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Relict non-glacial surfaces and autochthonous blockfields in the northern Swedish mountains
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Relict non-glacial surfaces occur in many formerly glaciated landscapes, where they represent areas that have escaped significant glacial modification. Frequently distinguished by blockfield mantles, relict non-glacial surfaces are important archives of long-term weathering and landscape evolution processes. The aim of this thesis is to examine the distribution, weathering, ages, and formation of relict non-glacial surfaces in the northern Swedish mountains.

Mapping of surfaces from aerial photographs and analysis in a GIS revealed five types of relict non-glacial surfaces that reflect differences in surface process types or rates according to elevation, gradient, and bedrock lithology. Clast characteristics and fine matrix granulometry, chemistry, and mineralogy reveal minimal chemical weathering of the blockfields.

Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides were measured in quartz samples from two blockfield-mantled summits and a numerical ice sheet model was applied to account for periods of surface burial beneath ice sheets and nuclide production rate changes attributable to glacial isostasy. Total surface histories for each summit are almost certainly, but not unequivocally, confined to the Quaternary. Maximum modelled erosion rates are as low as 4.0 mm/kyr, which is likely to be near the low extreme for relict non-glacial surfaces in this landscape.

The blockfields of the northern Swedish mountains are Quaternary features formed through subsurface physical weathering processes. While there is no need to appeal to Neogene chemical weathering to explain blockfield origins, these surfaces have remained continuously regolith-mantled and non-glacial since their inception. Polygenetic surface histories are therefore indicated, where the large-scale surface morphologies are potentially older than their regolith mantles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi , 2008. , 35 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 14
Keyword [en]
blockfield, chemical weathering, cosmogenic exposure dating, glaciated landscape, northern Sweden, periglacial geomorphology, relict surface
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Geography, Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7544ISBN: 978-91-7155-620-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7544DiVA: diva2:198552
Public defence
2008-06-05, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-05-09 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2012-05-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Relict non-glacial surfaces in formerly glaciated landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relict non-glacial surfaces in formerly glaciated landscapes
2007 In: Earth-Science Reviews, ISSN 0012-8252, Vol. 80, no 1-2, 47-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24931 (URN)000243646800002 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7544Available from: 2008-05-09 Created: 2008-05-08Bibliographically approved
2. Deciphering a non-glacial/glacial landscape mosaic in the northern Swedish mountains
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deciphering a non-glacial/glacial landscape mosaic in the northern Swedish mountains
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2008 (English)In: Geomorphology, Vol. 93, no 3-4, 213-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Relict surfaces contain information on past surface processes and long-term landscape evolution. A detailed investigation of relict non-glacial surfaces in a formerly glaciated mountain landscape of northern Sweden was completed, based on interpretation of colour infrared aerial photographs, analysis in a GIS, and fieldwork. Working backwards from landscape to process, surfaces were classified according to large- and small-scale morphologies that result from the operation of non-glacial processes, the degree of weathering, regolith characteristics, and the style of glacial modification. Surfaces were also compared in the GIS according to elevation, slope angle, and bedrock lithology. The study revealed five types of relict non-glacial surfaces but also two types of extensively weathered glacial surfaces that were transitional to relict non-glacial surfaces, illustrating spatially variable processes and rates of non-glacial and glacial landscape evolution. Rather than being static preglacial remnants, relict non-glacial surfaces are dynamic features that have continued to evolve during the Quaternary. The classification provides hypotheses for landscape evolution that can be field tested through, for example, terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide studies and geochemical analyses of fine matrix materials. The classification may be applicable to relict non-glacial surfaces in other formerly glaciated landscapes

Keyword
Relict surface, Glaciation, Landscape evolution, Blockfield, Northern Sweden, GIS
National Category
Geology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19944 (URN)doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.018 (DOI)000255899700005 ()
Note
Financial support was provided by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG) Andreéfonden, Axel Lagrelius' fund, and Swedish Research Council grants 621-2001-2331 and 621-2005-4972.Available from: 2009-01-01 Created: 2009-01-01 Last updated: 2012-05-24Bibliographically approved
3. Weathering and Quaternary origin of an alpine blockfield in Arctic Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weathering and Quaternary origin of an alpine blockfield in Arctic Sweden
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24933 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7544Available from: 2008-05-09 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved
4. Cosmogenic radionuclide and fine matrix analyses of blockfields, northern Sweden: Indications for Quaternary origins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cosmogenic radionuclide and fine matrix analyses of blockfields, northern Sweden: Indications for Quaternary origins
Show others...
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24934 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7544Available from: 2008-05-09 Created: 2008-05-08 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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