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Towards an integration of process measurements, archive analysis and modelling in geomorphology — the Kärkevagge experimental site, Abisko area, northern Sweden

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The analysis of Holocene geomorphic process activity demands long–term data sets, which are available for the Kärkevagge catchment due to 50 years of intensive geomorphologic field studies. This data set is used in combination with additional field measurements, remote sensing and digital elevation model (DEM) analysis to provide input data for modelling Holocene valley development. On the basis of this information, geomorphic process units (GPUs) are defined by means of GIS modelling. These units represent areas of homogeneous process composition that transfer sediments. Since the data base enables the quantification of single processes, the interaction of processes within the units can also be quantified. Applying this concept permits calculation of recent sediment transfer rates and hence leads to a better understanding of actual geomorphic landscape development activity. To extrapolate these data in time and space the process–related sediments in the valley are analysed for depth and total volume, primarily using geophysical methods. In this fashion the validity of measured process rates is evaluated for the Holocene time scale. Results from this analysis are exemplified in a cross–profile showing some of the principal sediment units in the valley. For example, the measured modern rates on a slush torrent debris fan seem to represent the Holocene mean rate. This approach should also be suitable for revealing Holocene geomorphic landscape development in terms of climate change.
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Keywords: GIS; geophysics; modelling; periglacial geomorphology

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Jena, Germany 2: University of Jena, Germany, 3: Abisko Scientific Research Station, Sweden, 4: University of Reading, UK, 5: University of Basel, Switzerland

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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