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Palsas in Härjedalen, Sweden: 1910 and 1998 Compared

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In 1998 an area near Helagsfjället in Härjedalen was investigated in an attempt to relocate palsas discovered by the botanist Harry Smith in 1910. Several small palsa-like features with ice cores were detected. The palsas were found on an almost flat peat bog at 950 m, 3 km NW of Helagsfjället. Five clearly elevated mounds and some indistinct ones with palsa-like features were traced. The five mounds were about 0.6 m high and had an area of about 2 × 3 m. One of the mounds was examined in more detail. At a depth of 0.3 m in the peat an ice body with a hard ice core was found. This location is the most southerly area known with occurrence of palsa-like forms in Sweden at the present time. In spite of a warmer climate towards the latter part of this century, palsa-like features have survived in this area. The mean annual temperature barely fits the criterion for palsa formation while the mean annual precipitation is too high as compared with the general assumptions. The palsa formation is probably dependent on strong winds thinning out the snowcover.

Keywords: Spitsbergen; chemical constituents; ice core; superimposed ice

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0435-3676.2000.00110.x

Affiliations: Department of Applied Science, Mid Sweden University, Härnösand, Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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