Sandstone on Wilhelmøya Wilhelmøya

| Text and photo: Alexey Deryabin

Sandstone on Wilhelmøya Wilhelmøya


“Where have these sand grains come from and how did they turn into rock,” is the question inquisitive geologists ask themselves when they look at sandstone outcrops.

NPD geologist Andreas Bjørnestad is seen here on Wilhelmøya – a remote part of the Svalbard archipelago where rocks analogous to the sandstone reservoirs on the NCS can be studied.

These sediments belong to the Svenskøya formation and were deposited in a shallow sea around 200 million years ago. The cliff has some horizontal layers at its base, overlain by strata formed in a nearshore deposition environment.

Sandstone is fairly unconsolidated and can easily be scratched with a fingernail. Some fragments of fossile trees and bits of coal can be found at this location.


Wilhelmøya, Svalbard. (Illustration: Norwegian Polar Institute)

Wilhelmøya, Svalbard.
(Illustration: Norwegian Polar Institute)

Topics: Geology