ATCM
Antarctic Treaty
Electronic Information Exchange System

Party: Czech Republic
2013/2014 Annual Information
Forward Plans
Scientific Information - Forward Plans
Science Plan/Program/Project: Broad international scientific cooperation based on the joint project
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: We look for perspective partners in abroad for scientific cooperation on research of all environmental aspects of the deglaciated area of Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, where the infrastructure of J.G. Mendel the Czech Antarctic Station shall be used to support the joint campaign of the Czech and foreign colleagues.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/home
Additional Information:  
Discipline:
Areas of Activity
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: Kind offer of the shared access to the J.G. Mendel Czech Antarctic Station infrastructure, all interested parties shall be 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 geomorphological research
Discipline: Geology & geomorphology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey & Masaryk University), Assoc. Prof. Slavomir Nehyba & Filip Hrbacek (both Masaryk University)
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. In Jan-Feb 2014, glacier-volcano interactions were studied in sedimentary strata of James Ross Island Volcanic Group (JRIVG). Continuous studies of sedimentary strata associated with JRIVG led to detailed lithofacies description of debris-flow sediments below the main Lachman Crags delta, where a mixture of glacigennic, glaciomarine and volcanoclastics facies has been recorded including marine molluscs. The field lithofacies description has been supplemented with petrological, magnetic susceptibility and X-Ray spectrofluorometric (XRF) studies to reveal provenance of transported material. Rock varnish geochemistry was studied on hamada-like surface boulders from semi-arid marginal Antarctic environment. Field XRF measurements of rock varnish from basalt and granitoids scattered around the ice-free area of northern Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island revealed prominent enrichment of manganese in superficial rock varnish. This is in contrast with more arid continental Antarctic areas, where rock varnish is prominently enriched in iron, rather than manganese. However, it was found, that the enrichment of these two elements is dependent on the original amount of these element is host rocks, rather than on the chemical composition of wind-blown sandy material in this area. Holocene advances of local land-terminating glaciers were studied using field XRF measurements of prominent hyaloclastite boulders in the Abernethy Flats area provided data for reconstruction their origin from individual volcanic sequences in the Stickle Ridge/Smellie Peak and Davies Dome area and thus useful data for palaeoglaciological reconstruction of Holocene advances of Whisky Glacier and Davies Dome outlets in this prominent flat territory of northern James Ross Island. Lake sediments were used as a base for multi-proxy record of Holocene climatic and environmental changes. In Jan-Feb 2014, eleven cores with thickness between 0.6 and 2 m were recovered during this season in cooperation with the team of Juan Manuel Lirio (Instituto Antártico Argentino) from Esmeralda Lake at Vega Island. Basic description of lithofacies has been done directly in the field. Subsequent laboratory methods will include grain-size and magnetic properties of sediments, TOC/TIC/TS, XRF analyses of lithophile elements, cations, pigments and diatom palaeocommunities studies. Geochronology will be based on a combination of 137Cs, 14C and OSL dating. This study is a continuation of a long term Argentinean-Czech project on palaeolimnological reconstructions in the marginal part of Antarctica.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Glaciological & permafrost research
Discipline: Glaciology & postglacial geomorphology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (Czech Geological Survey, Prague), Dr. Kamil Laska (Masaryk University, Brno), Dr. Zbynek Engel (Charles University) & Filip Hrbacek (Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Field works were performed at the Davies Dome ice cap and Whisky Glacier in Jan – Feb 2014 as a part of long/term research. At these two glaciers, ablation/accumulation rates were evaluated using bamboo poles and GPS. The collected data allowed determination of glacier volumes that are used for mass balance determination. Yearly data (2013-14) 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. In Jan-Feb 2014, measurements permafrost depth along a 6-km-long profile (Mendel station-Johnson mesa - Brandy Bay) was done using a probe approach. The data were compared to those recorded in previous season (Jan-Feb 2013). Two new long-term research plots were established so that variablility of active layer could be estimated over an area of 5.600 m2. Soil samples in vertical profile of some probes were taken for further analyses of grain structure and mass/volume soil characteristics. General aim is to evaluate natural variability of active layer thickness at different locations of Ulu peninsula.
Link (URL): http://polar.sci.muni.cz/en/research/research-at-station/
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Ichthyological & Ichtyoparasitological study of Nototheniid fish species in Prince Gustav channel, Antarctica. Project held by European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology - ECIP
Discipline: Ichtyology & Ichtyoparasitology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pavel Jurajda (Academy of Science of Czech Rep), Dr. Sarka Masova & Veronika Michalkova (both Masaryk University)
Main Activity/ Remarks: Inshore fish communities of continental Antarctica are rarely surveyed. Spatial distribution of inshore notothenioid fish assemblage from partly disrupted fast ice in the Prince Gustav Channel, James Ross Island was studied. Gill nets were exposed to the different depth layers from 5 to 30 m. Species richness, relative community structure, catch-per-unit-effort and biomass were analyzed. The otoliths were removed, gonad stage were determined and stomach contents were analyzed from dominant species in sample. In total 548 fishes from 9 notothenioid species were caught. Even in the shallowest depth profile (5 m) we caught 7 species. However, species richness and relative density positive correlated. It seems that even shallow inshore areas in just partly disrupted fast ice during austral summer are used by fishes during the nights. Altogether, 102 fish were caugth in inshore sea of James Ross Island during the Jan-Feb 2014. Most frequent were Trematomus bernacchi, T.hansoni and T. newnesi. In dissected fish, altogether 7.7 thousands of individual parasites were found. Endoparasites such as e.g. Nematoda, Trematoda, Cestoda, Acanthocephala represented dominant part of them (82 per cent) while exoparasites (Monogenea, Crustacea, Hirudinea) formed only 18 per cent. Most important parasites were fixed and transported to the Czech Republic where subjected to final determination and molecular biology analyses to precise their phylogeny trees and determine species-specific proteins. The parasites samples of two model fish species (Trematomus newnesi and T. bernacchi) were collected mainly for study their intracommunities of metazoan parasites of these groups: Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Trematoda, Nematoda, Monogenea, Crustacea, Hirudinea and Myxozoa. Parasites specimes will be use also for taxonomical, morphological and histological studies in 2014 and 2015.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Limnological and palaeo-limnological research
Discipline: Limnology, palaeo-limnology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Katerina Kopalova & Dr. Linda Nedbalova (both Charles University), Dr. Daniel Nyvlt (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 Esmeralda lake on the northern coast of the Vega Island. Research in palaeo-limnology was carried out in the area of Esmeralda lake, Vega Island. Fieldwork was performed in cooperation with „Lagos“ team of Instituto Antártico Argentino during their field campaign in February.
Link (URL):
Additional Information:  
Operating Period: From:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
Areas of Operation
Project Name/Number: Medical research
Discipline: Human stress physiology
Principal Investigator: Prof. Pavel Sevcik, M.D., Martin Slezak, M.D. & 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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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 2013-14, 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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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:  19 Jan 2014   To:  25 Feb 2014
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
Waste Management Plans Report
Environmental Information - Waste Disposal and Waste Management (Waste Management Plans)
Title: 2013-2014 - 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 2014 to March 2014, 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, glass and ash) 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
File: FINAL_EIA_7011enCzech Station CEE_e.pdf

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