The fascinating rocky landscape of Svalbard. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Svalbard, an archipelago located between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
According to NASA, Svalbard is one of the few places in the world that has easily accessible rocks from nearly every geological time period, which makes it particularly fascinating to geologists. There is not much soil or vegetation across the islands, so the rocks are easily visible.
The image shows reddish water pooling in a shallow meltwater lake near the Holmström glacier. The red color is produced by an abundance of sediment runoff from an iron-rich layer of rock that formed roughly 400 million years ago during the Devonian Period. The fascinating rocky landscape of Svalbard
“The red Devonian rock is fairly soft and erodes easily,” explained Geoffrey Boulton of the University of Edinburgh. “Glacial grinding produces a great deal of silt. These very small – and in this case red – particles are easily suspended in flowing meltwater and take a long time to settle in still water.”Svalbard SVAHL-bar, Urban East Norwegian: ; previously known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitud
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer