Glaciers: The slow sculptors

It’s springsummertime in Oslo! Sun! 20 plus! Hepaticas are in full bloom on the Cambrosilurian on Hovedøya!

Any better time for one last escape back to the lovely, cold Arctic? We have went from the basement and all the tectonics it has suffered, through the Paleozoic rifts, the Mesozoic seas and dino tracks, Tertiary coal and, now, to our time.

Geology is still very active in shaping Svalbard. Glaciers cover most of the archipelago, they carve out valleys and fjords, grinding the islands further down. The waste products, the glaciers dump in the sea just off the tresholds of the fjords. No respect for environmental regulations, those glaciers.

Let’s don our quack-quack suits one more time and board the RIB to take a look at today’s glacier geology in action!

Even bad Google Map images show how most glaciers cover most of Svalbard.

Even bad Google Map images show how most glaciers cover most of Svalbard.

DSC_0042

Quack, quack! here is yours truly looking like something from outer space.
Some lazy people don’t close the suit entirely, for comfort. I have experienced scuba diving in North Norway with a leaking dry suit and know better.

DSC_0056

Quaternary fold’n’thrust belt! The glaciers have light and dark layers, because of variable dirt content. As they float along, the snow recrystallises to ice, and deformes in a plastic flow, to form bands just like in a gneiss, and with folds and thrusts.

DSC_0074

Red ducks in a row, waiting for the glacier to start the show.

DSC_0059

And here we go! Splash! :)

DSC_0053

And then we say farewell to Svalbard, With some images of the glaciers from above, as mighty rivers of ice towards the sea…

DSC_0633

DSC_0636

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *