Implications of an Early Holocene climax in solifluction and related periglacial activity on Juvflye, Jotunheimen (southern Norway), as revealed by Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating

Winkler S., Beylich A.A., Laute K., Matthews J.A., Mourne R.W. & Wilson P.
458: 109247 [25 p.]
Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) was applied to ~180 medium- to large-scale solifluction features on the northern edge of Juyflye, Jotunheimen (southern Norway) using an electronic Schmidt-hammer (RockSchmidt) and an improved local SHD age-calibration equation. Age estimates from four different types of solifluction landforms were analysed and compared with those from recalibrated estimates from patterned ground previously investigated on Juvflye. Average SHD-age estimates are c. 9.8 and 9.3 ka for the two dominant morphological types of solifluction features (‘type A’ boulder tongues and ‘type B’ stone-banked solifluction lobes) and c. 8.6 ka for sorted stripes and circles. Our results indicate that active formation of all investigated types of solifluction features, sorted stripes, and sorted circles ceased in the Early Holocene, prior to the onset of the regional Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) at c. 7.7 ka. Formation of all of these periglacial landforms appears to have commenced shortly after local deglaciation (c. 11.4 ka) in water-saturated till. Alternative origins are rejected, including the possibility of development before the last glaciation, survival beneath cold-based glaciers, and exhumation in the Early Holocene. Cessation of activity is attributed to changing ground conditions affecting active layer processes, particularly reduced soil moisture and pore water pressure. Temporal variations of the altitudinal permafrost limits had little or no impact on the timing of either the Early Holocene climax in activity or subsequent stabilisation. Caution is therefore urged in the utilisation of large-scale solifluction and patterned ground landforms as palaeoclimatic indicators.
Monday, 03 June 2024 10:59