Control of glacial and fluvial environments in the Ny-Alesund region, Arctic


  • DHRUV SENSINGH Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-22600, India
  • RASIK RAVINDRA National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa, India



Arctic, Glacial, Fluvial, Landforms, Climate, Tectonics


Ny-Alesund, located in Svalbard, Arctic exhibits complex topography and geomorphic features evolved by various sedimentary environments under direct control of climate and tectonics. The controls of glacial and fluvial environments were analyzed on the basis of field documentation of geomorphic features evolved by small valley glaciers (Vestre brogger and Midre loven) and streams originating from it. These terrestrial valley glaciers are characterized by convex wrinkled surface, crevasses, bergchrunds, supraglacial streams, longitudinal debris strips, lateral moraines, recessional moraines, hummocky moraines, thrust moraines, convex longitudinal profile with breaks in slope, fractures and joints. The glacial deposits are made up of very poorly sorted clast to matrix supported boulders with varying sizes of clast, matrix and gravels. The matrix supported facies underlain by clast supported facies indicate the increasing energy of the glacier and so the cold climate. The bi-modal palaeocurrent pattern of moraines suggests two prominent directions for the movement of glaciers in the past under direct control of tectonic activity. The granulometric analysis of the streams indicate moderately sorted medium to coarse sand. The mean grain size decreases from origin to the middle reaches of the river and increases towards its mouth. The percentage of the finer sediments decreases and coarser fragments increases in the downstream direction. The results of the granulometric parameters which are contrary to the normal fluvial system are due to the control of tectonic activity.

The present study provides the basic characteristics and activity of the glacial and fluvial environments the interpretation of, which explains the control of tectonic activity in this region.




How to Cite

D. . SENSINGH and R. . RAVINDRA, “Control of glacial and fluvial environments in the Ny-Alesund region, Arctic”, MAUSAM, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 641–646, Oct. 2011.



Research Papers