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Svante Björck

Svante Björck

Professor emeritus

Svante Björck

Quaternary of Norden


  • Barbara Wohlfarth
  • Svante Björck
  • Svend Funder
  • Michael Houmark-Nielsen

Summary, in English

Nordic countries have experienced multiple glaciations and intervening interglacials during the last ca. 2.5-3 million years. Although evidence from Greenland and Iceland shows that ice sheets started to expand some time before 3 Ma, little is known about the glaciations and intervening interglacials older than the last Glacial Maximum due to repeated phases of glacial erosion and reworking. The extensive Saalian glaciation (c. 140 ka BP) contributed to high sea levels in Greenland and in the Baltic area during the early part of the last interglacial (Eemian). Temperatures were about 5 C higher during the Eemian than they are today and the Greenland ice sheet was reduced to about half of its present size, causing globally higher sea levels than we have today. Ice extent in Fennoscandia was restricted during early Weichselian stadials, but middle Weichselian ice advances in Scandinavia reached as far as Denmark. During the Last Glacial Maximum, large ice sheets were present in all Nordic countries and coalesced with neighboring ice sheets. Deglaciation commenced around 17-15 ka BP in most areas and was promoted by rapidly rising global sea level and glacial isostasy. The Younger Dryas cold event(c. 12.6-11.5 ka BP) is seen as a short-term re-advance, still-stand or fluctuation of land-based ice sheet margins. Around 7-9 ka BP ice sheets had disappeared or had attained their present size. While uplift is still going on in some regions, others are subject to submergence. The different stages of development of the Baltic Sea are an example of how the intricate interplay between glacial eustasy and isostasy influences sedimentation, basin size and drainage patterns.


  • Quaternary Sciences

Publishing year












Document type

Conference paper


International Union of Geological Sciences


  • Geology


  • Nordic countries
  • Quaternary geology

Conference name

33rd International Geological Congress

Conference date

2008-08-06 - 2008-08-14

Conference place

Oslo, Norway




  • ISSN: 0705-3797