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Depositional origin of an adverse delta surface slope at Altermarka, northern Norway

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Based on grain-size analysis of sediment samples from a delta at Altermarka, it has previously been suggested that two tills were deposited on the delta surface as a glacier planed off the delta topsets and created its adverse surface slope. In this reinvestigation of the delta, there was no evidence that a glacier overrode the surface: the topset beds remain intact and no appreciable till was found. Sediments resembling the ‘till' samples were located, but soil processes and other sedimentary processes easily account for the wide grain-size distributions of these sediments. As a result, this study cautions against using grain-size analysis, on its own, to interpret the genesis of sediments. Other processes potentially responsible for the adverse surface slope include differential isostatic rebound, recent differential slip along ancient thrust faults, and failure of the delta surface to reach sea level. Based on the sedimentology of the topset beds and the local relative sea level history (indicating the delta (9495±70 14 C yr BP) formed about the time of the local marine limit (9560–9375 14 C yr BP) 17 m higher than the delta surface), the feature is determined to have built up below sea level with an adverse surface slope.

Keywords: glaciomarine delta; soils; stratigraphy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-06-01

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