Multi-phase development of a glaciated inselberg landscape
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Refereed)
We investigate the evolution of a glaciated inselberg landscape in northern Sweden since the late Mesozoic, c. 65 million years ago. The study area is part of the Fennoscandian shield and has been stripped of cover rocks and also largely of weathering mantles by preglacial and glacial erosion to leave low relief inselberg plains, with a thin cover of Quaternary deposits. We use these inselbergs as the basis for study of the impact of glacial and preglacial erosion on the shield landscape. GIS-analyses of digital elevation models (DEMs) enable us to identify the morphometry of the inselbergs. Field mapping and mechanical excavations of inselberg margins allow links to be explored between dome-like granite inselbergs and sheet structures and to examine till and saprolite mantles. Very low glacial erosion in the Parkajoki area allows the final stages of preglacial relief development to be reconstructed for the Late Neogene. The hypsometry of the study area, in combination with inselberg elevation and distribution, allows four palaeosurfaces to be identified.
The effects of glacial erosion on the bedrock forms of the inselbergs of the study area were generally restricted to inselberg streamlining by steepening of inselberg flanks. The inselberg landscape relief was enhanced by the removal of saprolite mantles during the Quaternary glaciations. The saprolites formed during the late Neogene, thin or absent close to the inselberg summits and of 10-20 m thickness at the inselberg feet and on the plains. The inselbergs are much older features, however, and deep kaolinization and soft ores are evidence for development by etching from a Mesozoic base level surface. Eocene marine clays on the continuation of the inselberg plains in northern Finland at around 260 m a.s.l. indicate that the inselberg plains above the Pakko palaeosurface generation predate the Paleogene-Eocene thermal maximum. Erosion rates, calculated for two reconstructed summit envelope surfaces, range between 1.5m/Myr and 4.8m/Myr since the late Mesozoic. The inselberg plains of northern Sweden are therefore directly comparable to other shield landscapes in extra-glacial areas that have experienced episodes of deposition of thin cover rocks, long periods of weathering and very low long term rates of erosion.
Inselbergs; shield area; DEM-analysis; glacial erosion; weathering and stripping
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30851OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-30851DiVA: diva2:274404