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Svalbard Field Courses

I have taught at the UNIS field course AG-301/321/332, Arctic Terrestrial Quaternary Stratigraphy, since 1998, and was responsible for running the course for 5 years (2000-2004) and since 2006. The purpose of this course is to give the participants an understanding of the Quaternary history of Svalbard, and of the long-term climatic fluctuations between glacial and interglacial periods in the Arctic. This is done through intense field studies of key localities on Svalbard, including Kapp Ekholm, Skilvika, Poolepynten, Linnédalen, Brřggerhalvřya and Kongsfjordhallet. The focus of the field studies is on interpretation of sedimentary successions and geomorphology in order to reconstruct glacial history, sea level changes and palaeoclimatic variations.  (For a course description, see: http://www.unis.no/studies). Every year, 15-20 students participate in the course. They come from universities all over the world - from Romania to France, Norway to USA and Iceland to Egypt. Among the instructors over the years are Jon Landvik (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, he initiated this course when he was the first resident professor of geology at UNIS), Michael Houmark-Nielsen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Louise Hansen (Geological Survey of Norway), Jan Mangerud (University of Bergen, Norway), Per Möller (Lund University, Sweden) and Alex Wolfe (University of Edmonton, Canada, and UNIS). Below you find a gallery with a suite of photos that illustrate the spirit of the course. It is good geology, fantastic environments and lots of fun! I have shot most of the photos. Feel free to use those for educational purposes, but please refer to my home page as the source.

Landing on the beach at Kapp Ekholm, 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

In front of the Kongsvegen tidal glacier, Kongsfjorden, 2004. Photo: Ó. Ingólfsson.


Grillparty on the beach at Kvadehukslette. 2004.

Discussing stratigraphy at Kongsfordhallet. 2004.

Interesting stratigraphy at Poolepynten. 2004.

Alex Wolfe and Jon Landvik studying frost shattered horizon, Kongsfjordhallet. 2004.

Jon Landvik with students at Kvadehuksletta, Kongsfjorden. 2004.

One got stuck in the mud. 2004.

Another got buried in beach gravels. 2004.

Discussing stratigraphy in the field. 2004.

Studying soil stratigraphy. 2004.

Students at the 87 m terrace in Linnédalen. 2004.

Mapping unit B, Kapp Ekholm. 2004.

Heading towards a rock glacier in Linnédalen. 2004.

On the 87 m terrace in Linnédale. 2004.

Studying the Skilvika sections. 2004.

Group in front of Calypsobyen, Van Mienfjorden. 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

Cleaning rifles - a part of the daily routine. 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

Skilvika briefing, 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

Working with marine cores on the cruise vessel Jan Mayen. Photo: Jon Landvik, 2003.

Group on marine terrace in front of Scottbreen. 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

In the Skilvika section. 2004. Photo: Jon Landvik.

In front of Scottbreen, 2003. Photo: Jon Landvik.

Mapping a steep section, Kapp Ekholm. Photo: Jon Landvik.

Daniel, a happy student from Romania! Photo: Jon Landvik, 2004.

Lilja, an Icelandic student in good mood! Photo: Jon Landvik, 2004.

And Marta is from Poland. Photo: Jon Landvik, 2004.

Students from Holland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Photo: Jon Landvik, 2004.

Course participants in 2002.

A day on the beach in front of Nordenskioldbreen. 2002.

The water temperature - +4 degrees C. 2002.

A happy Norwegian-German student couple. 2000.

Going towards Nordenskioldbreen. 2002.

Group in Kongsfjorden. 2000.

Hanna Lokrantz as a PhD student. 2000.

Per Möller, always enjoying life. 2000.

Inspecting an old whalers grave, Smeerenburg, Amsterdamřya. 2001.

Doing soil stratigraphy can be crowded. 2000.

On the Amsterdamřya plateaux. 2001.

The blockfield on Amsterdamoya. 2001.

Studying marine cores. 1999.

Chilly in front of Nordenskjoldbreen. 2003.

Group in front of Nordenskioldbreen. Foto: Jon Landvik, 2003.

Reading material AG332