Polish Polar Station
9170 Longyearbyen
Svalbard, Norway Station Manager:
Wlodzimierz Sielski
TA/RA contacts:
Wlodzimierz Sielski

Shortlist from Station Catalogue over facilities and science disciplines.



The Polish Polar Station in Hornsund belongs to the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences


The station is situated on the northern shore of the Hornsund Fjord in the center of the South Spitsbergen National Park (8504 km2), Svalbard Archipelago. Longyearbyen – the capital of Svalbard with harbour and airport is located approximately 180 km northward.


Pristine environment surrounds the station, where glaciers, mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers are not affected by humans. In 2002, the Polish station, together with the Hornsund Fjord, was recognized as one of six the European Marine BiodiversityBiological diversity. The many and varied forms of life on Earth (collectively known as biota). As well as diversity of species (species diversity), there is also diversity within populations of a... More Flagship Sites (http://www.iopan.gda.pl/projects/biodaff /). TundraA type of ecosystem in which tree growth is limited by low temperatures. The origin of the word is from from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr, meaning "uplands" or "treeless mountain tract". In the northern... More with many species of lichens, mosses, flowers, and shrubs occupy the raised marine terraces and the lower parts of the mountain slopes. Reindeers, ArcticDefinitions of the Arctic vary according to environmental, geographical, political, cultural and scientific perspectives. Some scientists define the Arctic as areas having a high latitude, long winters, short, cool summers,... More foxes, and polar bears together with many bird species are living around the station.


The Polish Polar Station was established in 1957, as a winter base during the 3rd International Geophysical Year 1957/1958. In the 1970s, it was used by Polish research expeditions during summers only. The station was renovated in 1978 and has been in operation year-round since then. Today, the station is a modern research platform with access to well-equipped laboratories, satellite communication, and internet. Accommodation, washing, and cooking facilities for 20 visitors (in addition to the permanent staff of 10 persons) are in the same building. There is also a well equipped workshop, a boat house, and storage for instruments and field equipment. The station lounge has a multimedia projector, white screen, and a 60” HD LCD TV and is used for scientific seminars and conferences for up to 20-30 participants.


The research at the Polish Polar Station focuses on meteorologyThe scientific study of the atmosphere and its phenomena, especially in relation to weather and weather forecasting.... More, glaciologyThe study of glaciers., monitoring of geophysical fields (i.e. seismology, geomagnetism, atmospherically electricity), permafrostPermafrost is frozen ground that remains at or below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) for two or more years. It forms in regions where the mean annual temperature is... More, and geomorphic processes. The main study objectives are related to the evolution of the high arctic environment with respect to Climate ChangeAccording to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, climate change is change in the climate of the whole Earth or a region of the Earth that is believed... More. Projects include the research on mass and energy balance of glaciers, fluctuations and changes of their hydrothermal state, and dynamics of tidewater glaciers and their interaction with the ocean. Changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems are systematically studied, including a strong ornithological component. Existing databases include meteorological and glaciological records (http://www.glacio-topoclim.org), geophysical data (collected in several world data centers), as well as marine and terrestrial biological parameters. There is a bibliography of publications arising from research at the station.


The closest town Longyearbyen is administrative center and the largest settlement of Svalbard with more than 2000 inhabitants. There are harbors and airport with regular flight connections with Tromsö and Oslo. In the town are also hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, hospital, school, and the University Center of Svalbard (UNIS) with c. 350 students and 40 persons in the staff . Longyearbyen is also the seat of the Norwegian Governor of Svalbard with police station and helicopter rescue station as well.


There are no roads between any settlement and the Polish Polar Station. During the summer season, the station can be reached by ships or yachts. Flights by helicopter may be used all year-round. The trip by ship from Longyearbyen to Hornsund takes 12-24 hours and by helicopter c. 1 hour. In winter and spring, Hornsund can be reached by snow scooters, if two fjords between Longyearbyen and the station have stable and thick enough sea ice cover.

Field Site information table pdf

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