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Little ice age alluvial fan development in Langedalen, western Norway

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This paper reports a preliminary investigation of the sedimentary succession in two alluvial fans in western Norway. Sedimentological information is supplemented by palaeoecological data from pollen analysis and the age of the sequence is constrained by six radiocarbon age estimates on woody fragments and peat. These data suggest that significant accumulation of fan sediments took place afterAD1637–1685. Before this, the fluvial landscape and the adjacent slopes may have been more stable with the development of Betula, Salix and Alnus woodland on the valley floor and sides. Although there is no indication of gradual climatic deterioration in the vegetation record from these sites, the radiocarbon chronology suggests that enhanced fan development was coincident with the climatic change associated with the ‘Little Ice Age’. This was probably a response to glacier expansion and increased discharge and sediment supply to the alluvial fans from outlets of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap on the southern side of Langedalen. Initial response to climate change in this setting was therefore enhanced geomorphic activity and instability of the valley-side slopes.
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Keywords: arctic; chemical weathering; periglacial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK, 2: School of Environment, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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