Fieldwork: Karmøy & Leka Norway 2019

In summer 2019 I spent 5 weeks in Norway collecting samples from the Karmøy Ophiolite Complex and the Leka Ophiolite Complex. Karmøy was a late addition to the fieldwork plan, so we were only there for a couple of days but got samples of gabbros, basaltic dikes, and plagiogranties. Then we drove up to Leka to spend the next 3 weeks in tents on a 22 sq.-mile island. Everyday we went out to map and collect samples of gabbros, basaltic dikes, and plagiogranites. These samples returned to Baltimore with me and are going to be processed for trace-element analysis, major-element analysis, and isotope work. In addition, the gabbros will undergo mineral separation for zircons that I will use to get ages for their formation during subduction initiation in the Iapetus Ocean.


Outcrop with plagiogranite crosscutting gabbros.


Plagiogranite with hammers for scale.


Along the coast of Karmøy on a beautiful day.


Gorgeous waterfall on the road from Karmøy to Leka.


Home for three weeks.


The western side of Leka is mantle rocks like peridotite and dunite which changes the landscape drastically and is why the island was voted the Norwegian Geological National Monument.


On Leka, the Mohorovičić discontinuity (AKA Moho) is exposed. The Moho is the boundary between the mantle and oceanic crust.


Lekamøya is a chunk of altered gabbro on top of mantle peridotite. There is a famous legend about a beautiful maiden being turned to stone (the stone being Lekamøya).


Hiking to the highest point on Leka takes you up steep slopes and past peaceful mountain lakes.


The highest point on Leka is called Vattind and is 418 meters above sea level.


The ocean surrounding Leka is so clear and beautifully blue.


This field location was right at the edge of a cliff, but had incredible views of the eastern side of the island. IMG_3560.jpeg

Folding was everywhere on Leka due to the tectonic history of the region and the obduction of the ophiolite onto land. This was one of our favorite outcrops because it gives us lots of 3-D exposure to get measurements on the structural features.


The top of the ophiolite sequence includes some preserved pillow-structures in the basalts (pen for scale).


This is what our campsite looked like after being there for three weeks.


On our way back up to Bergen we did some sight-seeing and found this beautiful glacially-cut valley with a perfect beach and gorgeous lake.


This was just about the most beautiful place I have ever been. Two glacially-cut valleys connecting and turning into one and leaving this amazing mountain in between.

Definitely looking forward to returning to Norway next summer!