, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 417–426 | Cite as

Basaltic Dyke with Specific Volcanogenic Structures and Its Geomorphic Evolution: Unique Geoheritage of the Faroe Islands (North Atlantic Ocean)

  • Pavel Raška
  • Richard PokornýEmail author
  • Lukáš Krmíček
  • Simona Kuboušková
  • Lis Mortensen
Original Article


Volcanic landforms resulting from Cenozoic volcanism represent the most peculiar features of global geodiversity and provide eminent narratives for geoeducation. Among them, however, relict volcanic forms and site-specific landforms in remote areas have received less attention. In this paper, we provide the first description of unique volcanogenic features (hereinafter referred to as pseudo-hieroglyphs) developed on a summit rock wall at the Sandfelli ridge near the village of Gjógv in the N Eysturoy Island (Faroe Islands). The geomorphic evolution of the ridge and rock wall during the Quaternary is described and detailed petrographic analyses of the volcanogenic features are provided. Based on observed petrographical features, we interpret the pseudo-hieroglyphs to probably represent unique examples of chaotic horizontal columnar jointing. Following the geomorphological and petrographic examination of the study site, we analyse current Faroese legislation aiming at nature conservation and use this case to discuss broader implications of geoheritage conservation and geotourism in distant regions.


Palaeogene volcanism Geoheritage Sandfelli dyke Pseudo-hieroglyphs Columnar jointing Faroe Islands 



We sincerely thank Bjartur Brekkstein (Velbastaður, Streymoy, FO) for an introduction to the locality and to Uni E. Árting (Fróðskaparsetur Føroya – University of the Faroe Islands and Jarðfeingi - The Faroese Geological Survey) for the administrative help during the geological surveying on the Faroe Islands and for providing the photo on Fig. 6e. Last but not least, we also thank Martin V. Heinesen (Jarðfeingi) for the helpful advice in Faroese geomorphology and also the English grammar and text-flow improvement. We also acknowledge the editor-in-chief (Kevin Page) for a great willingness in technical editing of the manuscript and the reviewers for the highly valuable advice and recommendations.

Funding Information

Our field research was financially supported by the projects OPVK (Operational Program – Education for Competitiveness) EnviMod (CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0205), IGA UJEP 1/2014 and PEGAS-TFA (UJEP-SGS-2017-44-004-3). The work of Lukáš Krmíček was covered by the BUT project LO1408 “AdMaS UP – Advanced Materials, Structures and Technologies”, supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports under the “National Sustainability Programme I” as well as by the institutional project RVO 67985831 of the Institute of Geology of the CAS.


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References to Legislative Documents

  1. Law Nr. 110 (1995) Løgtingslóg um náttúrufriðing, sum seinast broytt við løgtingslóg nr. 110 frá 29. juni 1995
  2. Law Nr. 19 (2013) Løgtingslóg um broyting í løgtingslóg um býarskipanir og byggisamtyktir (Stytting av freist)
  3. Law Nr. 53 (1952) Lagtingslov nr. 53 af 27. november 1952 om plantager, som senest ændret ved lagtingslov nr. 110 af 29. juni 1995

Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceJan Evangelista Purkyně UniversityÚstí nad LabemCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of EnvironmentJan Evangelista Purkyně UniversityÚstí nad LabemCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of SciencesPrague 6Czech Republic
  5. 5.Faculty of Civil Engineering, AdMaS CentreBrno University of TechnologyBrnoCzech Republic
  6. 6.Jarðfeingi, Faroese Geological SurveyHoyvíkFaroe Islands

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