Post-glacial rock weathering processes on a roche moutonn@e in the Riksgränsen area (68°N), northern Norway

John C. Dixon, Colin E. Thorn, Robert G. Darmody, Sean W. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Weathering processes responsible for landscape denudation in Arctic environments are poorly understood. Traditionally, gelifraction has been widely invoked as the dominant weathering process, but empirical support for this is frequently lacking. In Norwegian Lapland, post-glacial weathering has been recently attributed to predominantly biophysical processes, based on field measurements of landscape lowering undertaken by André (1995). The study reported here examined bedrock samples from one of André's sites for mineralogical and chemical transformations since post-glacial exposure. Backscatter scanning electron microscopy reveals extensive mineral grain dissolution and accompanying development of rock porosity. Wavelength dispersive spectroscopy shows these mineral alterations to be the result of the loss of major chemical constituents including Ca, Mg, K, Si, and Al. Chemical weathering is clearly a component of post-glacial landscape denudation in Norwegian Lapland, in addition to the important role of biophysical processes identified by André (1995). Cosmogenic dating of the sampled bedrock surface confirms that much of this weathering has occurred in the last 10,000 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Chemical Weathering
  • Landscape Evolution
  • Lapland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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