds in the area of Seymour Island (however, thin sections were also prepared from the Upper Jurassic at Botanic Bay, Maastricht group of beds at Lopez de B. and Paleocene group of beds at Sobral and Cross Valley). Numerous coniferous wood samples were identified in the La Meseta Eocenic group of beds, especially of the araucaria type (formal genus Araucarioxylon). In addition, samples were found of angiosperm wood, which could be assigned to the Nothofagoxylon (Nothofagus) formal genus, specifically 2 of its species: N. ruei and N. triseriatum. The taxonomy, paleoecology and paleobiogeography of macrofauna of the Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous The first Mesozoic sponges (animal sponges) were found in Antarctica. The main significance of finding sponges on James Ross Island – so far only sponges in Carboniferous deposits in Antarctica have been found and this is thus the first finding in Mesozoic rocks. Paleobiogeographic implications: sponges in the Upper Cenomanian to Coniac on James Ross Island exhibit similarity with sponges from the same period in the boreal areas of the northern hemisphere – this could document migration from the northern to the southern hemisphere at the time of maximum marine transgression during the Cenomanian and Turonian, corresponding to the highest water level during the entire Phanerozoic. Paleoenvironmental interpretation: a sponge community indicates a deep environment. Plant macrofossils and mezofossils from the Upper Cretaceous on James Ross Island The greatest number and greatest species variability of the collection of fossil leaves were obtained from James Ross Island; 358 samples were collected of cuticles and leaf imprints from ten locations in the northern part of James Ross Island (Hidden Lake and Santa Martha group of beds, Coniac – Campan, Upper Cretaceous) Study of mollusc shell pearl, paleobiogeography of Nautilidae of the Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous Study of fossil shell pearl is concerned with the Cephalopoda and Bivalvia classes. Study of the first group is already underway (e.g. Nautilus Aturia). Study of the Bivalvia class is just beginning and is part of the thesis of Bc. Magdalena Klicnarová (supervisor Assis. Prof. Dr. J. Frýda). The organic geochemistry of fossil wood Polished thin sections were prepared of charred wood and an organic – petrological description is currently being prepared and, where possible, the reflectance of vitrinite is measured; the evaluation will be concerned with the maximum temperature to which the sediments were exposed prior to erosion.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: Reconstruction of the oldest geological processes
Discipline: geology
Principal Investigator: Zdenek Venera, Czech Geological Survey
Main Activity/ Remarks: Study continued of the complex of rhyolite veins and crust flysh of the accretion wedge at the Pitt Point location and work was newly commenced at the Mount Reece location – granite pluton with sedimentary crust. Detailed structural, petrographic and geochemical study of Mount Reese granite, which does not exhibit apparent internal structures and is intruded discordantly into the surrounding flysh. 14 samples were taken to study magnetic anisotropy and 13 samples for geochemical and geochronological analysis.
Link (URL): www.geology.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: Terrestrial vegetation responses to manipulated warming using an OTC approach
Discipline: physiology
Principal Investigator: Milos Bartak, Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno
Main Activity/ Remarks: The project is based on long-term warming of terrestrial vegetation in plexiglass open-top chambers (OTCs). The project started in 2007. During the 2009 expedition, two OTCs were newly installed close to the margin of Davis Dome glacier. In this way, the total number of OTC installations increased to 12, located in three contrasting localities of James Ross Island: (A) coastal vegetation oasis, (B) plateau of a table mountain (350 m a.s.l.), and (C) freshly deglaciated area close to the glacier margin. During the 2009 expedition, a multichannel datalogger and several temperature sensors were installed to monitor the temperature characteristics of the air, ground surface and soil in the newly installed OTCs (site C). At the same time, annual data on the microclimatic characteristics of OTCs and control plots from sites A and B were downloaded and analyzed in order to evaluate the chamber effect, i.e. OTC-induced temperature shift in the course of a year. Photographs of vegetation in the OTC were taken using a grid method in order to evaluate growth response to elevated temperature. The above research was performed by M. Barták and P. Váczi.
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Operating Period: From:    To: 
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Project Name/Number: The effect on atmospheric factors on the regime of UV radiation in the region of the ANtarctic Peninsula and Recent deglaciation of the northern part of James Ross Island
Discipline: climatology
Principal Investigator: Kamil Laska, Institut of Geography of the Faculty of Sciences of Masaryk University in Brno
Main Activity/ Remarks: Main objective lies in long-term monitoring of various abiotic factors, as well as investigations of the spatiotemporal variability of the climatic conditions of the Ulu Peninsula and James Ross Island in general. Another objective consists in explanation of the processes leading to regional atmospheric warming and determination of relief influences on the transformation of air masses and boundary layer processes. In the framework of these projects, checks and complex maintenance were performed on seven automatic weather stations located in the area of scientific interest. In particular, damaged meteorological instruments, parts of the sensors, ventilation units, their holders and auxiliary structures were repaired or replaced. Replacement of meteorological instruments was carried out annually for their calibration according to the WMO regulations in certified laboratories, e.g. the Solar and Ozone Observatory of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute in Hradec Králove, and Kipp-Zonen BV. Special attention was devoted to servicing the solar radiation sensors and their devices (pyranometers, PAR radiometers, UV radiometer and UVB-Biometer), which are located at the J. G. Mendel Station. The quality control was first performed using a nonlinear model approach with comparison with the standard radiometers operated simultaneously in January 2009. Final processing of the data sets and their verification will be carried out in the Czech Republic in 2009. Furthermore, glacio-climatic investigation was performed at Davis Dome and Whisky Glacier in the Brandy Bay area. At the both glaciers, ablation rates and glacier retreats were studied using GPS, bamboo poles and their inter-annual changes. In addition, two meteorological stations were newly installed on the ice cap of Davis Dome (530 m a.s.l.) and the upper part of Whisky Glacier (356 m a.s.l.). A fully automatic regime and long-term operation is planned for both measuring systems.
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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Project Name/Number: Usnea species and their ecology on up-welling mesas at James Ross Island, Antarctica
Discipline: biology
Principal Investigator: Jiri Komarek, Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic located in Trebon
Main Activity/ Remarks: This work is the Ph.D. project of Olga Bohuslavová of the Geography Institute, Masaryk University. Measurement of the density and length of lichen thalluses, digital photography with evaluation of ground cover in four open-top chambers, four snow barriers and control treatments were performed at the Bibby Point mesa during this season. This is a long-term ecological project to study the response of the lichen community to manipulated (warming – cooling) conditions. Simultaneously, experimental measurements were performed on lichen dispersal compared to lichen gradient diversity and cover at various distances from the glaciers on Lachman Grag and Berry Hill mesas. In the 2007-08 austral summer, approx. 70 Petri dishes were fixed on ground rocks. The bottoms of the Petri dishes were covered with sticky paper. Lichen spores were caught on the surface of the sticky paper over a period of one year during which the Petri dishes were installed in the field. In the summer of 2008-09, the Petri dishes were collected and transported to the laboratory in the Czech Republic. Quantification and growing of captured test lichen spores will be performed. This experiment is expected to provide information on the speed of lichen dispersal.
Link (URL): www.ibot.cas.cz
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Station Report
Operational Information - National Expeditions - Stations
Name: Johann Gregor Mendel Czech Antarctic station
Type: Summer
Location:
Site Name: James Ross Island   Lat: 63º 48´ 00´´ S   Long: 57º 53´ 00´´ W  
Maximum Population: 15
Medical Facilities: Argentine Marambio station
Remarks / Description:
Operating Period: From: December To: March

Vessels Report
Aircrat Report
Research Rockets Report
Military
Vessel-Based Report
Operational Information - Non Governmental Expeditions - Vessel-Based Operations
No new information have been provided during the reported period.

Land-Based Operations
Operational Information - Non Governmental Expeditions - Land-Based Operations
No new information have been provided during the reported period.

Denial of Authorizations
Aircrat Report
Compliance with the Protocol Report
Environmental Information - Compliance with the Protocol
No new measures have been adopted during the reported period.

Contingency Plans Report
Environmental Impact Assessment: Procedures Report
Environmental Information - Environmental Impact Assessment (Procedures)
No new procedures were established during this reporting period.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report
Environmental Impact Assessment - Follow-up Activities Report
Conservation of Fauna and Flora Report
Waste Management Plans Report
Environmental Information - Waste Disposal and Waste Management (Waste Management Plans)
Title: Waste management plan for the J.G.Mendel Czech Antarctic station
Fixed Site/Field Camp/Ship: J.G.Mendel Czech Antarctic station
Objective:
Implementation Report: The waste management plan for the J.G. Mendel Czech Antarctic Station was prepared in general in the Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation for the Czech station. “Czech Scientific Station in Antarctica – Construction and Operation. Czech Republic, January 2004”. From December 2007 to March 2009, waste management was performed according to the prepared waste management plan for the station. All combustible waste was disposed in the Norwegian GOLAR combustion furnace at temperatures above 1000 oC. Incombustible wastes (metal and glass) were stored in barrels with a volume of 200 l and prepared for transport to the mainland.

Waste Management Inventory of Past Activities Report
Prevention of Marine Pollution: Measures Report
Environmental Information - Prevention of Marine Pollution
No new measures have been adopted during the reported period.

Area Protection and Management: Measures Report
Environmental Information - Area Protection and Management (Measures)
No new measures have been adopted during the reported period.

Area Protection and Management: Permit, Visit and Activities Report
Environmental Information - Area Protection and Management (Permit, Visit and Activities)
No new information have been provided during the reported period.

Area Protection and Management: Change or Damage Report
Environmental Information - Area Protection and Management (Change or Damage)
No change or damage was observed during this reporting period.

Activities Undertaken in Cases of Emergencies Report
General Report