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Monday, 4 May 2015

Geodes at Champ Island

We like quirky things on this blog, and the geodes on Champ Island, in the Russian Franz Josef Land archipelago, are certainly very quirky indeed.  there are thousands of them, ranging from giant boulders to balls the size of marbles.  They are most frequent on the Cape Trieste area of the island -- visited occasionally by tourists on Russian icebreakers.

The geodes are not quite perfect spheres, and they have nothing to do with erosional processes, except that erosion is needed to release them from the rocks in which they are embedded.  They apparently form in the same sort of way that pearls form, starting with a "seed" and growing through a process of mineral accretion into the massive features scattered about on the island today.  Obviously, since the islands are intensively glaciated, some of the balls have been moved by ice, although little is known of the history of glaciation in this high Arctic environment.  Nowasays those that are stranded in the open are being broken up by frost-related processes.

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