Intensive course on Svalbard: Rift Basin Reservoirs - From Outcrop to Model - by Johannes Wiest

I am a first year PhD candidate in geodynamics at the University of Bergen. My project evaluates the concept of metamorphic core complexes for the Devonian collapse of the Caledonian Orogen in SW Norway. In metamorphic core complexes, deep crustal rocks (the so-called “metamorphic core”) are being exhumed below extensional shear zones and exhibit a close interaction between deep and shallow crustal processes. Furthermore, such structures can significantly influence subsequent tectonic phases like the Mesozoic North Sea rift in case of SW Norway.

The one month intensive course “Rift Basin Reservoirs - From Outcrop to Model” at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is highly relevant for my doctoral education as it teaches extensional tectonics, the interplay between tectonics and sedimentation during basin formation and the role of tectonic reactivation. In September 2017 the course comprised lectures at UNIS in Longyearbyen as well as 8 days of field trip in the Billefjorden Trough, a Carboniferous half-graben basin which formed on reactivated Devonian structures. We worked in the area around Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian mining town below the eponymous mountain (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1: The abandoned Russian coal mine on the mountain Pyramiden. The mountain consists of Carboniferous rift basin sediments (white, light red and black colors) which are separated by the basin-bounding fault from Devonian basement on the left side (dark red). Photo: Johannes Wiest.

After an introduction to the field area, the PhD and Master students were separated into smaller groups to conduct a small “research project”. In beautiful weather and a spectacular arctic landscape, my group was mapping the basin-bounding fault to constrain the role of tectonic inversion (Fig. 2).

Figure 2: Field mapping in stunning arctic landscape. Photo: Johannes Wiest.

I have learned a lot from fieldwork as well as lectures and this newly gained knowledge will directly benefit my own research. It was a great experience to get to know the arctic geology of Svalbard and meet researchers and students from national as well as international institutions. I am very grateful to DEEP for making this experience possible.

By PhD candidate, Johannes Wiest, Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen
Published Oct. 31, 2017 10:59 AM - Last modified Feb. 5, 2018 1:32 PM