Arctic Marine Geology

This course will start with an introduction to geology and oceanography of the world's oceans, outlining the distribution of main sediment types, their respective sources and depositional environments.

In the context of the global plate tectonics, the formation of the Arctic Ocean and the resulting change in the ocean’s circulation pattern will be discussed. Various proxies used in deciphering the associated paleoceanographic, sedimentological and climatic variations are examined.

The course also covers the modern sediments, sediment sources and sedimentation rates as well as role of the sea ice in the Arctic climate history. History of Arctic exploration and current status of mapping of the Arctic Ocean, and its present geography and physiography will be reviewed. The role of glaciations in the formations of the geological structure, sediment stratigraphy and morphology of Svalbard as well as other high latitude continental margins will form an essential part of the course. Typical glacial marine sedimentary environments, ranging from small basins in front of outlet glaciers, through fjords to continental shelves and slopes as well as deep-water abyssal plains will be discussed. Case studies from the Svalbard margin as well as other presently and formerly glaciated margins will be presented to illustrate characteristic sediment types and stratigraphic sequences associated with each sedimentary environment. Modern marine geological field and laboratory methods and instrumentation used for collecting and analyzing geophysical and sedimentological data will demonstrate some of the tools used in reconstructing the past oceanographic, sedimentary and environmental conditions.

The course includes 3-7 days of marine geological/geophysical cruise on a research vessel in the waters around Svalbard. During the cruise, students will collect geophysical, oceanographic and sedimentological data that they will summarize in a cruise report. The collected data will be further analysed in the lab after the cruise, and the results will be used in the students’ term projects.

60 ECTS in natural sciences at university level, whereof 30 ECTS must be within earth sciences

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor
Language of instruction
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline15.04.2014
ECTS credits15.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyEarth sciencePhysical science (others)
Teaching placeSvalbard
Tagsgeologymarine geologytectonicsarctic oceanoceanographysediment
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