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Postglacial sedimentary and geomorphological evolution of a small sub-Antarctic fjord landscape, Stromness Bay, South Georgia

  • Nathalie Van der Putten
  • Cyriel Verbruggen
  • Helena Alexanderson
  • Svante Björck
  • Bart Van de Vijver
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 409-419
Publication/Series: Antarctic Science
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

A detailed stratigraphical, palaeoecological and geomorphological reconstruction of a fjord head on South Georgia (Husvik, Stromness Bay) is presented. Six sites were chosen to reconstruct the lithostratigraphy of the area by means of coring. A maximum depth of 11m was attained and the sediments encountered vary from coarse gravel over sands to fine silts with, in some cases, intercalated peat layers. Diatom analysis allowed determination of whether the sedimentological units were deposited in a marine or freshwater environment. Six radiocarbon dates constrain the chronology. Deglaciation of the area was completed in the early Holocene and the postglacial geomorphological evolution of Husdal (unofficial name) was controlled by fluvio-deltaic deposition and sea level changes. Relative sea level rise was faster than, or kept pace with the isostatic rebound of the land. Our results challenge the presence of Late Glacial and Holocene raised beach deposits in the area as reported in earlier geomorphological studies.


  • Geology
  • diatoms
  • Holocene relative sea level
  • raised beaches
  • stratigraphy
  • sub-Antarctic island


  • ISSN: 1365-2079
Helena Alexandersson
E-mail: helena [dot] alexanderson [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se


Quaternary Sciences

+46 46 222 44 83



Aeolian sand project

Project members
Members of the aeolian sand project: Martin Bernhardson, Sara Florén, Edyta Kalińska-Nartiša and Helena Alexanderson.

Read more about the project here.