spitzbergen-3
fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
Marker

Islands in Hinlopen Strait (Svalbard)

Wilhelmøya, Wahlbergøya and their smaller neighbours

Map: Islands in Hinlopen

Gene­ral: The­re is a lar­ge num­ber of smal­ler and some lar­ger islands in Hin­lo­pen. Most of the are very simi­lar, geo­lo­gi­cal­ly and topo­gra­phi­cal­ly, with the excep­ti­on of Wil­hel­møya that is qui­te dif­fe­rent. The coast­li­nes often form steep cliffs, but it is pos­si­ble to land on most of the islands except for some of the smal­lest ones. The advan­ta­ge is that the­re is often a lee-side whe­re lan­dings can be made when other coasts are inac­ces­si­ble due to strong wind and waves, but keep your eyes well open for drif­ting ice and bears. Some of the doleri­te islands can be dif­fi­cult to walk on, and on Wil­hel­møya, soli­fluc­tion soil can be extre­me­ly mud­dy and sti­cky.

For more, detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on: the Gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard

Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Drift ice floe, iced-over shoreline and barren tundra on Nystrømøy)

Drift ice, ice-cove­r­ed shore­li­ne and bar­ren tun­dra on Nys­trø­møya.

Geo­lo­gy: Most­ly doleri­te (Jurassic/lower Cret­ace­ous), occa­sio­nal­ly remains of older car­bo­na­te sedi­ments (Permi­an; espe­cial­ly on Wah­ber­gøya).

Coarse dolerite boulders can make walking difficult (Franzøya)

Coar­se doleri­te boul­ders can make wal­king dif­fi­cult (Fran­zøya).

Wil­hel­møya is the excep­ti­on to the rule and con­sists of hori­zon­tal lay­ers of Juras­sic sedi­ments. It can be loo­ked at as the nort­hern out­lier of the Meso­zoic plat­form of sou­the­as­tern Sval­bard (Bar­entsøya, Edgeøya). Also on Wil­hel­møya, the pro­tru­ding capes and flat moun­tain tops usual­ly con­sist of doleri­te.

Mountains of Jurassic sediments with cover of former dolerite sill

Moun­tains of Juras­sic sedi­ments with cover of for­mer doleri­te sill.

Recom­men­ded book for fur­ther, well-digesta­ble (real­ly!) info about geo­lo­gy and land­s­cape of Sval­bard.

Old whalebone, mosses and lichens in dolerite tundra (Franzøya)

Old whalebo­ne, mos­ses and lichens in doleri­te tun­dra (Fran­zøya).

Land­s­cape: Most of the­se islands are bar­ren and rocky. Lar­ge doleri­te boul­ders make wal­king dif­fi­cult in many pla­ces. Many slo­pes on Wil­hel­møya are cove­r­ed with very mud­dy, sti­cky, deep soli­fluc­tion soil which should be avoided. The light-colou­red Permi­an lime­stone pro­vi­des the easiest ground to walk on, if pre­sent. On level ground which is not cove­r­ed with lar­ge boul­ders, you can often find fasci­na­ting dis­plays of arc­tic land­s­cape details such as frost pat­ter­ned ground, fos­sil beach rid­ges with old whalebo­nes and so on, so the­re is always some­thing inte­res­ting to find.

Driftwood on the coast of Nystrømøya

Drift­wood on the coast of Nys­trø­møya.

Wil­hel­møya is the lar­gest island in Hin­lo­pen and the only one that has some moun­tains and val­leys; here, the sce­ne­ry reminds in some pla­ces of Franz Josef Land fur­ther east. As men­tio­ned, wea­the­red Juras­sic sedi­ments can be soft and mud­dy and should be avoided.

High-arctic impressions from Wilhelmøya

High-arc­tic impres­si­ons from Wil­hel­møya.

Barren tundra with some lichens and mosses (Guldénøya, Wahlenbergfjord)

Bar­ren tun­dra with some lichens and mos­ses (Gul­dé­nøya, Wahlen­bergfjord).

Flo­ra and Fau­na: The­re is very litt­le vege­ta­ti­on in most are­as, but in some spots you can find sur­pri­sin­gly rich car­pets of colour­ful mos­ses and lichens. The­re are no rein­de­er, but the­re are pla­ces whe­re wal­ru­ses creep ashore to rest, and it is not uncom­mon to find polar bears on the­se rocky islands. Some Brünich’s guil­lemot colo­nies on stee­per cliff sec­tions.

The king of the arctic himself visiting Franzøya

The king of the arc­tic hims­elf visi­t­ing Fran­zøya.

Histo­ry: Most of the sci­en­ti­fic and hun­ting expe­di­ti­ons that went into Hin­lo­pen also visi­ted one or several of the islands, inclu­ding the famous Swe­dish explo­rer Adolf Erik Nor­dens­kiöld. The Swe­dish branch of the Arc-de-Meri­di­an expe­di­ti­on map­ped Hin­lo­pen 1899-1904 and built cairns in many pla­ces, a lot of which can still be seen.

In more recent years, Kie­per­tøya which belongs to the group of Bas­tianøya­ne was the site of a tra­ge­dy when insuf­fi­ci­ent­ly armed crew mem­bers of a small ships went ashore for a walk and were atta­cked by a polar bear. One man was kil­led and ano­t­her one bad­ly inju­red. The bear was later shot.

GaL­le­ry: Islands in Hin­lo­pen

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Gal­le­ry: Wil­hel­møya

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Back

BOOKS, CALENDAR, POSTCARDS AND MORE

This and other publishing products of the Spitsbergen publishing house in the Spitsbergen-Shop.

last modification: 2019-03-26 · copyright: Rolf Stange
css.php