Geological mapping programme for Svalbard

Continuous geological mapping of Norwegian polar areas, with main focus on Svalbard. Field mapping and production of geological maps and related products, as well as establishing a GIS.

The Norwegian Polar Institute is the national mapping authority for the polar areas, which includes non-commercial geological surveying. Geological map data are collected during field expeditions and through co-operation with international research groups. The Geological Mapping Programme focuses also upon important gaps in regional geological knowledge of Svalbard and stimulates other research projects by pointing out relevant scientific problems.

Geological mapping in the strict sense is the registration of various types of rocks and unconsolidated deposits and their geographical distribution, with an interpretation of the rocks and deposits’ stratigraphy and the earth’s crustal pattern responsible for this distribution. Results are organised on geological maps (e.g. bedrock maps, tectonic maps, Quaternary geological maps, geomorphological maps, etc.) and associated descriptive texts. Maps and map descriptions provide basic data on the geological contents and structure of an area and its history of development. These basic data are used for further research, teaching, commercial investigations of resources, as well as resource and nature management. Geological mapping in a broader sense is a full registration of geological features of an area, including investigations of the processes that have formed the present geological record.

The Programme focuses on the continuous geological mapping of Svalbard, aimed at the production and publication of geological maps (digital and printed), with area descriptions. It also aims at producing overview works, which summarise geological knowledge under various aspects. Such overview works are scientific summaries and reviews, standardising work of lexicon-type, and popularistic publications. All geographically defined information is collected in GIS databases. These include seamless, digital map databases at various scales, which are produced and maintained in cooperation with Polar Institute’s Section for Environmental Data Management.

The Programme details listed here refer to the current sub-project and are continually updated.