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Murch­ison­fjord is a rather small fjord on the wes­tern side of Nord­aus­t­land, in the nor­t­hern Hin­lo­pen Strait. With its many small islands, its bar­ren, desert-like land­scapes, a geo­lo­gy that makes for some beau­tiful colours and struc­tures as well as some of Svalbard’s oldest fos­sils, it is a uni­que area.


Pan­ora­mas Murch­ison­fjord

  1. Kinn­vi­ka
  2. Cari­bou
  3. Søre Rus­seøya
  4. Ind­re Rus­seøya
  5. Kval­ross­hal­vøya


Kinn­vi­ka is cer­tain­ly the most famous place in Murch­ison­fjord. Situa­ted in a well shel­te­red bay on the nor­t­hern side of the fjord, it was a rese­arch sta­ti­on built during the Inter­na­tio­nal Geo­phy­si­cal Year 1957-59 as a Swe­dish-Fin­nish effort. The sta­ti­on was quite sub­stan­ti­al, with no less than 10 buil­dings spread over some area in case one of them would catch fire. An old amphi­bi­an vehic­le is still the­re and some other stuff, some of it dating back to the Geo­phy­si­cal Year 1957-59, others is youn­ger: in 2003-04, Marie Tie­che and Hau­ke Trinks win­tered in Kinn­vi­ka, and the sta­ti­on was put into use again, fol­lo­wing the ori­gi­nal inten­ti­on of the place being a rese­arch area, during the latest Inter­na­tio­nal Polar Year of 2007-08, when sci­en­tists from 10 count­ries inves­ti­ga­ted the area in detail. The ice cap Ves­t­fon­na was an important focus of their work.

The­se two indoor panos are from the lar­gest of the buil­dings in Kinn­vi­ka. Not much is left of the charme of an old polar sta­ti­on, it is quite emp­ty and does not compa­re to the his­to­ri­cal huts in Ant­ar­c­ti­ca, which look as if their ori­gi­nal inha­bi­tants had left just yes­ter­day.

And of cour­se the Swe­dish and Fin­nish guys from 1957-59 did not for­get to build a sau­na! It is cer­tain­ly the nor­t­hern­most one in Sval­bard.


Cari­bou is a bit west of Kinn­vi­ka, on the coast of Hin­lo­pen Strait. The name seems local­ly unu­su­al, see­mingly indi­ca­ting north Ame­ri­can influence. It was built in 1972 by the Nor­we­gi­ans Fre­d­rik Rubach and Odd Ivar Ruud, father and son, who win­tered the­re sub­se­quent­ly to hunt polar bears. Polar bears were com­ple­te­ly pro­tec­ted in Spits­ber­gen in 1973, and this was accor­din­gly the last win­tering of hun­ters on Nord­aus­t­land. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, the hut is dete­rio­ra­ting, as you can see on the indoor pan­ora­ma here, which was taken in 2013.

Søre Rus­seøya

Søre Rus­seøya is the lar­gest island in Murch­ison­fjord. Gent­ly rol­ling ele­va­tions with good views over the land­scape near and far; desert-like, bar­ren, stony tun­dra with the occa­sio­nal frost-pat­ter­ned ground and fos­sils lite­ral­ly as old as the hills (much older, actual­ly): upper pro­tero­zoic stromatho­li­tes, or in other words colo­nies of sin­gle-cel­led cal­care­ous algae, not much youn­ger than a bil­li­on years.

Ind­re Rus­seøya

Ind­re Rus­seøya is smal­ler than Søre Rus­seøya, but may­be more varied in terms of land­scape fea­tures. It is a bit more struc­tu­red by rocky hills and has some beau­tiful bays and lagoons.


Kval­ross­hal­vøya ist a long pen­in­su­la with two bran­ches in inner Murch­ison­fjord.

Kein 360°-Panorama, funk­tio­niert auf­grund der CSS3-Limi­tie­run­gen nur mit Flash, auf mobi­len Gerä­ten zum Bei­spiel mit dem Puf­fin-Brow­ser


Kvalrosshalvøya Søre Russeøya Indre Russeøya Kinnvika Caribou


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last modification: 2017-12-21 · copyright: Rolf Stange