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Antarctic Treaty
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Party: Czech Republic
2010/2011 Annual Information
Forward Plans
Science Activities in Previous Year
Scientific Information - Science Activities in Previous Year
Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Palaeoclimatology and Geomorphology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey, Prague)
Main Activity/ Remarks: During the austral summer season of 2011 geomorphological mapping of the northern deglaciated part of the Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island was completed. It focused especially on the Late Pleistocene to Holocene glacier changes and associated landforms and Holocene to recent periglacial activity and landscape development. Holocene lake history of this area was also reconstructed basing on the field study. Detailed geomorphological map at a scale 1:25.000 of the deglaciated part of the Ulu Peninsula will serve as a basis for subsequent geomorphological research of this area. Late Neogene to Quaternary glacial to marine deposits and fossils in them intercalated within the James Ross Island Volcanic Group, together with Late Glacial to Holocene erratic boulders originating from the Antarctic Peninsula were sampled for geochronological and geochemical analyses for further palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. Late Glacial deglaciation chronology of the Northern Prince Gustav Ice Stream flowing from the Antarctic Peninsula was established using cosmic ray exposure dating. The fieldwork was partly synchronous with a team of British geomorphologists, who studied Holocene and recent changes of selected glaciers of the northern James Ross Island.
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Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Glaciology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey, Prague), Dr. Kamil Laska (Masaryk University, Brno)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Glaciological research was performed at the Davies Dome ice cap and Whisky Glacier. At these two glaciers, ablation/accumulation rates were evaluated using bamboo poles and GPS. Snow water equivalent was estimated using snow tubes. The collected data allowed determination of glacier volumes that are used for mass balance determination. A part of the field work was performed in co-operation with British glaciologists operating at James Ross Island (Monolith Lake field camp). Yearly data (2010) on the microclimate of both glaciers were downloaded from the automatic weather stations located (1) at the top of the Davies Dome ice cap (530 m a.s.l.) and (2) the upper part of the Whisky Glacier (356 m a.s.l.). The automatic weather stations were partly repaired and adjusted to actual height of snow accumulations. Energy supply to the automatic weather stations was provided by high-capacity batteries supplemented with external photovoltaic panels.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Geochemistry and terrestrial water analyses
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jitka Mikova, Dr. Lucie Erbanova (Czech Geological Survey, Prague)
Main Activity/ Remarks: During the 2011 expedition, small team of Czech Geological Survey performed geochemical mapping of the major rivers and lakes on the northern part of James Ross Island. Sampling sites were selected with respect to lithology of bedrock, which is a key nutrient resource of the study area due to weathering processes. The bedrock on James Ross Island consists of two main geological domains (volcanic and sedimentary) with different geochemical and isotopic composition. Thus, the chemistry and physical parameters of surface waters is likely variable because of these contrasting source lithologies. The research program focused on the geochemical conditions for successful development of microbiota in deglaciated regions of James Ross Island. One of the objectives was to locate the sources of Ca and other base cations in glacial lakes and meltwater streams. Isotopic composition of Sr shall be used as tracer of possible contributing sources in order to study the biogeochemical cycles and microbiological fractionation of Ca in polar wetlands. Thus isotopic composition of Ca and Sr in the samples is in the centre of interest. Furthermore, total silicate and chemical analyses will be carried out in these samples to determine the content of base cations and other compounds along the isotopic values. Sampling on selected sites consisted of collecting water, stream sediments and further materials influencing the streamwater chemistry such as rocks, snow, glaciers etc. Basic hydrochemical parameters were measured onsite (pH, conductivity). All collected samples were taken to the Czech Republic for further investigation in the Czech Geological Survey laboratories. Chemical analyses of rock and water samples will be performed according to accredited procedures. Isotopic analyses will be performed in two steps, one comprising the column ion exchange chromatography, the second instrumental ratio determination. The separation of Sr from rock and water samples will be done using ion-specific resin according to Míková and Denková (2007). The Ca isotopes chromatographic separation, including the necessary double-spike addition, will be performed using the method of Farkaš et al. (2007). Sr and Ca isotope determinations will be performed on solid-source thermal ionization multicollector mass spectrometer (Finnigan MAT 232). As a backup, the isotopic analyses may be performed on high-resolution multicollector ICP-MS (Thermo Neptune). The results of these measurements promise to provide detailed information on the sources of the necessary nutrients, and geochemical processes that promote or inhibit the growth of microorganisms in water.
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Ornithology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Karel Weidinger, Dr. Vaclav Pavel (Palacky University, Olomouc)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Breeding biology, incubation behaviour and breeding success (egg/nest predation) of one of the most abundant bird species breeding on James Ross Island - South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) was studied. Incubation behaviour of South Polar Skua was monitored by continuous video surveillance to access ≥24 h records from each nest. Survival of the nests (egg/nest predation) was estimated by modified Mayfield method. Population size, distribution and breeding of other seabirds at James Ross Island in the close proximity to the Czech Polar Station were also assessed by surveying the inland and coastal areas on foot or from water using small boats.
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Limnology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda Nedbalova (Charles University, Prague)
Main Activity/ Remarks: The limnological study was carried out in selected lakes of the Ulu peninsula, Lake Lachman I and Lake Lachman II in particular. Data on yearly course of water temperature were downloaded from the datalogger permanently installed in Lake Lachman I. Moreover, new long-term monitoring site was established in a small water reservoir close to the Panorama pass. The focus of this site is on the temperature profile in a water column of a shallow, small-in-volume water reservoir. During the expedition, repeated measurements of dissolved oxygen were carried out in all the above-specified lakes in order to evaluate variability related to prevailing weather. The measurements were done by the use of Clark oxygen electrode each week.
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Palaentology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Radek Vodrazka (Czech Geological Survey, Prague)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Within the expedition, fossil material was collected at James Ross and Vega Islands. A one-week camp on Vega Island, with logistic support of the Czech Research Station J. G. Mendel, resulted in unique collection of fossils from the Upper Cretaceous sediments. Petrified wood and well-preserved shells of fossil invertebrates (amonites, nautilids, bivalves, gastropods, serpulids) were found there. Unexpected and surprising was a finding of numerous bones of Plesiosaurus (marine reptile); vertebra, ribs and limb-bones were collected. Palaeontological research in the northern part of James Ross Island was carried out on 35 localities. Macrofossils and sediment samples for petrological and micropalaeontological analyses were collected from extensive Lower Cretaceous – Upper Cretaceous sediments. One of the most valuable results of the fieldwork in the north of James Ross Island is collection of diversified sponge fauna from the Whisky Bay, Hidden Lake and Santa Marta formations. This is emphasized by very recent palaeontological research carried out by the Czech Geological Survey in cooperation with British Antarctic Survey that resulted in description of first fossil sponge from Antarctica (Vodrážka & Crame 2011, Journal of Paleontology). An important result is also documentation of the first charcoalified flora from the James Ross Basin. It was found within early diagenetic calcareous concretions of the Santa Marta Formation (Upper Cretaceous, James Ross Island) and consist of uniquely preserved coalified cuticles, fruits and seeds.
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Meteorology, climatology
Principal Investigator: Kamil Laska, Institute of Geography of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Main Activity/ Remarks: In climatologic research, data download and maintenance of 9 automatic weather stations (AWS) situated at James Ross Island was done. Main objective was to continue a long-term monitoring of various abiotic factors as well as investigations of spatiotemporal variability of the climatic conditions of the Ulu Peninsula. Another objective was to explain the processes leading to regional atmospheric warming and to determine relief influences on air masses transformation and boundary layer processes. The data files were stored and checked briefly. However, final processing of data sets and their verification will be carried out in the Czech Republic. Special attention was paid to services of the solar radiation sensors and devices (pyranometers, PAR radiometers, UV radiometer and UVB-Biometer), which are situated at the J. G. Mendel station. Yearly data on global, UV-A, UV-B, PAR radiation were downloaded from particular sensors linked to dataloggers. Prediction of the erythemally effective UVB radiation and evaluation of the influences of atmospheric factors (ozone concentration, optical air mass, aerosols, etc.) was studied with the help of nonlinear modelling approach.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
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Project Name/Number:
Discipline: Plant Stress Physiology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Milos bartak (Masaryk University, Brno)
Main Activity/ Remarks: In-situ long-term measurements of photosynthetic activity of moss species (Bryum sp.) exploits permanent installations of fluorometers that use a saturation pulse method to estimate diurnal courses of photosynthesis. Effective quantum yield of photosynthetic processes in photosystem II (II) was measured in 15 min step for whole 2010.Yearly data set of II was downloaded in January 2011 and partly processed and analyzed during expedition. Simultaneously, microclimate data were recorded and downloaded for the experimental plots at which the fluorometers are located. In this way, importance of particular physical factor for moss photosynthesis, electron transport rate of photosynthetic processes in particular was evaluated. Data from 2010 were downloaded and yearly courses of photosynthetic activity analyzed.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
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Project Name/Number: Monitoring of dissolved oxygen content in lake Lachman, James Ross Island, Antarctica
Discipline: physiology, ecology
Principal Investigator: Milos Bartak, Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Main Activity/ Remarks: A long-term experiment with manipulated warming of vegetation cover using open top chambers (OTCs) was established in 2007. The vegetation cover as well as microclimate in 12 OTCs, located in three contrasting localities of James Ross Island is investigated each year. The localities represents: (A) coastal vegetation oasis, (B) plateau of a table mountain (350 m a.s.l.), and (C) freshly deglaciated area close to glacier margin are investigate. During the 2011 expedition, data on microclimatic characteristics of OTCs and control plots from the sites A, B and C were downloaded and analyzed in order to evaluate chamber effect, i.e. OTC-induced temperature shift in a course of a year. Photographs of vegetation inside the OTC were taken using a grid method in order to evaluate growth response to elevated temperature.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
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Project Name/Number: Solar radiation monitoring
Discipline: meteorology, climatology
Principal Investigator: Kamil Laska, Institute of Geography of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Main Activity/ Remarks: Since 2006, the measurement of solar UV radiation and the other meteorological observations have been performed at the Mendel Station. From the beginning, special attention is devoted to monitoring of UVA, UVB, erythemally effective UVB, global UV and photosynthetically active radiation. In austral summer 2010, maintenance and/or replacement of meteorological instruments, parts of the sensors and their ventilation units were done according to the WMO regulations, instrument service guide. Dismounted radiometers were sent to certificated laboratories of Kipp-Zonen BV and Solar and Ozone Observatory of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute in Hradec Králove for annual calibration and service check. The quality control by several tests and statistical methods were performed on the preliminary data sets.
Link (URL): www.sci.muni.cz
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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, Czech Republic
Main Activity/ Remarks: Large number of samples of organisms was collected from different parts of the island, which differ in degree of colonization. The samples were transferred to Brno, Czech Republic, where they are determined and analyzed using selective culturing, biochemical and molecular biology methods. Field research at James Ross Island proved occurrence of lichen genera Cladonia and Placopsis in some little explored parts of the island.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
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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: Medical care maintained by Czech physician; Argentinian Marambio Station (Seymour Island) in case of emergencies.
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)
Description: Report on all-terrain vehicles impact on deglaciated area of James Ross Island, Antarctica
File: Report on all-terrain vehicles impact_JRI.pdf

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: Johann Gregor Mendel Czech Antarctic Station
Objective:
Implementation Report: The waste management plan for the J.G. Mendel Czech Antarctic Station was prepared and summarized in the Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation for the Czech station. The document is entitled “Czech Scientific Station in Antarctica – Construction and Operation, Czech Republic, January 2004”. From January to March 2011, waste management was performed according to the above-specified waste management plan for the station. All combustible waste was disposed in the Norwegian incinerator (combustion furnace) at temperatures above 1000 deg.C. Incombustible wastes (ash, metal and glass) were stored in barrels with a volume of 200 l and transported to the mainland at the beginning of expedition.

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