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Lomfjord

Map Lomfjord

For more detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on about Svalbard’s islands and fjords, plea­se check out the gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard.

Gene­ral: Scenic fjord that cuts from Hin­lo­pen into nor­the­as­tern Spits­ber­gen. The fjord is main­ly visi­ted becau­se of nice hiking oppor­tu­ni­ties in the side bay Faks­evå­gen. It can also be shel­te­red in case of strong winds else­whe­re. The name is most likely deri­ved from an old, Dutch word for »Guil­l­emot« (»Lum­me« in Ger­man) and refers to to the bree­ding colo­nies of Guill­l­emots in the area.

The waters are part­ly unchar­ted.

Faks­evå­gen

The view from Fak­sef­jel­let over Lom­fjord and its side bay Faks­evå­gen.

Faksevågen, small bay on the western side of Lomfjord and a nice hiking area

Faks­evå­gen, small bay on the wes­tern side of Lom­fjord and a nice hiking area.

Geo­lo­gy: Lom­fjord is geo­lo­gi­cal­ly inte­res­t­ing becau­se one of Spitsbergen’s major tec­to­nic linea­ments is cut­ting through it, the so-cal­led Lom­fjor­den-Agard­buk­ta fault zone, which is respon­si­ble for the com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent geo­lo­gy to eit­her side of the fjord: Pre­cam­bri­an, stee­p­ly-dep­ping sedi­ments on the wes­tern side inclu­ding Faks­evå­gen, often show­ing beau­tiful colours and nice­ly pre­ser­ved details such as ripp­le marks and desic­ca­ti­on cracks. On the other, eas­tern side of Lom­fjord, upper Palaeo­zoic hori­zon­tal sedi­ments (car­bo­na­tes, sand­stone) with a distinct dole­ri­te sill, which is the same one that is respon­si­ble for the migh­ty cliffs of Alkef­jel­let in Hin­lo­pen not far from Lom­fjord.

Lomfjord geology

Stee­p­ly dip­ping, pre-cam­bri­an sedi­ments west of Lom­fjord…

... contrasting to horizontal layers of younger carbonate rocks further east. Dolerite sill half-way up the slope (seen from Faksevågen across Lomfjord)

… con­tras­ting to hori­zon­tal lay­ers of youn­ger car­bo­na­te rocks fur­ther east. Dole­ri­te sill half-way up the slo­pe (seen from Faks­evå­gen across Lom­fjord).

Land­scape: The sce­n­ery is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by wide ice caps and gla­ciers, moun­ta­ins top­ped by exten­si­ve pla­teaus and colours that can be beau­tiful if the light is right, from the mul­ti-colou­red sedi­ments. The ter­rain allows walks and nice, long hikes.

Faks­evå­gen (2)

Ano­ther ver­si­on of the view from Fak­sef­jel­let over Lom­fjord and its side bay Faks­evå­gen.

Flo­ra and Fau­na: The tun­dra is sur­pri­sin­gly rich, cer­tain­ly to Hin­lo­pen stan­dards, and is home to a num­ber of reinde­er. Brunich’s guil­l­emots are bree­ding on steep cliff sec­tions, espe­ci­al­ly just around the cor­ner at Alkef­jel­let, and polar bears and wal­ru­ses may be seen, espe­ci­al­ly when the­re is drift ice around.

Tundra with mushrooms in Lomfjord / Reindeer with the ice cap Valhallfonna north of Lomfjord in the background

Tun­dra with mush­rooms in Lom­fjord / Reinde­er with the ice cap Val­hall­fon­na north of Lom­fjord in the back­ground.

Lomfjord, Faksevagen

Histo­ry: Not too much has hap­pen­ed in Lom­fjord. The old wha­lers may well have known it. The ill-fated Schrö­der-Stranz-Expe­di­ti­on (1912-13) almost mana­ged to get stuck the­re due to ice. The area was occa­sio­nal­ly visi­ted and used by trap­pers in the 1920 and 1930s, but has never been one of the best hun­ting grounds. May­be the huts were too deep in the fjord to reach the ice drif­ting in Hin­lo­pen Strait whe­re polar bears were cer­tain­ly quite abun­dant.

Gal­lery Lom­fjord

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

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last modification: 2019-03-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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