• Klaipeda University
  • 12 August 2023

KU Research Team Travels to the Arctic to Continue Research on the Eidembukta Lagoon

A team of researchers from the Marine Research Institute of Klaipėda University (MRI KU) has successfully arrived in the Svalbard archipelago (Norway) and is about to start work together with a multinational team of Polish researchers and students.

The aim of the expedition is to continue the research on a new lagoon in the Arctic. This lagoon has formed over the last 80 years in the central part of Spitsbergen Island, between Eidembukta Bay and Eidembreen Glacier. It is separated from the sea by a narrow sand spit, surrounded on one side by a glacier, on the other by Arctic tundra, hills, and swamps, and connected to the sea by a narrow channel. Satellite images show that the area of the lagoon was 1.4 km2 in 1976 and has more than quadrupled in size to 5.9 km2 by 2022. The lagoon has not yet been officially named, and Klaipėda researchers call it the Eidembukta Lagoon.

Lithuanian and Polish researchers have been familiar with the Eidembukta Lagoon since 2019, when it was spotted during another research. In 2021, a team from KU carried out the first hydrological surveys there, which marked the start of a continuing Arctic research project.

A team of seven KU researchers led by prof. Sergey Olenin – marine biologist dr. Andrius Šiaulys, hydrologist Aleksey Shashkov, zoologist Dzmitry Lukashanets, biogeochemist Tobia Politi, hydrologist-cartographer Greta Kilmonaitė, and cartographer-satellite image specialist Audrey Schillings – will be working in Eidembukta on August 13 to 20. A multinational team of researchers and students from the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Gdansk University of Technology will work together on the research.

In the middle of the expedition, the Arctic team will be joined by Lithuanian travel journalist Orijus Gasanovas and his colleague Žygimantas Jakimovas. The opportunity to present the research as well as working and living conditions of researchers working beyond the Arctic Circle to the Lithuanian audience, to talk about their discoveries and their significance for society, has been given to the media by the KU Future Support Fund.


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