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Evidence for birch forests and a highly productive environment near the margin of the Fennoscandian ice sheet in the Värriötunturit area, northeastern Finland
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

High-resolution records of early Holocene deposits are rare, and as a consequence reconstruction of terrestrial environments very soon after the deglaciation has often been difficult. In this study the palaeoenvironmental conditions of early Holocene (c. 10600-7500 cal. yr BP) are reconstructed in the Värriötunturit area of northeastern Finland, using evidence from plant macrofossils and pollen preserved in a lake sediment sequence retrieved from the small lake Kuutsjärvi. Special emphasis is put on the environment immediately following the deglaciation as the base of the sediment sequence is rich in minerogenic material interpreted to have been deposited by meltwater pulses from the retreating ice sheet. The abundance and variety of fossil remains in these early meltwater deposits provide evidence for a very productive ice-marginal environment in the area between the lake and the ice sheet, and the presence of tree-type Betula macro remains as well as high percentage values of tree-type Betula pollen suggests that a subarctic birch forest established just a few years after the deglaciation. In the following centuries the birch forest around the lake became rich in an under growth of ferns, and at c. 9400 cal. yr BP a transition into a mixed pine and birch forest took place. Due to absence of indicator plant taxa in the sediment it was not possible to reconstruct temperature conditions for any parts of the sequence in this study. However, the rapid colonisation of birch forests suggests that the climate was warm already during deglaciation, which is also in accordance with climatic conditions reconstructed for the early Holocene in the nearby Sokli area just 10 km away, as well as in other parts of Fennoscandia and Russia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Early Holocene, productive ice-marginal environment, subarctic birch forests, plant macrofossils, pollen, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, palaeoclimate reconstructions, Värriötunturit, Kuutsjärvi, northeastern Finland, northern Fennoscandia
National Category
Physical Geography Climate Research Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170716OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170716DiVA, id: diva2:1337407
External cooperation
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki
Presentation
2019-06-10, U36, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-16 Created: 2019-07-14 Last updated: 2019-07-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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