Yes… I know that is a silly pun… hehe…but for those who’ve known me for some time know I’ve often collected little stones on my journeys… because I just love rock… and the geology of Svalbard is astonishing! The geology of Svalbard ROCKS! hehe
We were never so far from the shore that we couldn’t see land… and there is little vegetation covering the land, so the geology of Svalbard was always on show. Even when covered by snow, the underlying formation and structure of the mountains could be seen.
I don’t know what it is about rock and mountains that intrigues me and I get so excited to see. I’m just thinking now about how many people climb mountains… and it surely couldn’t be just for the challenge. I wonder how many photos of mountains are posted on Instagram every day??? I don’t know what it is about big rocks and mounds of rock that captivates so many of us. It certainly captivates me!!!
My high school knowledge of rock formation facilitated my recognition of some of the types of rock and it was exciting to see how the igneous and metamorphic bedrock layers and Triassic sandstones scribed undulating waves on the exposed mountain faces. I saw the result of how the glacial movement and erosion ground the rocks to finer particles created silt, clay and gravel. I saw sedimentary layers. I saw the scree slopes sliding down the sheer faces. I saw sills of dolerite; quartz; gypsum deposits; coal seams; frost mounds; patterned ground; moraines; valleys gouged by glaciers; erosion caused by ice and water. The geology of Svalbard is so diverse.
Sometimes holding a stone in my hand high towards Max’s face, I would ask him, “How was this rock formed?”.. and he would say “Heat and pressure.” .. and we would both laugh together because of our cumulative limited rudimentary knowledge of rocks. Dr Frigga Kruse was one of our guides, and being a Geologist it was fabulous for me to be able to learn just a little more about rock and the geology of Svalbard.
So.. I don’t really know why I love geology so much. Perhaps in Svalbard I was so captivated because the geology seemed so raw and exposed. The lines and curves and textures opened up a whole world of incredible beauty for me. I felt miniscule. I felt like the forces of Nature were so grand… and I was so small and insignificant. I felt like I was witnessing the result of time that although I could quantify as perhaps 400million years ago… that was something I couldn’t even really comprehend. I felt like I was becoming aware of the bigger picture of our world and my place within it. I felt like I was connecting with and recognising a force far greater than myself.
I hope visit Svalbard again and be able to have the opportunity to see and explore more of the incredible geology there.
Click to see the Gallery of Svalbard Mountains