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Saprolite Remnants as Indicators of Pre-Glacial Landform Genesis in Southeast Sweden

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Abstract

Twenty-six sites with remnants of gravelly saprolites (grus) have been located in southeast Sweden. Joint block hills (castle kopjes) and steep rock walls with weathered joints as well as rounded boulders are documented to have an origin in deep weathering and subsequent stripping of saprolites. The saprolite remnants and landforms result from the fragmentation of the re-exposed sub-Cambrian peneplain along fracture systems. Only shallow saprolites occur on the elevated intact parts of the sub-Cambrian peneplain, while saprolites up to 20 m thick are encountered in areas where the sub-Cambrian peneplain is fractured and dissected. Neogene uplift with reactivation of the weathering system is thought to be the main cause of saprolite formation. Deep weathering is thus judged to have been the major agent of landform formation in the study area, while glacial and glaciofluvial erosion has contributed mainly by stripping saprolites, detaching corestones, and plucking joint blocks along weathered joints.
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Keywords: Neogene weathering; glacial erosion; glaciofluvial erosion; joint block hills; landscape genesis; saprolite; south Sweden

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Earth Sciences Centre, Physical Geography, Göteborg University, Sweden 2: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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