Norwegian Scientists Digitize Svalbard Mountains


The coastal cliffs of Kvalhovden in eastern Spitsbergen (Svalbox DOM 2019-0018). Credit: Peter Betlem

The Svalbox Digital Model Database (DMDb) was first mentioned in a new article published in the journal Geosphere.

Svalbox DMDb is a new regional database that now brings together 135 digital outcrop models (DOMs), making data from 114 square kilometers of this incredibly difficult-to-reach area available to all.

These digital outcrop models (DOMs) are three-dimensional, georeferenced representations of geologic outcrops that have revolutionized the way twenty-first century geoscientists work. Svalbox DMDb integrates these models with other geoscience data. 3D drone footage is also available.

It's like Google Street View... but without the streets, explains author Peter Betlem.

Today, the Svalbox DMDb is a unique resource for all geologists working in the archipelago, as well as an excellent training manual. The digital outcrop models complement traditional fieldwork, extending the field season indefinitely and increasing scientists' access to areas that are inaccessible by traditional fieldwork, as well as allowing them to better prepare for upcoming expeditions.

The application of such breakthrough technologies in Svalbard confirms the interest in the archipelago from the scientific point of view and the relevance of the Arcticugol Trust’s plans to develop an international Arctic research station in Svalbard.



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