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Inherited Landforms and Glacial Impact of Different Palaeosurfaces in Southwest Sweden

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Abstract:

Landforms are used as analytical tools to separate inherited features from the glacial impact on Precambrian basement rocks in southwest Sweden. The study covers three different palaeosurfaces, the sub-Cambrian peneplain (relative relief (r.r.) 0–20 m) with the character of a pediplain, an uplifted and dissected part of the sub-Cambrian peneplain (r.r. 5–40 m) and an etch-surface (r.r. 20–135 m), presumably sub-Mesozoic. The surfaces were recently re-exposed, probably due to a Neogene upheaval with some pre-glacial reshaping. Strong structural control and no alignment with glacial erosional directions other than those coinciding with structures, are arguments for etch processes as a most important agent for relief differentiation. This is strengthened by the occurrence of saprolite residues and etchforms in protected positions.

The glacial reshaping of the sub-Cambrian flat bedrock surfaces is negligible. The glacial impact becomes more evident in the uplifted and dissected parts of the peneplain and within the hilly sub-Mesozoic surface. The higher the initial relief the more effect of glacial erosion on individual hills, both on the abrading side, with formation of roches moutonnées, and on the plucking side. Detailed etchforms are preserved in protected positions in spite of erosion by a clearly wet-based ice. The magnitude of the Pleistocene glacial erosion is considerably less than the amplitude of the palaeorelief in the entire area.

Landscapes of areal glacial scouring have been described as comprising irregular depressions with intervening bosses scraped by ice and labelled ‘knock and lochan’ topography, but we suggest that an etched bedrock surface is a prerequisite for this type of landscape to develop.

Keywords: etching.; glacial erosion; landforms; palaeosurfaces

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Science and Geography, Karlstad University, SE-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden 2: Department of Physical Geography, Göteborg University, Box 460, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden 3: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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