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The impact of Quaternary glaciations on inselbergs in northern Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2010 (English)In: Geomorphology, ISSN 0169-555X, Vol. 115, no 1-2, 56-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Inselbergs, northern Sweden, glacial modification, Pre-Quaternary landscape
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30710DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.030ISI: 000274843800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-30710DiVA: diva2:273713
Available from: 2009-10-28 Created: 2009-10-23 Last updated: 2011-11-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cenozoic landscape evolution in northern Sweden: Geomorphological interpretation within a GIS-framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cenozoic landscape evolution in northern Sweden: Geomorphological interpretation within a GIS-framework
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The large-scale bedrock landscape in northern Sweden has a complex evolution history of planation, uplift, transgression, burial, weathering, and erosion. The aim of this thesis is to examine the long-term development of the area.

Terms for base-level surfaces in the area are defined. A combination of GIS-analyses of digital elevation models and field work is used to explore landform characteristics and formation. Inselbergs east of the northern Scandes in northern Sweden are used as a basis for describing landscape development.

In total, 794 inselbergs are identified in the study area. The inselbergs are classified according to their degree of glacial erosion. The Parkajoki area, with low glacially modified inselbergs, tors, boulder fields and saprolites, has been shown to have largely escaped Quaternary glacial erosion and is taken as a type area to describe the late-Neogene landscape development prior to glaciation. The removal of Neogene saprolite mantles at the inselberg feet in areas of glacial erosion increased inselberg relief during the Quaternary by 10-20 m. For landscape evolution further back in time, beyond the Neogene, the hypsography of the study areas shows at least two palaeosurface generations in the northern Scandes and at least four palaeosurface generations on the inselberg plains. The distribution of inselbergs in relation to palaeosurface generations in the same elevation intervals suggests land uplift with a tilt towards the SE-ESE. Eocene marine diatom findings at 260 m a.s.l. in Finland, 200 km east of the study area, indicate a pre-Eocene age of the inselberg plains above this elevation.

The development of today’s inselberg plains likely started in the late Mesozoic, with a sub-Mesozic etch surface that was subjected to land uplift at the late Mesozoic-Paleocene transition during breakup of the Atlantic. The great antiquity of the northern Swedish bedrock landscape stands as an analogy for shield areas in for example Australia and Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2009. 23 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 19
Keyword
Long-term geomorphology, northern Sweden, base-level surface, inselbergs, digital elevation models, field observations
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30711 (URN)978-91-7155-966-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-04, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens Hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defence, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4. Manuscript. Available from: 2009-11-12 Created: 2009-10-23 Last updated: 2010-04-22Bibliographically approved

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