Scenes from Svalbard...

Landing site at Kapp Lee.

Landing site at Kapp Lee.

Slumbering walrus.

Slumbering walrus.

Landing site at Bolthodden.

Landing site at Bolthodden.

Spectacular alpine geology.

Spectacular alpine geology.

Remains of Swedish-Russian “Arc of the Meridian Project” base from 1899.

Remains of Swedish-Russian “Arc of the Meridian Project” base from 1899.

Tidewater glacier in Bellsund.

Tidewater glacier in Bellsund.

Remains of beluga whale hunting camp.

Remains of beluga whale hunting camp.

Well maintained Norwegian hunter/trapper cabin at Bamsebu.

Well maintained Norwegian hunter/trapper cabin at Bamsebu.

The mast at Ny Alesund where Roald Amundsen launched his balloon in 1922.

The mast at Ny Alesund where Roald Amundsen launched his balloon in 1922.

Geological buffet of various rock on a recessional moraine.

Geological buffet of various rock on a recessional moraine.

Sun flare in Isfjorden.

Sun flare in Isfjorden.

Jan Mayen is a remote and rocky outpost...

in the Norwegian Sea, a volcanic hot spot on which the most northern active volcano on Earth is found.

View on approach.

View on approach.

Beerenberg volcano, rising to 2,277 m (7,470 feet) above sea level.

Beerenberg volcano, rising to 2,277 m (7,470 feet) above sea level.

M/V Sea Spirit  at anchor.

M/V Sea Spirit at anchor.

An extraordinarily happy geologist, five months and nine days into “retirement.”

An extraordinarily happy geologist, five months and nine days into “retirement.”

Farewell to the Faroes...

as we continue to travel north across the Arctic Circle and towards Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago.

The Faroe Islands are a pile of Paleogene-age basalts, deeply cut by magnificent fjords.

The Faroe Islands are a pile of Paleogene-age basalts, deeply cut by magnificent fjords.

poseidon britain to svalbard voyage map.jpg

Crystal Geyser on the Green River...

is an unusual and rare CO2-driven cold water geyser that is depositing a colorful mound of travertine. Furthermore, it’s the result of an improperly abandoned oil/gas exploration well immediately south of Green River, Utah, and it periodically erupts on 8 and 22 hour-long cycles that are poorly understood.

An older, innactive but natural travertine and barite mound, originally described by John Wesley Powell on his explorations in 1869: “W e stop to examine some interesting rocks, deposited by mineral springs that at one time must have existed here, but which are no longer flowing...  “

An older, innactive but natural travertine and barite mound, originally described by John Wesley Powell on his explorations in 1869: “We stop to examine some interesting rocks, deposited by mineral springs that at one time must have existed here, but which are no longer flowing...

Mini-rimstone dams on the steeper portions of the travertine mound.

Mini-rimstone dams on the steeper portions of the travertine mound.

The most active portion of the travertine mound.

The most active portion of the travertine mound.

Here’s an interesting technical reference about this unusual feature: http://www.llnl.gov/tid/lof/documents/pdf/334382.pdf

Now three in the heronry...

The two in the upper right are definitely a nesting pair based on their behavior. It’s been enjoyable to have this opportunity to watch the gathering of these interesting birds.

The two in the upper right are definitely a nesting pair based on their behavior. It’s been enjoyable to have this opportunity to watch the gathering of these interesting birds.

The male hopped over to an adjacent nest, picked around a bit, and plucked a selection and returned to the other nest.

The male hopped over to an adjacent nest, picked around a bit, and plucked a selection and returned to the other nest.

The twig is delivered to the nest that the female has clearly preferred. This suggests that the last mating pair to arrive inherits the last ratty nest in the heronry.

The twig is delivered to the nest that the female has clearly preferred. This suggests that the last mating pair to arrive inherits the last ratty nest in the heronry.

Early morning at the heron rookery...

that is technically termed a “heronry.” Early morning is the best time to catch waking activity in the roost, now occupied by two. (Click on any of the smaller images to enlarge.)