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Sørkapp Land: Isbukta

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Isbuk­ta is situa­ted far south on the east coast of Spits­ber­gen, in Sør­kapp Land, as the sou­thern­most part of the main island is cal­led. It almost seems like a smal­ler ver­si­on of Horn­sund: the land­s­cape has some simi­lar cha­rac­te­ris­tics, with some pret­ty wild moun­tains and lar­ge gla­ciers. The­re is not much dry land and accord­in­gly not too many oppor­tu­nities for lan­dings. The waters are unchar­ted and part­ly qui­te shal­low, espe­cial­ly on the north side of Isbuk­ta, near the litt­le island (More­n­et­an­gen).

Isbuk­ta: lagoon land­s­cape

The­re are several half-open lagoons on the south side of Isbuk­ta. They were crea­ted by retrea­ting gla­ciers, lea­ving morai­ne rid­ges expo­sed which now form several nar­row pen­in­su­la that pro­tect the small, shal­low bays from Storfjord.

Isbuk­ta: mari­ne plastic pol­lu­ti­on

The­re are lar­ge amounts of drift­wood on the beaches of this lagoon land­s­cape in Isbuk­ta – and mari­ne plastic pol­lu­ti­on. The issue as such is by now well known. Also in Spits­ber­gen, the­re are awful amounts of plastic was­te on many beaches; espe­cial­ly on remo­te ones, whe­re nobo­dy is collec­ting it. Most of the plastic was­te comes from fishing ves­sels in the Bar­ents Sea. Much is obvious­ly rela­ted to fishing, like fishing nets, ropes and net balls. If any let­te­ring is visi­ble, then it is often from eas­tern Euro­pe inclu­ding Rus­sia.

Søre Rand­ber­get

We have worked our way through the morai­ne land­s­cape to Søre Rand­ber­get and hik­ed up a slo­pe to an alti­tu­de some­whe­re near 200 metres abo­ve the sea. It does not have to be more than that for some gre­at views of all of Isbuk­ta inclu­ding the lovely lagoon land­s­cape.

This last posi­ti­on is a few metres fur­ther east, so we can see a bit more of Storfjord and the wild cliff coast. It was not pos­si­ble to put the tri­pod up any clo­ser to the cliffs, it was pret­ty win­dy on this day!

Next to the sce­ne­ry, the geo­lo­gy is also remar­kab­le. The bed­rock is dark, sil­ty shale (fine-grai­ned sedi­ment) which belongs to a seri­es of lay­ers that is local­ly known as the Basi­li­ka-For­ma­ti­on. It is dating into the Paleo­ce­ne (Paleo­ge­ne, for­mal­ly lower Ter­tia­ry), which makes the rocks about 60 mil­li­on years old. You will actual­ly find the same lay­ers clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en in alti­tu­des just abo­ve 500 metres as you hike up from Pla­tå­ber­get to Nor­dens­kiöldfjel­let or from Gru­ve­f­jel­let to Troll­stei­nen!

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last modification: 2019-05-25 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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