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The Seven Islands, Svalbard: glaciation at the margin

  • Helena Alexanderson
  • Anders Schomacker
  • Wesley R. Farnsworth
  • Riko Noormets
  • Nina Kirchner
  • Olafur Ingolfsson
Publishing year: 2018
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper: abstract

Abstract english

On the Seven Islands, north of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, decreasing snow cover has made previously inaccessible stratigraphic sections in coastal cliffs possible to investigate. Sections on two of the islands, Phippsøya and Parryøya, reveal mainly raised marine deposits, representing one or more coarsening upward sequences (emergence cycles) at each site, which in turn imply preceding regional glaciations (cf. Alexanderson et al. in press). Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages are pending but radiocarbon (14C) ages and correlation to a previously studied site on Phippsøya (Forman and Ingólfsson 2000) suggest at least two events that occurred during the late Weichselian-early Holocene and prior to 40 14C ka BP, respectively. These results, along with observations of postglacial land uplift and of transport of erratic boulders to the islands, provide information on the glacial history and dynamics of an area close to the margin of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet.

Alexanderson, H., Henriksen, M., Ryen. H.T., Landvik, J.Y. and Peterson, G. in press. 200 ka of glacial events in NW Svalbard: An emergence cycle facies model and regional correlations. arktos.
Forman, S.L. and Ingólfsson, Ó, 2000. Late Weichselian glacial history and postglacial emergence of Phippsøya, Sjuøyane, northern Svalbard: a comparison of modelled and empirical estimates of a glacial-rebound hinge line. Boreas 29, 16-25.


  • Geology


6th PastGateways conference and workshop
2018-05-16 - 2018-05-20
Durham, United Kingdom
  • Glacial history of Svalbard
Helena Alexandersson
E-mail: helena [dot] alexanderson [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se


Quaternary Sciences

+46 46 222 44 83



Aeolian sand project

Project members
Members of the aeolian sand project: Martin Bernhardson, Sara Florén, Edyta Kalińska-Nartiša and Helena Alexanderson.

Read more about the project here.