Tuesday, 10 November 2009


We went to Kåfjorddalen last weekend, some 150 km east of Tromsø, and it turned out to be a fascinating place. There are 2 deep canyons, one of them apparently the deepest of northern Europe, and there are old copper mines up in the mountains with ruins of the smelter, cablecar and various buildings for the workers and the director down in the valley, Ankerlia. The mines closed in 1918, but you can still clearly see the damage of the sulphuric smoke from the smelter to the surroundings. There is very little snow yet for the time of the year, but it has been cold and there were some excellent icy waterfalls and other ice formations.

Ruins of the smelter buildings.

Waste from the smelter.

The damage around the smelter is still clearly visible, after nearly a century.

Into the deepest canyon in northern Europe, Sorbmejohka.

Nice ice formations underneath a waterfall.

On our way to Storfossen, the main waterfall, we suddenly came across this icy wonderland.

It turned out that there was a spring just above a waterfall. It had been very windy blowing the water up and back over the edge, coating everything in ice. We met some locals who told us that they had never seen it this spectacular. We were lucky!

Icy teeth around the waterfall.

Everything covered in ice.

The main canyon, which had a major waterfall at the end.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


I have been out doing fieldwork for quite a few days in October this year. Much of it was sampling for fission track dating and involved collecting samples from road cuts, quarries and coastal outcrops. But often in beautiful areas.

Small scale en-echelon fractures.

Rock art.

Fieldwork on Senja, after the first frost and snow.

Senja west coast.

Exposed fault plane along a bicycle/foot path near Finnsnes.

Flatlying shear zone underneath massive wall of granite. Store Blåmann.



The weather forecast was excellent so we decided to head up a mountain, Stortinden on Ringvassøya. We didn't quite get to the top as we started late and the days are short, but it was a beautiful trip in the sun, with great views and several encounters with ptarmigan and elk. It was quite misty when we left in the morning and when we climbed up we could see the clouds hanging over the fjords.

Patterns in the ice on small ponds.

View towards Tromsø, with both the island Tromsøya and the fjord still partially covered by fog.

We brought a little sled and had fun sliding down. Not enough snow yet to slide down the whole mountain.

And a full moon helped us on the way down.