Back to nature

By: Arjen Drost

Sep 01 2014


Category: Flora, nature, Photography, Polar, Scenery


Focal Length:19mm
Camera:Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Palanderbukta, Spitsbergen

The second largest island of the Spitsbergen archipel is Nordaustlandet. Due to its more northeastern position (further away from the gulf stream) this island has an even harsher climate as the main island. This, together with a lack of nutrients results in very little vegetation. Most of the non-glaciated parts are polar deserts. However, every now and then one finds some patches of vegetation like in this image. On closer inspection a white bone can be found on the left hand side of the patch. This is part of a whale vertebra that washed ashore thousands of years ago. In this time the land has risen due to isostatic rebound and the bone has very slowly released its nutrients, mainly phosphorous and calcium. This resulted in little growth of vegetation and one of the few green patches in the area…


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