Hydrophysical characteristics of arctic and temperate zones soils were determined. The soils from the temperate zone showed a greater capability of water retention than those from the arctic zone. In both investigated depths (surface and subsurface layers), the highest water content was observed for the Sądecki Regosol, and the lowest one for Turbic Cryosol formed in the cell forms from Spitsbergen at all soil water potentials. The differences between water content for these soils at the same soil water potentials varied between 20 and 25% vol. in the surface layer, and from 19 to 22% vol. in the subsurface, respectively. The lowest differences (2.7-5.0% vol.) in water content were noticed between the Wyspowy Regosol and Turbic Cryosol (Skeletic) derived in the sorted circles. In both depths, higher values of water conductivity were observed for Regosols than for Cryosols at high soil water potentials, from -0.1 till -7 kJ m-3. These differences were especially high at -0.1 kJ m-3 and they were three or four times higher for soils from the temperate zone than from the arctic ones. For lower water potentials, the differences in water conductivity do not exceed one order in the surface layer and two orders in the subsurface.
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