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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Depositional and Paleoenvironmental Evolution of the Forlandsundet Graben, Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard RIS ID: 11671

Tildelt: kr 91 000

The Fram Strait, situated between Svalbard and northeast Greenland, is the only deep oceanic gateway connecting the Arctic Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean. Our modern climate system in Europe, Greenland, and the Arctic is strongly influenced by the thermohaline circulation through the Fram Strait. Warm, Atlantic surface water flows into the Arctic Ocean, while cold, Arctic deep-water returns southwards to the Greenland Sea. Even though it is generally known that the Fram Strait opened following the seafloor spreading between Greenland and Svalbard, the precise timing and exact sequence of this opening, and thus the onset of its influence on the climate system, is still poorly understood. A key area to understand the sedimentological record during this geological evolution is located on the eastern side of the Fram Strait: onshore Forlandsundet, the West Spitsbergen continental margin. The sedimentary infill of the Forlandsundet Graben is cropping out on the western and eastern side of Forlandsundet as a possible exhumed part of a Proto-Fram Strait. Thus, fieldwork to investigate these rocks on Prins Karls Forland is vital to analyse the depositional setting and timing of basin formation. A first fieldseason has already been conducted in 2021, but additional data and samples are needed to advance this project towards a publishable data set.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum