Late Weichselian environmental history in southeastern Sweden during the deglaciation of the Scandinavian ice sheet
Summary, in English
Late Weichselian litho-, bio-, and chronostratigraphy (14C and varves) in southeastern Sweden provide a detailed picture of the deglaciation pattern and dynamics, shore displacement, late-glacial sedimentation, and history of the landscape, vegetation, and climate. Two plausible glacial models were tested against lithologic, chronologic, and climatic data. Permafrost at and outside the ice margin and topographic conditions beneath the ice apparently caused inward spread of frozen glacier-bed conditions. This led to a buildup of a large zone of debris-rich basal ice. A climatic amelioration about 12,700 yr B.P. changed the temperature profile in the ice sheet. Deposition of basal melt-out till began at the previously frozen glacier bed, and a rapid recession of the clean ice set in; thin exposed debris-rich basal ice which was separated from the active ice margin about 150 yr later. In this zone of stagnant ice there followed a 200– 300-yr period marked by subglacial and supraglacial melt-out and resedimentation, forming a large hummocky/transverse moraine. The mild climate favored rapid plant immigration, and a park-tundra was established. The gradual closing of the landscape was interrupted by a 100- to 150-yr period of tundra vegetation and a cool, dry climate, with local vegetational differences caused by differences in soil moisture. About 12,000 yr B.P. a second climatic amelioration set in, and during the next 1000 yr a birch (and pine) woodland gradually developed. Soils stabilized and Empetrum heaths became abundant as the climate gradually deteriorated at the end of this period. By 11,000 yr B.P. the area had become a tundra again with scattered birch stands, dominated by herbs such as Artemisia, Chenopodiaceae, grasses, and sedges. Some 500 yr later a birch/pine woodland again succeeded, and within about 500 yr the vegetation changed to a rather closed woodland as the climate ameliorated further. However, the time lag between climatic and vegetation change was considerable.
- Quaternary Sciences
- ISSN: 0033-5894