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Svalbard Fossils

A cache by Wolf64 - !! No Message-Center !! Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/27/2011
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, located about midway between Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard comprises all islands between latitude 74° North and latitude 81° North and between longitude 10° East and longitude 35° East.

Svalbard has a very rich, diverse and long geologic history that makes it some­what of a 'mecca' for geologists; a place where a great variety of geology can be studied and where much can be learned about the development of tectonic features and sedimentary environ­ments through time as well as the drift of continents across the Earths surface.

The oldest till deposits on Svalbard were probably deposited when Spitsbergen was situated close to the South Pole, some 600 million years (MY) ago, and the red Devonian sandstone of northern Spitsbergen was deposited when Svalbard was close to the Equator, some 350-400 MY ago. Since the vegetation cover is so sparse and the glacially eroded landscape so fresh, there are continuous bedrock sections that span more than 11 km and that are more than 1 km high!

The Cambrian and Ordovician calcareaous and limestone strata of Svalbard often contain fossils of marine creatures that once upon a time lived in the so-called Lapetus Ocean. These were primitive invertebrates, such as trilobites and graptolites. During the Devonian Period, northern Svalbard began sinking and rivers eroded down the Caledonian mountains. A total of more than 8000 m thick sandstones, conglomerates and shales were deposited in near-shore environments, deltas and lakes. The Devonian beds often consist of characteristic red sandstone. The red color implies periods of dry, desert-like climate. At this time, 360-400 MY ago, Svalbard was located just north of the Equator. The Devonian is called “the Age of Fishes”, and fossils of primitive fish – the first known vertebrates – have been found on Svalbard. As have fossils of primitive plants. (S: Ólafur Ingólfsson)

The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, and the evolutionary relationships between taxa (phylogeny) are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology. Such a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years. Hence, fossils range in age from the youngest at the start of the Holocene Epoch to the oldest from the Archaean Eon, up to 3.4 billion years old. (S: Wikipedia)

At the given coordinates your are standing at the end of a glacial moraine. This place is full of fossile leavings.

Please keep in mind: it is not allowed to enter this place without a riffle! Polar bear protection is a must! For more information refer to the Sysselmannen website.

Enter this site only in summer time when there is no snow (late May till end of September). Check the Cache Attributes! Try your luck to find some spectacular fossils. Some giant plant fossils you can see without digging of earth. It is allowed to take your digged fossils with you. But keep in mind that EarthCache sites will highlight the principle of collect memories - not samples

Your task to log this Earthcache: Find yourself a fossile rock.

It is very easy and it took only some minutes. You need a hammer, protection goggles and gloves. Dig some rocks and open it with a hammer stroke.

1.) Take a drawing or optional picture of your treasure and determine the coordinates of your fund position.

2.) Describe your fossile rock piece:
Is it at plant or an animal?
Does it fit into your rock piece?
If not describe how large the original plant or animal was.

3.) It seems that specific rocks have a better percentage in rate of yield
If you think this is true? If yes describe the rocks features where you find the best fossils.

4.) In which time span do you think this fossils developed, if you take into consideration that Svalbard was 600 MY very close to the south pole and nowadays very close at the north pole?

5.) At this time global heating is a fact. Do you think it is possible to found more rock fossils at this place in future? What is your thinking?

First send your answers to my GC profile EMAIL (NOT Communication-Center!), second log your found it and upload your drawings or optional pictures. Die Fragen können auch auf Deutsch beantwortet werden.

Have fun!

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