Interpretation, age and significance of a relict paraglacial and periglacial boulder-dominated landform assemblage in Alnesdalen, Romsdalsalpane, southern Norway

Peter Wilson, John, A Matthews, Richard, W Mourne, Henriette Linge, Jesper Olsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A boulder-dominated landform assemblage in an alpine setting in Norway is described, interpreted and dated using a combination of Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) and cosmogenic 10Be surface-exposure dating. The origin and formation of these features is determined from their morphology, topographic setting and age. Three main components of the assemblage are recognized. First a ~300 m long and ~160 m wide, tongue-shaped rock-slope failure with a SHD age of 11.49 ± 0.82–12.96 ± 0.86 ka is identified on the basis of its planform, thickness, ‘runout distance’ and association with a fractured backing scarp. This is interpreted as a relict paraglacial landform triggered by deglaciation. Second, a 400-m long unequivocal pronival (protalus) rampart with an SHD age of 6.95 ± 0.97–8.35 ± 1.21 ka is identified on the basis of its narrow ridge form aligned close to the foot of an extensive talus slope. Although formation of the rampart probably commenced with deglaciation, the younger SHD ages indicate formation at a diminishing rate through the Holocene. Third, a ~550 m by ~150 m lobate component with transverse ridges, longitudinal and transverse depressions and enclosed pits, previously identified as a rock glacier, is dated to 11.33 ± 0.83–13.33 ± 0.90 ka with the Schmidt hammer and between 13.3 ± 2.0–14.7 ± 2.0 ka with 10Be. This third component may also be a product of rock-slope failure but attribution to rock-glacier creep associated with either interstitial ice (permafrost) or buried glacier ice during the Allerød Interstadial – Younger Dryas Stadial, and to which one or more rock-slope failures contributed debris, cannot be rejected. The advantages and limitations of compiling such evidence for identifying, differentiating and classifying apparently similar boulder-dominated colluvial landforms are exemplified.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107362
    Number of pages16
    JournalGeomorphology
    Volume369
    Early online date23 Jul 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2020

    Keywords

    • Boulder-dominated landforms
    • Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD)
    • 10Be surface-exposure dating
    • Rock-slope failure
    • Relict rock glacier
    • Pronival (protalus) rampart
    • Late Glacial
    • Southern Norway

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