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Geomorphology and topography of relict surfaces; the influence of inherited crustal structure in the northern Scandinavian Mountains

Elizabeth R. Schermer, Thomas F. Redfield, Kjetil Indrevaer and Steffen G. Bergh
Geomorphology and topography of relict surfaces; the influence of inherited crustal structure in the northern Scandinavian Mountains
Journal of the Geological Society of London (August 2016) 174 (1): 93-109

Abstract

Low-relief surfaces in northern Norway are mapped and analysed to explore (1) whether surfaces were once continuous and possibly correlative, recording an ancient, relict landscape, (2) whether the distribution of (now disrupted) surfaces reveals a tectonic history related to rifting of the North Atlantic and (3) how topography changes across the transition between the North Atlantic and Barents Sea margins. Elevation contours on surfaces, a smoothed fit to mean elevations and histograms of elevation show three distinct, coast-parallel zones onshore northern Norway, and a different pattern in coastal Lofoten-Vesteralen. A sharp transition from continuous surfaces to lower, discretely stepped, discontinuous surfaces is located where the crust thins rapidly to the NW from >39 to <25 km. In margin-parallel transects, elevations remain high for >100 km north of the Senja Fracture Zone and then decrease gradually further NE. The spatial pattern suggests that a continuous, low-relief, relatively low-elevation surface formed in late Mesozoic time and was preserved despite modification by Cenozoic faulting, uplift and slow erosion. Scandinavia's present-day topographic envelope reflects a crustal strength profile set up during earlier hyperextension and maintained by slow Neogene erosion rather than resulting from opening of the North Atlantic or caused by glacial erosion. Supplementary material: A map of polygons of all surface heights within the study area and data on the location of median centres of polygons, assigned attributes and selected zonal statistics are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3312960


ISSN: 0016-7649
EISSN: 2041-479X
Coden: JGSLAS
Serial Title: Journal of the Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 174
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Geomorphology and topography of relict surfaces; the influence of inherited crustal structure in the northern Scandinavian Mountains
Affiliation: Western Washington University, Geology Department, Bellingham, WA, United States
Pages: 93-109
Published: 20160818
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 122
Accession Number: 2016-087159
Categories: GeomorphologyStructural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N68°00'00" - N71°00'00", E15°00'00" - E25°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Norwegian Geological Survey, NOR, NorwayUniversity of Oslo, NOR, NorwayUniversity of Tromso, NOR, Norway
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201643
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