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Barentsøya - Sundneset

Würz­burg hut/Sundneset, Barent­søya as a vir­tu­al pan­o­r­amic tour

Here is a 360° tour of Würz­bur­ger Hütte/Sundneset, Barent­søya:

Sund­ne­set is a tun­dra-low­land with some rocky hills at the sou­thwes­tern cor­ner of Barent­søya, stret­ching into Free­man­sund. From the hills, you have a love­ly scenic view over the tun­dra around you with its lakes, whe­re flocks of geese and some Red-throa­ted divers are slow­ly swim­ming their loops in safe­ty from Arc­tic foxes. Free­man­sund is sepa­ra­ting Barent­søya from Edgeøya, the north coast of which is lying com­ple­te­ly the­re with its cha­rac­te­ristic table-shaped moun­ta­ins. Reinde­er are roa­ming around in lar­ge num­bers, buil­ding up their fat reser­ves for the win­ter by con­stant­ly fee­ding on the rich vege­ta­ti­on.

The sou­thwes­tern part of Barent­søya was a key area for sci­en­ti­fic work of the Ger­man Stau­f­er­land-Expe­di­ti­ons bet­ween 1959 and 1967, led by the Geo­grapher Juli­us Büdel from Würz­burg in south Ger­ma­ny. Dif­fe­rent aspects of natu­ral histo­ry were inves­ti­ga­ted, with a clear focus on geo­mor­pho­lo­gy, the sci­ence of the land­forms of the Earth’s sur­face, their deve­lo­p­ment through chan­ging cli­ma­tes and the pro­ces­ses invol­ved: the evo­lu­ti­on of the arc­tic land­scape. Büdel’s idea was to do this in an area with a cli­ma­te simi­lar to what he belie­ved it would have been like in cen­tral Euro­pe during the ice age and with a geo­lo­gi­cal struc­tu­re simi­lar to sou­thwes­tern Ger­ma­ny, whe­re he wan­ted to under­stand the evo­lu­ti­on of the land­scape during the ice age. As a result, Büdel con­s­truc­ted his theo­ry of „exces­si­ve val­ley for­ma­ti­on“ in cold cli­ma­te zones. Later gene­ra­ti­ons of geo­graph­ers expres­sed strong cri­ti­zism about Büdel’s theo­ries and his approa­ches.

At their time, the Stau­f­er­land expe­di­ti­ons were among­st the lar­gest sci­en­ti­fic ope­ra­ti­ons ever in Spits­ber­gen.

A simp­le, small hut ser­ved as a base for Juli­us Büdel’s Stau­f­er­land expe­di­ti­ons. The hut reminds of a typi­cal trap­pers hut, but a win­tering in the bad­ly iso­la­ted buil­ding would have been rather uncom­for­ta­ble. The hut is small and does not offer space for more than appro­xi­m­ate­ly 4 per­sons, which does not reflect the rather lar­ge sca­le of the Stau­f­er­land expe­di­ti­ons. The num­ber of invol­ved sci­en­tists and other staff was much lar­ger, the expe­di­ti­on had a ship and heli­c­op­ters at their dis­po­sal.

Büdel cal­led the hut Würz­bur­ger Hüt­te, after his home uni­ver­si­ty in south Ger­ma­ny.


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last modification: 2019-04-22 · copyright: Rolf Stange