Hinlopenstretet's geology and landscape
By Øystein Overrein (ed.), Winfried Dallmann
The area described here is the strait of Hinlopenstretet itself, as well as the areas north and south of it. The north includes the northernmost point in Spitsbergen – Verlegenhuken – while the fjord Sorgfjorden enters Spitsbergen a little further south. Murchisonfjorden, with its many headlands and islands in a relatively flat landscape, is located north of Hinlopenstretet.
The bedrock north of the fjords Lomfjorden and Wahlenbergfjorden is quite old, and the landscape is characterized by several large strandflats. Lomfjorden extends southwards from Hinlopenstretet in between the steep mountains of the island of Spitsbergen, while Wahlenbergfjorden stretches eastward between Nordaustlandet’s small mountains and enormous glaciers. This is a transitional zone between the older basement and younger cover rocks. The cover rocks are mostly Carboniferous and Permian limestone and dolomite rocks, which are intruded by the resistant dark dolerite.
In the south, Hinlopenstretet opens up, with a large number of small and large islands. The scenery here is completely dominated by large glaciers.
Updated June 2015
Norwegian Polar Institute