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DEM-analysis of palaeosurface remnants in the mountain zone of 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.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Palaeosurface remnants are parts of old planation surfaces that have been elevated and partly down-cut by subsequent erosion. Such surfaces constitute an important landscape element when reconstructing the evolution of a landscape’s tong term development, although their morphological identification may be uncertain. In this study we examine to which degree palaeosurface remnants and surface generations can be identified objectively by GIS-analyses. A combination of fieldwork and GIS-analysis of digital elevation models (DEMs) was used to investigate palaeosurface remnants in two study areas, Ätnajåkki valley and Tjeuralako plateau in the northern Scandes of Sweden.

Our results indicate that surfaces with an inclination of less than 11 °, and that were not affected by glacial erosion, correspond well with palaeosurface remnants as mapped subjectively in the DEM, air photos and in the field. Peaks in the hypsographic curves, at similar elevation intervals for both areas, show the altitudinal distribution of several palaeosurface generations that were identified in the field.

The DEM analysis is shown to be a useful tool, but subjective mapping of glacially eroded areas is necessary to exclude glacially eroded areas, some of which may otherwise be misinterpreted as palaeosurface remnants, in the DEM. Hence, the combination of field observations and GIS-analyses is important when mapping and analysing palaeosurface remnants and their distribution correctly in a DEM. The method shown is nonetheless straightforward and reproducible.

Keyword [en]
Palaeosurface remnants; GIS-analysis; long-term landscape development; northern Scandes
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30852OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-30852DiVA: diva2:274408
Available from: 2009-10-28 Created: 2009-10-28 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically 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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