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Plains, steps, hilly relief and valleys in northern Sweden-review, intrepretations and implications for conclusions on Phanerozoic tectonics.

Authors Karna Lidmar-Bergström
Mats Olvmo
Issue 838
Pages 42
ISSN 1103-3371
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 42
Language en
Keywords Geomorphology, Northern Sweden, Phanerozoic tectonics
Subject categories Physical Geography


The historical development of observations, ideas and concepts in the field of large-scale geomorphology in northern Sweden is reviewed. Interpretations of the origin of landforms by different authors are discussed. The relief differentiation of basement rocks was recognised early on and flat areas in many settings were identified as a sub-Cambrian peneplain. Undulating hilly relief extends over large areas of central and northern Sweden, but no explanation was given in the early papers. Plains with residual hills in stepped sequences were also identified, particularly in the far north, and could find explanations in the international literature. Lately the relief differentiation has been used to suggest temporary covers by relating developments to conditions in south Sweden, where the South Swedish Dome has been found to be a key area. This gives arguments for differential uplift of three Scandinavian domes: the Northern Scandes, the Southern Scandes and the South Swedish Dome. We also summarise arguments for the view that glacial erosion has generally had little effect on the large-scale landscape. The relief of re-exposed surfaces in southern Sweden and plateaux in Norway and Greenland supports the reliability in reconstruction of stepped peneplains in the Swedish mountains as well. On the other hand, the form and depth of valleys in relation to mapped peneplains have given some hints on the locally pronounced impact of deep glacial erosion. We also note that some watergaps have been used for tectonic conclusions. The Swedish approach with relief descriptions and studies of the relation of basement relief to covers has been found to be a good method for drawing conclusions on Phanerozoic tectonics in basement terrain.

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