Glacial geomorphology and raised shorelines in the Skardsströnd-Saurbaer area, West Iceland

University essay from Lunds universitet/Geologiska institutionen

Abstract: Glacial and marine geomorphological features have been studied and mapped on the south coast of Gilsfjördur West-Iceland. In this region the main Icelandic ice-sheet is supposed to have met with a separate Vestfirdir ice-cap. Fossiliferous sediments in the area are assumed to be of Late Weichselian age. Sediment terraces in the valley mouths indicate that smaller glaciers existed in the valleys along the coast during the deglaciation. These terraces are variously interpreted as sandar, deltas, valley fills or till areas. Part of the sediments in Fagridalur, Belgsdalur, Hvítidalur, Olafsdalur and Garpsdalur are interpreted as terminal moraines. The surfaces of the sediment terraces show signs of marine erosion in the form of wave-cut cliffs and beach ridges. The marine limit is about 75-80 m a.s.l. in most valleys. No E-W shoreline gradient is evident within the area. Strandline features at lower levels indicate a more or less constant sea-level for a period of time during the general regression. The part of the map which is most interesting is the Saurbaer area, especially the Tjaldanes and Holtaland terraces and the valleys south thereof. Here the evidence of two glacier stillstands has been claimed to exist. According to a single 14C-dating of subfossil molluscs the Tjaldanes and Holtaland sediment terraces are from about 11.620 BP.

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