ATCM
Antarctic Treaty
Electronic Information Exchange System

Party: Czech Republic
2012/2013 Annual Information
Forward Plans
Scientific Information - Forward Plans
Science Plan/Program/Project: The permanent offer of scientific and logistic co-operation with the Czech National Antarctic Programme in the James Ross Island area
Planned Operating Period: From     To 
Contact Point:
Organisation:
Name: Pavel Kapler
Job Title or Position: Czech Antarctic Programme Executive Officer
Phone: +420-549-49-6829
Email: kapler@sci.muni.cz
Details/Description: All interested parties are welcomed!
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Discipline:
Areas of Activity

Science Activities in Previous Year
Scientific Information - Science Activities in Previous Year
Project Name/Number: Geological and palaeontological research
Discipline: Geology & palaeontology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Lukas Krmicek (Technological University in Brno), Assoc. Prof. Slavomir Nehyba (Masaryk University), Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey & Masaryk University) & Dr. Radek Vodrazka (Czech Geological Survey)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Boundaries of marine Cretaceous formations have been mapped in the field. James Ross Island brings the best opportunity to study glacier-volcano interaction, therefore we continued on the study of a wide variety of depositional processes associated with sub-glacial volcanism. Palaeontological research accompanied by sedimentological studies focused on the Upper Cretaceous sediments of the northern James Ross Island. Fossil fauna and flora were collected mainly from the Santa Martha, Hidden Lake and Whisky Bay formations. Sediments of the lower part of the Santa Martha Formation yielded unexpectedly diversified assemblages of fossil invertebrates such as ammonites, bivalves, gastropods, scaphopods and monoplacophorans. New localities with Upper Cretaceous fossil sponges, that are virtually unknown in Antarctica, were found in the nearby vicinity of Johann Gregor Mendel Station. The individual generations of basaltic rocks and associated hydrothermal veins cropping out on the northern territory of the James Ross Island were sampled, including Na-rich types such as hawaiites. Subsequently, the study of chemical and isotopic composition of olivine–spinel pairs from sampled rocks for a better understanding of mantle compositional history beneath the James Ross Island will be held.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  14 Jan 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Geomorphological research
Discipline: Geomorphology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Zbynek Engel (Charles University), Dr. Daniel Nyvlt & Tomas Franta (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Last deglaciation during the Termination I, together with the quantification of glacier erosion rates of the island’s ice-free areas was studied using cosmogenic nuclides. This season continued also monitoring of periglacial processes associated with the seasonal active layer changes, together with periglacial sorting of volcanic material on higher lying levelled surfaces.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  14 Jan 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Glaciological research
Discipline: Glaciology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey, Prague), Dr. Kamil Laska (Masaryk University, Brno), Dr. Zbynek Engel (Charles University), Tomas Jagos (Masaryk University), Tomas Franta (Masaryk University) & Jan Russnak (Masaryk University)
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. Yearly data (2012-13) 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. Monitoring of mass balance changes and glacier flow of small local glaciers (Whisky Glacier and Davies Dome) continued during this season. These changes are supplemented by meteorological data from individual automatic weather stations located at both glaciers and their forefields.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  15 Jan 2013   To:  10 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Ichthyoparasitological study of Nototheniid fish species in Prince Gustav channel, Antarctica. Project held by European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology - ECIP
Discipline: Ichtyoparasitology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pavel Jurajda (Academy of Science of Czech Rep), Dr. Sarka Masova & Dr. Iva Prikrylova (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Owing to unpredicted sea-ice cover in the vicinity of the J.G. Mendel Station, sampling was cut short to 4 days. In total, thirteen fish specimens from the genera Notothenia and Trematomus were caught, dissected and examined for metazoan parasites. Further continuance is expected.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  08 Feb 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation

Project Name/Number: Limnological and palaeo-limnological research
Discipline: Limnology, palaeo-limnology
Principal Investigator: Jan Kavan (University of South Bohemia), Dr. Katerina Kopalova & Dr. Linda Nedbalova (Charles University), Dr. Daniel Nyvlt & Pavel Coufalik (Masaryk University)
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. The sources of high nitrate content in young glacial lakes have been studied using geochemical and isotopic methods in biotic and abiotic samples. Lake sediment cores for further palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental analyses have been drilled from the small lakes on the northern coast of the Vega Island. The monitoring of nitrogen contents in lakes and water streams and the study of biomass under increased eutrophication in minibioreactors in situ: The content of nitrogen in Bohemian stream, Dirty stream, Algal stream, Lachman Lake, Monolith Lake and several temporary water reservoirs were observed. The measurement of ions of NH4+ and NO3- was carried out by potentiometer using ion-selective electrodes. The monitoring of nitrogen in surface waters provides information about the nutritional limits of algae under natural conditions. The observation of mineral nitrogen consumption by biomass was followed in minibioreactors under controlled conditions. The composition of pigments in cyanobacteria coatings was also determined. The measurements were performed in the laboratory of Johann Gregor Mendel station using UV/VIS spectrometer. The obtained data enables to describe better the environmental conditions for the occurrence of lower plants within the polar regions. Research in hydrology and limnology was carried out in the area of Devil’s Bay, Vega Island. Fieldwork was performed in cooperation with „Lagos“ team of Instituto Antártico Argentino during their field campaign between January 14th – February 21st. Automatic hydrological monitoring (hydrostatic pressure sensors) has been set up on three selected water streams – two of them under the Devil’s Bay Glacier, third one under the noname glacier in the eastern part of the area. Manual discharge measurements were carried out on all of them for hydrostatic pressure sensors calibration. Two sensors were used for monitoring dynamics of two large lakes (Lago Verde, Lago Anonyma). A detailed limnological study of the area (45 lakes in total) has been done including basic physico-chemical parameters measurements (temperature, conductivity and pH), mapping and sampling for algae and zoo-plankton. Water samples have been taken for further lab analyses. Two sediment cores have been taken from Lago Anonyma for further lab analyses as well.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  02 Feb 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Long-term monitoring of meteorological characteristics
Discipline: Meteorology, climatology
Principal Investigator: Dr. 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/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  13 Jan 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Magnetoreception of litoral Isopodes
Discipline: Zoology of invertebrates
Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Martin Vacha (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Within the framework of zoology and physiology of marine invertebrates, orientation behaviour of some Antarctic Amphipods was investigated in laboratory conditions. Amphipods are one of major part of biomass and crucial element in trophic chains of the South Ocean. The goal of the research was to test the hypothesis that litoral Amphipods use sense for Earth magnetism to find the axis sea - beach and orient their movement respectively. Such ability would help them to avoid desiccation or predation and to reach the open sea during tide changes. Aside from behavioural ecology questions still unknown physiological mechanism of magnetoreception was addressed as well. Using magnetic axis sensitive behaviour was successfully proven for investigated Gammarids.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  14 Jan 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Medical research
Discipline: Human stress physiology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Pavel Sevcik, M.D. (Masaryk University, Brno) & Kristian Brat, M.D. (Masaryk University, Brno)
Main Activity/ Remarks: The medical research included continuous ambulatory blood pressure measurements to follow up the adaptation process of human organism to extreme climatic conditions among the Czech expedition members. Moreover, performance-related elevation of troponin T and NT pro-BNP in peripheral blood were studied. Another topic was a study of sleep disturbances (using polysomnograph) during the stint in Antarctica. The changes in microbial environment of the J.G. Mendel base during the period of human presence were studied as well.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  07 Jan 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation

Project Name/Number: Microbiological research
Discipline: Microbiology
Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Ivo Sedlacek (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Microbiological research in the northern part of James Ross Island was realised in three main fields: diversity of bacteria inhabiting inorganic materials (soil, stones); bacteria associated with water environment (streams, lakes); and finally isolation of bacterial community from mucous membranes and faeces of sea-borne animals. We have collected 45 different samples of inorganic sources and their analysis will be realised in Czech Republic. From waters we have isolated almost two hundred strains of bacteria and isolates will be suitable for taxonomic study in specialised laboratory. Bacterial analyses from animals were aimed on gram-positive cocci occurring on skin and mucous membranes and we have examined 27 animals (birds, penguins, seals). Additional microbiological work was related to applicability of UV-C radiation for fruit and vegetable protection. We have treated the surface of several hundred pieces of different foods (apples, anions, potatoes, oranges, etc.) to eliminate transient microbial contamination. Mentioned approach prevented spoilage of food and avoided the spreading of fruit and vegetable associated micro-organisms into the Antarctic environment.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  13 Jan 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Monitoring of dissolved oxygen content in lake Lachman, James Ross Island, Antarctica
Discipline: Plant physiology, ecology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Milos Bartak & Dr. Peter Vaczi (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 2012-13 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/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  14 Jan 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Parasitology of invertebrates
Discipline: Parasitology of invertebrates
Principal Investigator: Andrei Diakin (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: We performed the first parasitological investigation of invertebrates at the James Ross Island, Johann Gregor Mendel Station of Masaryk University. The aims of our research were to check marine litoral and sub-litoral invertebrates for the presence of unicellular parasites belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Among checked invertebrates are: gastropodes, amphipodes, polychaetes, sea urchins and nemertins. Also there are new data of fauna of James Ross Island, Johann Gregor Mendel Station and Prince Gustav Channel.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  17 Jan 2013   To:  13 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Plant physiology research
Discipline: Plant Stress Physiology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Milos Bartak, Dr. Peter Vaczi & Pavel Coufalik (all from Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Within plant physiology field research we continued in the study of the climatic change effect on Antarctic biota. The study comprises a long-term field measurement of physiological activity of mosses and lichens with use of in-situ fluorometry, and open top chamber approach. Continuous microclimatic data for three contrasting area are measured as well. Within the selected lacalities of northern part of Ulu Peninsula (James Ross Island) a change in distribution of fruticous and folious lichen species has been evaluated. For contrasting water basin ecosystems we evaluated the photosynthetic activity during Antarctic summer period with use of oxygen evolution measurement technique and a change. From studied area we collected the samples of lichens, algal matts and corresponding substrates for further analysis in the lab. The study of elemental composition and internal structure of the Antarctic lichen Usnea Antarctica: The samples of Usnea Antarctica were collected in localities of Halozetes Valley, Berry Hill Mesa, Lachman Crags Mesa and Davis Dome Mesa. In the first step, nutrition, essential and toxic elements will be determined in these samples. Lichen thallus will be further studied in terms of the structural division of photo-biont and myco-biont in transverse and longitudinal sections. A unique topological map of thallus will be then created. 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 was measured in 15 min step for whole 2012. Yearly data set of photosystem II was downloaded in February 2013 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 2012-13 were downloaded and yearly courses of photosynthetic activity analyzed.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  14 Jan 2013   To:  14 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation

Project Name/Number: Solar radiation monitoring
Discipline: Meteorology, climatology
Principal Investigator: Dr. 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 2012-13, 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
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  13 Jan 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Terrestrial vegetation responses to manipulated warming using an OTC approach
Discipline: Plant physiology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Milos Bartak & Dr. Peter Vaczi (Institute of Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Samples of plant 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 to be 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/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  13 Jan 2013   To:  15 Feb 2013
Areas of Operation

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: 20
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)
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
Environmental Information - Conservation of Fauna and Flora
Permit Number:
Permit Period: Date begin:  01 Jan 2013   Date end:  30 Mar 2013
Species: fish (genera Notothenia and Trematomus)
Location:
Site Name: Mendel Station   Lat: 63º 46´ 00´´ S   Long: 57º 42´ 00´´ W  
Action: Taking
Taking: Kill
Amount: 13
Purpose: Ichtyoparasitological research
Removal or Disposal: No
Remarks: Owing to unpredicted sea-ice cover in the vicinity of the J.G. Mendel Station, sampling was cut short to 4 days. In total, thirteen fish specimens from the genera Notothenia and Trematomus were caught, dissected and examined for metazoan parasites.
Event or Project Name/Number: The Ichthyoparasitological study of Nototheniid fish species in Prince Gustav channel, Antarctica.

Waste Management Plans Report
Environmental Information - Waste Disposal and Waste Management (Waste Management Plans)
Title: 2012-2013 - Waste management plan for the J.G. Mendel Czech Antarctic Station
Fixed Site/Field Camp/Ship: Mendel 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 2012 to March 2013, waste management was performed according to the above-specified waste management plan for the station. All combustible waste was disposed in the Norwegian GOLAR combustion furnace at temperatures above 1000 deg.C. Incombustible wastes (metal and glass) were stored in barrels with a volume of 200 l and prepared for transport to the mainland.
Contact Point:
Organisation:
Name: Pavel Kapler
Job Title or Position: Czech Antarctic Programme Executive Officer
Phone: +420-549-49-6829
Email: kapler@sci.muni.cz

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