Helena Alexandersson

Helena Alexanderson


Helena Alexandersson

The Seven Islands, Svalbard: glaciation at the margin


  • Helena Alexanderson
  • Anders Schomacker
  • Wesley R. Farnsworth
  • Riko Noormets
  • Nina Kirchner
  • Olafur Ingolfsson

Summary, in 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

Conference name

6th PastGateways conference and workshop

Conference date

2018-05-16 - 2018-05-20

Conference place

Durham, United Kingdom




  • Glacial history of Svalbard