spitzbergen-3
fb  de  en  
Marker
HomeSpitsbergen informationIslands: Spitsbergen & Co.Nordaustland → Bråsvellbreen & Austfonna

Bråsvellbreen & Austfonna

Map Bråsvellbreen & Austfonna

General: The names Austfonna and Bråsvellbreen are descriptive. Austfonna means ‘eastern ice cap’. ‘Brå’ means ‘sudden’, svell is ‘advance’. The Bråsvellbreen is named because of a sudden advance in 1937-38, a so-called surge. The surface area of Austfonna is 8100 km2, without neighbouring Vegafonna (350 km2). The surface area of Bråsvellbreen is 1110 km2 (as of 1980, decreasing). The ice cliff of Bråsvellbreen/Austfonna is about 180 km long, interrupted only by very few, small rocky outcrops. This makes it the longest glacier front of the northern hemisphere.

For more, detailed information: the Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Guidebook Spitsbergen-Svalbard

Calving front of Bråsvellbreen

Calving front of Bråsvellbreen.

Geology: Ice cap (Austfonna) and Bråsvellbreen is a related outlet glacier. The boundary between those two is not visible. The part of the ice cap where the ice is flowing significantly faster probably because of a depression in the underlying bedrock is the Bråsvellbreen, which means the difference lies in the ice dynamics, it is defined by a faster ice flow and thus higher ice turnover. This means that it is an important part of the mass balance system. Parts of Austfonna are believed to have surged around 2013, leading to a discharge of large masses of icebergs into the adjacent Barents Sea and changes of coastline.

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

The ice cap Austfonna near Isispynten: an impression of infinity

The ice cap Austfonna near Isispynten: an impression of infinity.

Isispynten

Landscape: Wide ice cap, mostly free of crevasses. On the large surface, meltwater forms streams during the summer, which cascade down the glacier front in waterfalls in some places, which is quite spectacular.

Isispynten
Above and below: Isispynten on the eastern side of Austfonna consists largely of some square kilometres of moraine

Above and below: Isispynten on the eastern side of Austfonna consists largely of some square kilometres of moraine.

Panorama Vibebukta

This panorama is taken on the easternmost bit of ice-free land in Vibebukta, next to the long glacier front of Bråsvellbreen/Austfonna.

Gallery Bråsvellbreen

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

Back

last modification: 2014-10-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange
css.php