The impact of Quaternary glaciations on inselbergs in northern Sweden
2010 (English)In: Geomorphology, ISSN 0169-555X, Vol. 115, no 1-2, 56-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We investigate the glacial modification of inselbergs (large, isolated bedrock hills) in northern Sweden. Inselbergs are generally regarded as products of deep weathering (etching) and stripping under warm and humid climates. Unlike inselbergs found in the tropics, the inselbergs in northern Sweden were exposed to ice sheet glaciation for long periods of the Quaternary. We used DEMs to examine 794 inselbergs in our study area and they were classified according to their degree of glacial modification. Bedrock structural control was assessed using GIS data on the regional geology. Clusters of inselbergs were mapped in the field for features indicative of glacial erosion, such as glacial cliffs and stripped bedrock surfaces, and for features indicative of limited erosion, such as tors and blockfields. The results of the study indicate that inselbergs in the area were mostly modified by Quaternary ice sheets only to a low or moderate extent and that the degree of glacial erosion is dependent on their relief and location. Inselbergs with a relative relief of < 100 m and in areas of lower absolute relief experienced the strongest glacial modification, where the strongest glacial modification can result in lateral erosion of the inselberg flanks. Inselberg summits often display signs of minimal glacial erosion, such as tor-like bedrock outcrops with signs of strong weathering. In summary, we argue that inselbergs in northern Sweden have largely retained their pre-Quaternary shape despite long periods of ice sheet cover.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2010. Vol. 115, no 1-2, 56-66 p.
Inselbergs, northern Sweden, glacial modification, Pre-Quaternary landscape
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30710DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.030ISI: 000274843800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-30710DiVA: diva2:273713