Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Frantic days

I handed inn my second semester project last day, and things are finally starting to calm a bit down, before the exams next month. This was the second project this year, and a brief summary of them is as follows:

AG210 Quaternary history of Svalbard: I described and interpreted both the genesis and environment of a new gravel unit found within the sedimentary stratigraphy of Poolepynten on Prins Karls Forland. To do this I used both sediment description and interpretation of the mollusk fauna in which I collected shells to identify. Based on this I came to the conclution that the gravel was deposited during a high density deposit during a climate similar or warmer then today and most possible during the Eemian interglacial (130-114 000 years ago).

Location overview. note the polar bear jawbone to the left of my section. It is the world's oldest remain of a polar bear (110-130 000 years old) (Adapted from Ingolfson & Wiig (2009))

Stratigraphic log. note the gravel unit toward the bottom.

Some of the shell samples collected for the project.

AG211 Marine Geology: Using mainly swath bathymetry data I identified submarine landforms within the fjord and inner-shelf area of Wijdefjorden on North-Spitsbergen. This included measuring and interpreting the significance of the different landforms. My conclusion were that a mayor ice flow were present in Wijdefjorden during the last glaciation, that it was a surging glacier, but that it could be characterized as a "fast-flowing" ice stream due to the lack of megascale glacial lineations (MSGL).

My overview map of the study area

Ground zone wedge from the converging Woodfjorden ice stream

Crag and tail feature identified both using morphology and chirp echo sounder data.
Both projects can be downloaded as Adobe Acrobat PDF files:
AG211 termproject (OpenDrive.com)
- AG210 termproject (OpenDrive.com

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It has been almost two weeks since my last blogpost. My first excuse for this is that I've been just to busy, which might sound a bit strange since my second excuse is that not much have happened up here lately.

Well... Maybe some things happened. The sun went down below the horizon for the last time this year on the 26th of October. This marks a period from between 26th of october until 8th of march where the sun will not rise above the horizon.
For now it is still bright a couple of hours during the day as we experience what is called polar twillight where it is still daylight due to sunlight being reflected back in the upper athmosphere. Gradually it will get darker however, and between the 11th of November until the 8th of March there will only be a faint glow during the day during what is called civil polar night. Nautical polar and the even darker astronomical polar night is not experienced here.

The darkness opens up for some beautiful pictures of northerns light which have been quite frequent up here lately. For the most part however they occur during night when people like me are sleeping. The more eager people at our barrack however have set up the facebook-group "The Barrack 11 Northern Lights Observatory". There's also a northern light forecast available from Kjell Henriksens Observatory for those who are interested.

Chloé made us all a proper meal with Italian lasagna and tiramitsu for dessert as her sister Léa was visiting. Of course we also went out last friday. Sufficient to say; I was a bit reduced last saturday. Sunday we went up to the ice-cave in the moraine in front of Longyearbreen. However, we decided to drop it as we heard quite a lot of meltwater flowing due to the high temperatures lately. Instead I guided a group up to Platåfjellet. As we came up, they went down and I walked around for a couple of hours and tracked a polar fox for a while.
Last week was spent for the most time doing some inefficient work on my term project for AG210 which now is almost finished.

In other news:
- First proper drug-raid on Svalbard. First 9 local people were caught with narcotics and now the total number is 11. They now risk being sent away from Svalbard.
- Two youths were caught driving under the influence of alcohol on snowscooters
- Another fox with rabies was caught.
- China was accused of hacking the Svalsat radars.