A significant limit to current understanding of cold coast evolution is the paucity of field observations regarding development of rocky coastlines and, in particular, lack of precise recognition of mechanisms controlling rock coast geomorphology in polar climates. Results are presented from a pilot survey of rock resistance using Schmidt Hammer Rock Tests (SHRT) across the recently deglacierized Nordenskioldbreen forefield and coastal zone, in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The aim is to improve understanding of the effects of rock weathering on high latitude coasts. SHRT across a field of roches moutonnées of metamorphic rocks, uncovered from ice over the last century and exposed to the operation of littoral processes, demonstrated significant relationships between rock surface resistance and distance from present shoreline, distance from the ice cliff as well as thickness of the snow cover. Sites closest to the present−day shoreline were characterized by lower resistance in comparison with more inland locations. The result support models that advocate intensification of weathering processes in cold region coastal settings.
Beach pollution is one of the most common hazards in present-day anthropogenic environments. Even in the remote Svalbard Archipelago, pollution impacts the beach system and can pose environmental threats. The significant increase in human activity observed in Svalbard over the last 20–30 years has resulted in a visible change in the amount of coastal pollution. A 5 km long transect of modern beach developed along Calypsostranda (Recherchefjorden, Bellsund) was surveyed in the summer of 2015 in order to characterize the beach pollution. During the survey 296 pieces of trash were found on beach surface. 82% of found trash was plastic, followed by glass (8%), and metal (5%). The comparison with previous pollution survey showed the significant increase of plastic waste in local beach environment. Similar problem has been recently recorded in other parts of Svalbard suggesting an urgent need for coastal pollution monitoring.