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Patterns of Quaternary ice sheet erosion and deposition in Fennoscandia and a theoretical framework for explanation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (paleoglaciologi/paleoglaciology)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (paleoglaciologi/paleoglaciology)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (paleoglaciologi/paleoglaciology)
2008 (English)In: Geomorphology, Vol. 97, no 1-2, 73-90 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

It has long been recognised that the formerly glaciated area of Fennoscandia shows large spatial differences in thicknesses of

Quaternary deposits (mainly tills), and exhibits distinct patterns of glacial scouring and deep linear erosion. The reasons for this

striking zonation have been elusive, and in particular the relative roles of mountain ice sheets (MIS) and full-sized Fennoscandian

ice sheets (FIS) in shaping the landscape surface need clarification. On the basis of current advances in our understanding of the

climate evolution and basal thermal organisation of ice sheets, we perform spatio-temporal qualitative modelling of ice sheet extent

and migration of erosion and deposition zones through the entire Quaternary, and proceed to suggest an explanatory model for the

current spatial pattern of Quaternary deposits and the two different types of erosion zones. We use the spatial distribution of fjords

and deep non-tectonic lakes for delineating zones of deep glacial erosion, and relict landscapes as markers for frozen-bed

conditions. On the basis of the amount of exposed bedrock, the landscape was classified into a tripartite system of drift thickness

(thick drift, intermediate drift thickness, absence of drift/scoured zones). It is found that a centrally placed (central and northern

Sweden) zone of thick drift cannot be explained by deposition under FIS style ice sheets, but is instead likely to be the combined

result of marginal deposition of fluctuating MIS style ice sheets, primarily during the early and middle Quaternary, and the

inefficiency of later east-centered FIS style ice sheets in evacuating this drift from underneath their central low-velocity and

possibly frozen-bed areas. The western (fjord) zone of deep glacial erosion formed underneath both MIS- and FIS style ice sheets

during the entire Quaternary, while the eastern (lake) zone of deep glacial erosion is exclusively related to MIS style ice sheets, and

formed largely during the early and middle Quaternary. The scouring zones formed under conditions of rapid ice flow towards

bathymetrically-defined calving margins of FIS style ice sheets. They likely reflect process patterns of the last two or three FIS

style ice sheets. The three landscape zones differ in their degree of permanence, with the deep erosion zones being a long-lasting

legacy in the landscape, more likely to be enhanced than obliterated by subsequent glacial events. The thick drift cover zone, once

established, appears to have been surprisingly robust to erosion by subsequent glacial events. The scouring zones appear to be the

most recent and ephemeral of the three zones, with possible major alterations during single glacial events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 97, no 1-2, 73-90 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16978ISI: 000255826300006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-16978DiVA: diva2:183498
Note
We would like to acknowledge support from the Swedish Research Council.Available from: 2009-01-01 Created: 2009-01-01 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Kleman, JohanStroeven, ArjenLundqvist, Jan
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