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Isfjord (northern side)

Alkhornet, Trygghamna, Ymerbukta, Bohemanflya, Ekmanfjord

A = Alk­hor­net,
T = Trygg­ham­na,
F = Flin­thol­men,
C = Cora­hol­men

Map Isfjord (north side)

Gene­ral: Varied land­scape with many fjord, moun­ta­ins and gla­ciers in cen­tral Spits­ber­gen. The area is rela­tively easi­ly acces­si­ble due to its vici­ni­ty to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, but trips here have to be appro­ved by the Sys­sel­man­nen (gou­ver­nour) in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Pay atten­ti­on to pro­tec­tion rules and -are­as! Lon­ger tours are pos­si­ble only eit­her with boat sup­port or with expe­ri­ence and equip­ment rele­vant for crev­as­sed gla­ciers.

For more, detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on: the Gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard

Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Geo­lo­gy: Varied. From the west coast to Alk­hor­net, you find most­ly base­ment schists and quar­zi­tes. East of Trygg­ham­na, the expo­sed sedi­men­ta­ry cover starts with the Per­mi­an car­bo­na­tes, which belong part­ly to the con­spi­cuous Kapp Sta­ros­tin For­ma­ti­on. Due to their hard­ness, they form pro­mi­nent capes. Both base­ment and sedi­men­ta­ry cover were stron­gly tec­to­ni­cal­ly defor­med during the Alpi­dic pha­se in the lower Ter­tia­ry, nice faults and folds are well visi­ble in many loca­ti­ons. At Bohem­an­flya, stee­p­ly dip­ping Meso­zoic and lower Ter­tia­ry stra­ta are expo­sed, the lat­ter ones coal-bea­ring. Here, the first coal has been mined which has been ship­ped to the main­land for com­mer­cial pur­po­ses.

Fur­ther east, in the inner Ekman- and Dick­son­fjord, the­re is beau­tiful red­dish Devo­ni­an Old Red.

Land­scape: Varied. The inte­ri­or is stron­gly gla­cia­ted. The­re are lar­ge coas­tal plains both at the west coast as well as in the fjords, which are cal­led ‘flya’ [flea] in Nor­we­gi­an (Erd­mann­flya, Bohem­an­flya etc.). Here, you can find well-pre­ser­ved series of fos­sil beach rid­ges as well as frost-pat­ter­ned ground (stone rings, ice wed­ges etc.). Some of the gla­ciers have very lar­ge morai­nes. The small islands in the Ekm­anfjord are very attrac­ti­ve. The­se con­sist part­ly of old beach rid­ges with tun­dra vege­ta­ti­on and part­ly of almost moon-like morai­ne land­scapes, left behind after a sur­ge (sud­den advan­ce) by the Sef­ström­breen bet­ween 1882 and 1896.

Flintholmen in Ekmanfjord

Flin­thol­men in Ekm­anfjord.

Flo­ra and Fau­na: Near the coast, the­re are part­ly very rich tun­dra are­as with reinde­er, fox, geese etc. On steep cliffs, the­re are bird colo­nies such as on Alk­hor­net (‘Guil­l­emot Horn’), a horn-shaped moun­tain west of Trygg­ham­na. Here, thou­sands of Brünich’s Guil­l­emots and, main­ly, Kit­ti­wa­kes are bree­ding each sum­mer many hundred met­res abo­ve the tun­dra.

Click here to see pan­ora­ma pho­tos from Alk­hor­net.



Histo­ry: Isfjord was one of the first fjords which was dis­co­ver­ed and used in Sval­bard. The­re are remains from the peri­ods of the Pomors and the wha­lers. The Nor­we­gi­an Søren Zacha­ri­as­sen star­ted com­mer­cial mining in Sval­bard, when he for the first time extra­c­ted some Ter­tia­ry coal at Bohe­man­nes­et for the pur­po­se of sel­ling it in Nor­way. Some years later, the Ger­man jour­na­list win­tered here tog­e­ther with Hjal­mar Johan­sen, Fri­dt­jof Nansen’s com­pa­n­ion from the famous win­tering in Franz Josef Land during the ‘Fram’ expe­di­ti­on (1893-96). Ler­ner and Johan­sen inten­ded a sledge expe­di­ti­on during the spring, which should lead them to the remo­test parts of Sval­bard. They ended up on Dan­s­køya.

The who­le nor­t­hern side of the Isfjord has con­stant­ly been used by trap­pers in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, important are­as were Alk­hor­net as well as Dick­son­fjord, whe­re the legen­da­ry Arthur Oxaas used to live for many years, most­ly bet­ween the wars.

Trygghamna (Safe Harbour) was already known to and used by the whaler's during the 17th century.

The fjord Trygg­ham­na (‘Safe Har­bour’) was alre­a­dy known to and used by the whaler’s during the 17th cen­tu­ry.



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last modification: 2019-03-29 · copyright: Rolf Stange