Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2024-3
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2024-3
27 Mar 2024
 | 27 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism: a multi-scale, multidisciplinary educational approach

Kim Senger, Grace Shephard, Fenna Ammerlaan, Owen Anfinson, Pascal Audet, Bernard Coakley, Victoria Ershova, Jan Inge Faleide, Sten-Andreas Grundvåg, Rafael Kenji Horota, Karthik Iyer, Julian Janocha, Morgan Jones, Alexander Minakov, Margaret Odlum, Anna M. R. Sartell, Andrew Schaeffer, Daniel Stockli, Marie A. Vander Kloet, and Carmen Gaina

Abstract. Geologically, the Arctic is one of the least explored regions of Earth. Its significance, in terms of indigenous populations, resource extraction, tourism, shipping and a rapidly changing climate, is increasing. The Arctic offers geological diversity encompassing onshore and offshore environments, include active subduction zones in Alaska, deep sedimentary basins on the Siberian and Barents Sea shelves, widespread ancient Arctic volcanism and magmatism, the world’s slowest spreading mid-ocean ridge (Gakkel Ridge in the Eurasia Basin), as well as world-class examples of extensional and compressional basins exposed onshore Svalbard. Obtaining data is logistically, economically and environmentally expensive in the high Arctic, but the township of Longyearbyen at 78° N represents a relatively easily accessible gateway to Arctic geology. The year-round settlement on Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago is home to The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). Reached by a year-round airport with regular connections to mainland Norway, Svalbard provides a foundation from which to teach and explore Arctic geology via the classroom, the laboratory, and the field.

In this contribution, we present a new graduate course (Masters and PhD level) on Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism that we have established and taught annually at UNIS since 2018. We outline the course itself, before presenting student perspectives based on both an anonymous questionnaire (n = 27) and in-depth perceptions of four selected students. The course, with an intake of up to 20 MSc and PhD international students, is held over a 6-week period, typically in Spring or Autumn. The course comprises modules on field and polar safety, Svalbard/Barents Sea geology, wider Arctic geology, plate tectonics, mantle dynamics, geo- and thermochronology, and geochemistry of igneous systems. All modules include individual and group-based exercises in addition to introductory lectures. A field component, which in some years included an overnight expedition, provides an opportunity to appreciate Arctic geology and gather own field observations and data. Digital outcrop models and photospheres viewed with state-of-the-art visualization in the classroom facilitate efficient fieldwork through pre-fieldwork preparation and post-field work quantitative analyses. The course assessment is centered on an individual research project that is presented orally and in a short and impactful Geology journal-style article. Apart from the course at UNIS we have jointly initiated several one-off research and education-based events at partner institutions, and briefly outline these.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Kim Senger, Grace Shephard, Fenna Ammerlaan, Owen Anfinson, Pascal Audet, Bernard Coakley, Victoria Ershova, Jan Inge Faleide, Sten-Andreas Grundvåg, Rafael Kenji Horota, Karthik Iyer, Julian Janocha, Morgan Jones, Alexander Minakov, Margaret Odlum, Anna M. R. Sartell, Andrew Schaeffer, Daniel Stockli, Marie A. Vander Kloet, and Carmen Gaina

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gc-2024-3', Aleksandra Smyrak-Sikora, 03 May 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Kim Senger, 08 May 2024 reply
Kim Senger, Grace Shephard, Fenna Ammerlaan, Owen Anfinson, Pascal Audet, Bernard Coakley, Victoria Ershova, Jan Inge Faleide, Sten-Andreas Grundvåg, Rafael Kenji Horota, Karthik Iyer, Julian Janocha, Morgan Jones, Alexander Minakov, Margaret Odlum, Anna M. R. Sartell, Andrew Schaeffer, Daniel Stockli, Marie A. Vander Kloet, and Carmen Gaina
Kim Senger, Grace Shephard, Fenna Ammerlaan, Owen Anfinson, Pascal Audet, Bernard Coakley, Victoria Ershova, Jan Inge Faleide, Sten-Andreas Grundvåg, Rafael Kenji Horota, Karthik Iyer, Julian Janocha, Morgan Jones, Alexander Minakov, Margaret Odlum, Anna M. R. Sartell, Andrew Schaeffer, Daniel Stockli, Marie A. Vander Kloet, and Carmen Gaina

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Short summary
The article describes a course that we have developed at the University Centre in Svalbard that covers many aspects of Arctic Geology. The students experience this from a wide range of lecturers, focussing both on the small and larger scales, and covering many geoscientific disciplines.
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