Geochemical Investigation of Warm Springs (GIS)

Proposed description & sampling of sub- & supra glacial waters & Jotun warm spring waters for stable isotopes and chemistry. Search for further, relict springs and undertake travertine microsampling. Collection of carbonate country rock outcrops for use in constraining subsurface spring water pathways.

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Project type

  • field work


  • geology
  • other

Project Keywords

  • terrestrial hydrosphere / ground water / springs
  • terrestrial hydrosphere / ground water / groundwater chemistry
  • solid earth / geochemistry / geochemical properties

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The Troll and Jotun Springs, lying to the south of Bockfjorden, have been the subject of prior research into the likely origin of the waters through chemical and stable isotopic analyses of the waters and the travertines deposited by the springs. The ARG collected and analysed a limited number of samples from these springs in the summer of 2017. Access problems caused by sea ice meant that there was sufficient time to collect only a small subset of the samples targeted for that year. Hence the ARG now proposes the continuation of this work, which has as its goal the gaining of a better understanding of the origins and character of the springs. This work programme has been formulated in consultation with previous workers on the springs, should fill gaps in the existing database and therefore facilitate the goal. As before, it is proposed to collect a range of samples that would be analysed on the expedition’s return to the UK. The proposed activities are some or all of the following: (1) Sampling of the Jotun spring waters, and sub- and supraglacial waters which may feed them, for chemistry and stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen, sulphur and hydrogen. (2) Previous researchers have indicated the presence in the Bockfjord area of relict springs, as evidenced by, now dry, build ups of travertine. We propose to attempt to locate these and to microsample the travertine for chemical and stable isotopic composition. (3) Previous expeditions to the springs have suggested that the ARG also collect a few representative, unweathered samples of outcropping carbonate country rocks (for example the Generalfjella Formation) which would enable comparison of their chemical and stable isotopic composition with those of the spring travertines and waters. This should provide a means of identifying the source of the carbonate in the springs and hence possible water flow routes. These samples would be useful not only to constrain the ARG spring and travertine data, but also the results derived by previous expeditions. The actual work that can be achieved in the field in the time available will obviously depend upon, inter alia, weather conditions and specifically on issues of access caused by possible sea ice concentration.

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