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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Changes at the Top of the World through Volcanism and Plate Tectonics: Arctic Norwegian-Russian-North American collaboration (NOR-R-AM2)

Alternative title: Changes at the Top of the World through Volcanism and Plate Tectonics: Arctic Norwegian-Russian-North American collaboration (NOR-R-AM2)

Awarded: NOK 3.5 mill.

Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2020 - 2024


Partner countries:

The NOR-R-AM project gathers scientists from Norway, Russia, USA, and Canada who aim to build a knowledge platform for assessing the current understanding about Arctic geology. As the Solid Earth sciences are sometimes overlooked in polar sciences we aim to bridge this gap by continuing to establish, maintain and build the profile of Arctic-related geosciences and international visibility through collaboration. In 2022 we have resumed teaching the course “Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism” (AG-x51), a key deliverable of the NOR-R-AM project offered by UNIS simultaneously at Master and PhD level. The course was taught again in 2023. A summer school focused on Arctic seismology was organised in Canada where NOR-R-AM staff and students contributed. In summer 2023, NOR-R-AM members contributed to the multi-disciplinary geoscientific expedition to study High Arctic recent volcanism in Woodfjorden, NW Svalbard. We also conducted the last NOR-R-AM large field trip in Alaska, where a group of scientists including 8 students examined the complex geological structures in a south to north transect. This allowed us to better connect with scientists from Alaska and USA who have complementary projects. In 2022 NOR-R-AM member Early Career Scientist, Dr. Grace Shephard (UiO) was awarded an NFR Young Investigator grant to study Arctic geodynamics with NOR-R-AM collaborators from USA and Canada. 2022 NFR funded project DYPOLE: The Dynamics of polar confined basins: The Eurasia Basin from breakup in greenhouse to present in icehouse conditions led by UiO (Gaina), used the knowledge from NOR-R-AM database and established new national collaboration with University of Bergen and University of Tromso, and international collaboration with Denmark (GEUS), Sweden (Stockholm University) and Germany (Alfred Wegener Institute) and collected new marine geophysical data north of Barents Sea. Our results are communicated during conferences and published in journals, including a special issue of the TECTONICS journal proposed by NOR-R-AM group with the title: Phanerozoic Tectonics and Volcanism in the Arctic. The NOR-R-AM circum-Arctic database was presented to the international community during EGU in 2022 and the popular science film The Wilson Cycle (in English with Norwegian subtitles) was published on YouTube. Our project’s goal is consistent with UArctics mandate - cooperation in education, research and outreach in the North, to forge global partnerships.

CEED and the Department of Geosciences (GEO) at the University of Oslo have now the desired critical mass to be considered the largest Norwegian hub for Arctic solid earth sciences, which span from sedimentary basin analysis, geodynamics, volcanism and links with the Deep Earth, and connects to glaciology and ocean and climate evolution. We propose to use the existent Arctic research and education platform built at the University of Oslo (CEED and GEO) and UNIS (Svalbard) and, together with our partners from Canada, Russia and USA to develop an Arctic-centred project that will target the entire Arctic geoscience community and will educate the new generation of students interested in Arctic’s present and past natural environments. NOR-R-AM2 will add to the activities started during NOR-R-AM1 which supported the formation of an international group from Arctic countries (Norway, Russia, USA and Canada) whose participants (1) work towards a common scientific goal , (2) have established a new joint-graduate courses where their research topics are communicated to the new generation of geoscientists and (3) will continue to identify, plan and develop future large, collaborative research initiatives in the Arctic. The main goals of this project will be: (1) to complete and launch the digital Circum-Arctic platform building on the NOR-R-AM1 results, (2) to improve the curriculum of the UNIS course on Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism (10 ECTS) which combines field work with the digital Circum-Arctic platform, (3) to involve the students in advanced studies of seismology and geochronology by using the state-of-the-art data and methods developed by our partners in Canada and USA by organising short courses and common projects, and (4) to advance our knowledge on Arctic’s paleogeography and paleoclimate by using geological knowledge and complementary proxies analysed by ALL NOR-R-AM partners.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research