In the summer of 1979, in South Spitsbergen investigations of the extreme temperatures of the ground surface were carried out. The investigations permitted the determination of the magnitude of the extreme temperatures of the ground surface and their relation to the air temperature. The spatial variability of the extreme temperatures of the ground surface was observed.
Knowledge of the temperature distribution in subsurface layers of the ground is important in the design, modelling and exploitation of ground heat exchangers. In this work a mathematical model of heat transfer in the ground is presented. The model is based on the solution of the equation of transient heat transfer in a semi-infinite medium. In the boundary condition on the surface of the ground radiation fluxes (short- and long-wave), convective heat flux and evaporative heat flux are taken into account. Based on the developed model, calculations were carried out to determine the impact of climatic conditions and the physical properties of the ground on the parameters of the Carslaw-Jeager equation. Example results of calculated yearly courses of the daily average temperature of the surface of the ground and the amount of particular heat fluxes on the ground surface are presented. The compatibility of ground temperature measurements at different depths with the results obtained from the Carslaw–Jaeger equation is evaluated. It was found that the temperature distribution in the ground and its variability in time can be calculated with good accuracy.
Ground temperature variations have been analysed to the depth of 160 cm, with respect to meteorological elements and short-wave radiation balance. The database of the ground temperature covers a thirteen month-long period (May 1992 – June 1993), which included both the seasons of complete freezing of the ground and thaw. Special attention has been given to the development of perennial permafrost and its spatial distribution. In summer, the depth of thawing ground varied in different types of ground — at the Polish Polar Station, this was ca. 130 cm. The ground froze completely in the first week of October. Its thawing started in June. The snow cover restrained heat penetration in the ground, which hindered the ground thawing process. Cross-correlation shows a significant influence of the radiation balance (K*) on the values of near-surface ground temperatures (r2 = 0.62 for summer).
This paper provides an overview of the results of research on changes in ground temperature down to 50 cm depth, on the Kaffiøyra Plain, Spitsbergen in the summer seasons. To achieve this, measurement data were analysed from three different ecotopes (CALM Site P2A, P2B and P2C) – a beach, a moraine and tundra – collected during 22 polar expeditions between 1975 and 2014. To ensure comparability, data sets for the common period from 21 July to 31 August (referred to as the “summer season” further in the text) were analysed. The greatest influence on temperature across the investigated ground layers comes from air temperature (correlation coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.84). For the purpose of the analysis of the changes in ground temperature in the years 1975–2014, missing data for certain summer seasons were reconstructed on the basis of similar data from a meteorological station at Ny-Ålesund. The ground temperature at the Beach site demonstrated a statistically−significant growing trend: at depths from 1 to 10 cm the temperature increased by 0.27–0.28 ° C per decade, and from 20 to 50 cm by as much as 0.30 ° C per decade. On the Kaffiøyra Plain, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has a greater influence on the ground an d air temperature than the Arctic Oscillation (AO).