The presence of glaciers with positive snow accumulation, such as Holtedahlfonna, together with a long record of mass balance measurements permits the recovery of ice core samples for paleoclimate reconstruction. The presence of annual snow, generally until the end of May, also makes Ny-Ålesund an ideal site to study snow evolution processes and to evaluate interaction between surface snow and atmosphere.

Two of the glaciers near Ny-Ålesund, Midtre Lovénbreen and Austre Brøggerbreen, have given rise to the longest Arctic mass balance time-series in the world. Many long-term measurements exist for these glaciers, but also for the surge-type glacier Kongsvegen, and the tidewater glacier Kronebreen, part of the Holthedalfonna glacier system.

Flagship work

Glacier mass balance
Glacier dynamics
Glacier hydrology
Annual snow layer evolution
Interaction between snow and atmosphere
Ice cores (for climate and contaminant studies)
Glacier biogeochemistry

Glacier monitoring
Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway. PI: Jack KohlerMass balance for glaciers near Ny-Ålesund
University of Oslo, Norway. PI: Jon-Ove Hagen.
CNRS, Universite de France-Comte, France. PI: Florian Tolle
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland. PI: Irek Sobota
NCAOR, India. PI: P. Sharma
Wuhan University, PI: Songtao Ai
Snow monitoring
Norwegian Polar Institute, PI: Jean-Charles Gallet
University of Oslo, PI: Sebastian Westermann


The Glaciology flagship is one of the Ny-Ålesund research flagships. The Glaciology Flagship was established at a workshop hosted by SSF at Sommarøy, Norway in 2011. At the workshop, the Glaciology Flagship document, providing an overview of main scientific topics, knowledge gaps and suggestions for common integrated glaciology efforts, was developed.


If you would like to receive news or announcements from the flagship or the research station, please sign up for the monthly Newsletter.

Contact the flagship scientific committee

  • Jack Kohler (Chair), Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Songtao Ai (Co-chair) , Wuhan University
  • Florian Tolle, CNRS, Universite de France-Comte, France
  • Irek Sobota, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
  • P. Sharma, NCPOR, India
  • Jon-Ove Hagen, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Jean-Charles Gallet, Norwegian Polar Institute

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