Evidence for rapid paraglacial formation of rock glaciers in southern Norway from 10Be surface-exposure dating
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionQuaternary Research. 2020, 97, 55 - 70 10.1017/qua.2020.10
We evaluate the timing and environmental controls on past rock-glacier activity at Øyberget, upper Ottadalen, southern Norway, using in situ 10Be surface-exposure dating on (1) boulders belonging to relict rock-glacier lobes at c. 530 m asl, (2) bedrock and boulder surfaces at the Øyberget summit (c. 1200 m asl), and (3) bedrock at an up-valley site (c. 615 m asl). We find that the rock-glacier lobes became inactive around 11.1 ± 1.2 ka, coeval with the timing of summit deglaciation (11.2 ± 0.7 ka). This is slightly older than previously published Schmidt-hammer surface-exposure ages. The timing does not match known climatic conditions promoting rock-glacier formation in the early Holocene; hence we infer that lobe formation resulted from enhanced debris supply and burial of residual ice during and soon after deglaciation. The results demonstrate that rock glaciers may form over a relatively short period of time (hundreds rather than thousands of years) under non-permafrost conditions and possibly indicate a paraglacial type of process.