Kapp Lee Research Station

Kapp Lee Research Station is located on the northwestern corner of Edge Øya on Storfjordens Eastern Shores. Three cabins are currently standing on the beach south of the cape, just north of Doleritt neset in position 78.08˚N and 20.8˚E. Two are in usable condidtions and have been used as a research station during ProClim 2004-2006.

The combination of sea ice conditions, cold air temperatures, and number of polar bears proved to be quite a challenge for the field plans at Kapp Lee, but much has been accomplished.

The living quarters at Kapp Lee is not of an outmost luxurious type, but it is a magnificent place to take a rest on a sunny day.

This satelite image shows the southern parts of Svalbard and was taken in Mars 2005. It shows the surface roughness, and thereby structures in the ice cover in the Barents Sea to the east. Eddies are also clearly visible west of Svalabard between the darker open ocean and the sea ice.

The view from Kapp Lee station a cold morning in March 2006. The old cabin is a trapper station from days long gone by.

Meterologoical mast at Kapp Lee

Four atmospheric sensors have been logging wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity for a number of years on the hill above the cabins at Kapp Lee. We now have a multi year time series for conditions in Storfjorden. Future plans to improve the mast icorporate building a GSM link, and adding another level of sensors, as well as adding new instruments.

The meteorologic mast at the Kapp Lee station

Four atmospheric sensors from Aanderaa Instruments, Bergen, Norway were set to log every 3 h on a mast on the hill above the cabins in position 78.082230˚N and 20.80945˚E. The mast is about 10 m high and was selected as a good and representative place to record wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity. The sensors were placed 7.3 m above ground, safely out of reach for curious polar bears.We now have a multi year time series for conditions in Storfjorden. The minimum temperature at Kapp Lee during the winter 2004/2005 was -21 ˚C, and the mean temperature for the period was -7.1˚C. Large fluctuations in temperature happen throughout the winter, and jumps between 0˚C and -15˚C were quite common. The temperature distribution have two peaks, one close to -13˚C and one close to -2˚C. This points to two regimes in the air properties, marine air close to the surface freezing point of the ocean, and colder air presumably from the ice covered areas to the north. This is clearly indicated in the figure below, showing primarily northerly winds for air temparatures below -5˚C.

Otherwise one can use a balloon to get atmospheric measurements; windspeed and direction, temperature, preassure and humidity. (Photo by Anna Sjöblom, UNIS)