Presenting in the series from our Annual Report 2014; researcher Sten-Andreas Grundvåg from Tromsø, now leading an adventurous postdoctoral life in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

 

What is your scientific background? My scientific background is within sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy. During my Master’s degree at the University of Tromsø I did a sedimentary analysis of the Late Permian Kapp Starostin Formation in Svalbard. The sedimentological analysis was accompanied by detailed geochemical, diagenetic and ichnological analyses. During my PhD work at the University of Bergen, I focused on shelf-margin clinoforms. I did an integrated outcrop and subsurface study of Eocene clinoforms in central Spitsbegergen, and compared the results with similar clinoforms in the Porcupine Basin off the shore of western Ireland. For the three last years I have been a postdoctoral researcher at the University Centre in Svalbard focusing on the Lower Cretaceous succession in the Barents Sea region with special emphasis on Svalbard. This study is part of an industry-financed project named LoCra (Lower Cretaceous clastic wedges in the Arctic), not part of ARCEx.

Students collecting sedimentological data from the Late Permian Kapp Starostin Formation at Akseløya in Bellsund central Spitsbergen.
Students collecting sedimentological data from the Late Permian Kapp Starostin Formation at Akseløya in Bellsund central Spitsbergen.

How are you involved with ARCEx? As part of my ARCEx appointment, Prof. William Helland-Hansen (UiB) and I have some students working with the Eocene Aspelintoppen Formation in Svalbard. This is one of the least studied stratigraphic units in the archipelago, and comprises a more than 1000 m thick succession consisting of various fluvial and marginal marine deposits. The unit is the proximal counterpart of the clinoforms that I studied during my PhD. We focus mainly on outcrop-based fieldwork and conventional sedimentological analyses in combination with core and well log data. Moreover, we have one student working with the Late Permian Kapp Starostin Formation. The interest for the Permian succession in Svalbard have increased significantly following Lundins Gotha discovery in the Barents Sea. The focus on this small project is a standard facies and microfacies analysis of mixed siliciclastic and carbonate platform deposits, with a special emphasis on determine where the sandstones originated from and if there are any evidences of platform exposure (i.e. karstification).

Sedimentary log from the Aspelintoppen Formation showing crevasse splay deposits cut by a small crevasse channel. The figure is from the thesis of one of our master's students (Olav Naurstad) that defended his work in January 2015.
Sedimentary log from the Aspelintoppen Formation showing crevasse splay deposits cut by a small crevasse channel. The figure is from the thesis of one of our master’s students (Olav Naurstad) that defended his work in January 2015.

 

What are your main expectations/results? Our main expectations for the various projects are to increase our knowledge about important geological time periods in the Arctic in general, and Svalbard in particular. All the intervals that we are focusing on are of great interest to the petroleum industry as we investigate many of the stratigraphic units that are considered to be important play models in the Barents and Norwegian seas. More importantly, all the units that we are studying enable us to ask highly relevant and motivating research questions which answers we will continue to pursue.