Modeling of snow drift and mapping of polar bear dens

Snow drifts in central denning areas in Svalbard are to be simulated based on topographic data, weather data and available simulation programs. The data on simulated distribution of snow in autumn will be compared with distribution of known denning sites, and with available data on measured snow depths. This will make a tool that can be used to make maps of denning habitat in Svalbard, and in the future make it possible e.g. to simulate how distribution of suitable denning habitat may change with changes in climate. The work will lead to a report and/or a scientific paper, so that the results become available and can be of use in future conservation of polar bears and help increasing our understanding of their sensitivity to environmental changes