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The Lagarfljót Project

Vatnajökull meltwater discharge variability - an unexplored Holocene climate sensor in the Nordic Sea Region

 

SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES AND AIMS

The first objective of this research project is to retrieve a continuous Holocene sediment sequence from Lake Lögurinn on northeastern Iceland. Since this almost 30 km long lake is part of the drainage system of one of Vatnajökull´s surging outlet glaciers, Eyjabakkajökull, it most likely contains a long distal glacio-lacustrine sediment record of melt-water discharge and sediment transport. In historical time, when the lake has functioned as the main drainage channel for the glacier, it is known that the sediments consist of glacial annual varves. Glacier-free periods, if at all they existed, should be characterized by limnic, more organic-rich sediments and can be 14C dated.

The aim of the project is seven-fold.

(1)   We want to obtain a general glacial history of Vatnajökull as expressed by oscillations of the surging Eyjabakkajökull glacier by distinguishing glacial and less/non-glacial periods from the sediment features and set up a general chronology for these periods.

(2)   We intend to analyze the sediments in terms of grain-size and varve properties and calibrate these parameters in the most recent glacial varves to local and national weather records, to glaciological observations and to the gauged melt-water record of Eyjabakkajökull (cf. Sander 2003).

(3)   We aim to quantify climate factors and melt-water discharge variations by the calibration model, and thereby achieving a detailed Holocene environmental history of the Vatnajökull region, the heart of the Nordic Seas. The climates of potential glacial-free periods will be reconstructed through alternative climate proxy methods.

(4)   We want to identify lithologic surge signatures; the lake system contains signals of the last (melt-water rich) surges of Eyjabakkajökull - 1890, 1931, 1938 and 1972 - and thereby the surge record may be extended far back in time.

(5)   We will improve and refine the tephrochronology of the Nordic Sea region, by additional finds and refined datings of tephras of Icelandic origin.

(6)   We intend to construct the first continuous Icelandic Holocene vegetation record for this - the most continental - part of Iceland.

(7)   Finally, we aim to significantly increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind both the large scale regional mechanisms of Holocene climate change in the region, decadal climate variability as well as the processes behind the many sudden climate events recorded in regional proxy records; Vatnajökull sits in a climatically very sensitive and strategic position.

Different hypotheses may be tested, and questions put forward within the project:

·        Did the Vatnajökull ice cap more or less disappear during the early-mid Holocene climate thermal maximum, and if so, what change in climate caused this impressive glacial system to re-form in the midst of an interglacial?

·        Is the presently distinct NAO related climate pattern, with Iceland forming its northern dipole, a fairly young phenomenon with the onset of the Little Ice Age marking a climate mode change? Or has the NAO decadal climatic phasing been over-shadowed by millennial-scale variability in the older records?

·        Is the millennial scale variability in thermohaline circulation (THC) initiated by changes in the cryosphere/hydrological cycle, or have atmospheric processes played the leading role?

·        Did changes in solar output play a forcing role for these changes, e.g., by promoting latitudinal shifts of the Hadley cell circulation and changing positions of the jet stream?

·        Is the surging behavior of Icelandic glaciers a recent phenomenon, i.e., related to NAO, or is this a recurrent Holocene behavior that provides us with additional information about climate forcing factors, e.g., solar forcing of the cryosphere?

An annual melt-water signal from Vatnajökull may help to answer these questions, and the presence of a seasonal resolution (winter and summer) through large parts of the Holocene would make this a unique record.


Lake Lögurinn sceneries. Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Holocene climate variability in the North Atlantic region is a fairly well-studied topic, as shown by the recent PEP III volume (Battarbee et al. 2004). However, most of the studied proxy records only represent restricted areas and one obvious conclusion from the many studies is the high degree of spatial variability observed in regions like the European seaboard - Greenland (see Snowball et al. 2004), here called ESG. Although many local climate records exist, documenting absolute or relative outlines of precipitation and temperature change, the lack of data concerning winter proxies and major cryospheric changes is striking. The idea of a progressive early Holocene deglaciation, leading to a fairly glacier free period in Iceland and Fennoscandia between 8000-4000 cal yr BP, followed by the so-called Neoglaciation some time after 4000 cal yr BP, is still the main concept for Holocene glacial history in the ESG region. Although local Holocene glacier variations have been reported in numerous publications (e.g. Karlén 1988; Nesje et al. 2001) the Holocene glacial history of the Vatnajökull glacial system, with its many large outlet glaciers, is poorly known. It is one of the largest ice caps outside Antarctica and Greenland and is positioned in the centre of (i) the Nordic Seas, (ii) the region for North Atlantic Deep Water formation, and (iii) the influence from the humid-bearing cyclone systems from the southwest. Thus, it can be regarded as a sensor for a combination of regional climatic driving processes. A lengthy melt-water signal from any major outlet glacier of Vatnajökull would, therefore, be of immense value for reconstructing largescale climate dynamics of the region. Furthermore, Iceland is the source for the vast majority of distal postglacial tephras in the ESG region, and a long continuous Holocene sequence close to Vatnajökull would be very valuable for significantly refining the still fairly incomplete regional tephrochronology (Haflidason et al. 2000).

Lake Lögurinn is in a sensitive position in relation to the Vatnajökull ice sheet; it drains Eyjabakkajökull – an important outlet glacier from Vatnajökull - towards the northeast, it was deglaciated early during the last deglaciation of the Icelandic ice sheet, it is situated in a distal position in relation to the large ice sheet, and it forms a conspicuous sediment trap for melt-water sediments. Its differentiated bottom topography also implies that it may contain a variety of sediment packages, of which some may be fairly easily penetrated by ‘standard’ limnic coring equipment.

  
The outlet of Jökulsá á Fljótsdal at Ejabakkajökull. Photo: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

General description of the study area - Fljótsdalur-Fljótdalshérađ: This is a long and broad valley that runs in a SW-NE direction inside the coast in E Iceland. The valley is glacially sculptured and has served as a major conduit of ice during the last and previous glaciations on Iceland. The area lies northeast of the large Vatnajökull ice cap (8100 km2) and is partly in a precipitation shadow from the moist southerly winds that generate rains and snow in Iceland. Southerly winds often cause föhn-winds in Fljótsdalur, which combined with a distance of >20 km from the cool coastal waters, causes the present climate to be more continental than at other sites in Iceland, and summers often to be relatively warm and sunny. It is one of few Icelandic regions where proper birch forests occur. For these reasons it is the most suitable area in Iceland for paleobotanical/paleoecological studies.


Satellite photo of Iceland (NASA) and a map of Eastern Iceland, showing the location of Lake Lagarfljót.

Lake Lögurinn - This 30 km long and up to 2.8 km wide lake  is a central landscape element in Fljótsdalur and covers an area of about 53 km˛. The lake surface is situated at 20 m a.s.l. and its deepest basin has a water depth of 112 m; reaching about 90 m below sea level. The lake basin has been over-deepened by erosional activities of glaciers during repeated Quaternary glaciations. It receives input from two major rivers, Jökulsá í Fljótsdal and Grímsá, and many small rivers/streams.


Lögurinn-Lagarfljót, seen from the East. The town in foreground is Egilsstađir. Photo composite: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

Jökulsá á Flótsdal is a glacial river that drains Eyjabakkajökull, an important surging outlet glacier in the NE part of Vatnajökull. A large glacial lake is situated in front of the northeastward moving glacier, where the front is situated at c. 750 m a.s.l., and the drainage water first spills into a glacial lake at the ice front of Eyjabakkajökull and thereafter drains towards the northeast. After c. 13 km the glacial river enters a narrow and steep valley, and after another c. 22 km the water ends up in the >700 m lower situated southwestern end of Fljótsdalur. Finally, the river, which has a mean annual discharge of  about 35 m3/sec and maximum summer discharge of  ca. 370 m3/sec, delivers its sedimentary load into Lögurinn via a braided system forming a large prograding delta into Lögurinn. Glacial flour from the melt-water colours the lake, giving it a whitish-opaque to whitish-greenish colour. In addition a large non-glacial river, Grímsá, enters Lögurinn at its northeastern shore. Lake Lögurinn drains towards NE via Lagarfljót, which has a mean annual discharge of 114 m3/sec and ends up at the coast of NE Iceland.

Late Quaternary history of the study area - The onset of the last deglaciation of Iceland was characterized by a rapid glacial retreat from the Iceland shelf and onto present-day dry land, when high raised shorelines were formed in NE Iceland: these are dated to 14500-14000 cal yr BP. This was followed by a relative sea-level regression, when the Icelandic inland ice-sheet reached a temporary minimum size (Ingólfsson & Norđdahl 2001; Hubbard et al. in press; Norđdahl & Pétursson 2005). Subsequent transgression phases, interrupted by a short-lived regression, formed two sets of raised shorelines at different altitudes throughout Iceland. These shorelines have been dated and correlated with two glacial re-advances at about 12000 and 11300 cal yr BP, correlated to the Younger Dryas cold period and the Preboreal oscillation, (Björck et al. 1997; Norđdahl & Pétursson 2005). Sea-level fell below present sea-level at about 10600 cal yr BP (Ingólfsson et al. 1995). The raised shorelines in outer Fljótsdalshérađ also display two sets of raised shorelines, related to two glacier events in the area (Norđdahl & Pétursson 2005). In the Fljótsdalshérađ region the glacier fronts were situated in the inner parts of the fjords during the Younger Dryas, while the Preboreal glacial re-advance only reached the head of the fjords (Hjartarson et al. 1981; Norđdahl & Einarsson 1988, 2001; Norđdahl & Hjort 1995). The two sets of raised shorelines in Fljótsdalshérađ can be followed for 80 km from the coast and towards the south. The northernmost, higher and older set of shorelines is situated between 35 and 45 m a.s.l. and has been traced for about 20 km south of the present coast. The lower and younger set of shorelines, situated between 20 and 80 km, rises from about 25 to 75 m a.s.l. along a north-south transect in Fljótsdalshérađ (Hjartarson et al. 1981). Two unpublished 14C dates (Á. Hjartarson, pers comm.) indicate that the area was finally deglaciated and emerged from the sea in late Preboreal time and that the younger set of raised shorelines is possibly of Preboreal age. It is therefore likely that the older set of shorelines were formed during the Younger Dryas, when the Fljótsdalur outlet glacier reached to a point some 20 km inside the present coast. This observation implies that Lake Lögurinn could contain 10000-11000 years worth of sediments. The inner part of Lake Lögurinn was therefore deglaciated subsequently to the formation of the younger set of shorelines and the basin was thus a glaciomarine fjord until late Preboreal time, i.e. c. 10000 cal yr BP. The initial deglaciation took place during the prevailing warm Břlling climate – some 14200 cal yr BP – and resulted in a restricted sized ice-cap in the centre of Iceland (cf. Vatnajökull) and ice-free coastal areas.) According to this scenario the Lögurinn basin should have undergone its first deglacial glaciomarine stage as a deep fjord during this warm stage; this ‘Břlling collapse’ of the Icelandic ice sheet (Ingólfsson & Norđdahl 2001) is an illustration of how sensitively the ice cap has reacted to changes in the ambient atmosphere and ocean.

The Lögurinn sediments – A pilot project, whose aim was to investigate the sediment record of Lake Lögurinn and quantify rates of erosion and sedimentation, was carried out by an Icelandic geologist then based at the Department of Geography, University of Ontario, Canada, Kristinn A. Guđjónsson, in the mid-1990’s. Results on seismic stratigraphy of the lake were published by Guđjónsson & Desloges (1997) and in Hallgrímsson (2005). Guđjónsson found sediment thicknesses away from the Jökulsá á Fljótsdal delta, in the central basin of the lake, to exceed 80 m. Maximum sediment thicknesses in the northeastern part of the basin are, according to his seismics, in the order of ca. 30 m. He described four accoustic facies of sediments, and proposed that the lowermost facies was marine sediments of early postglacial age and the uppermost facies was of neoglacial (younger than 2000 years) age. He retrieved shallow cores which showed the uppermost facies to be made of varved sediments. Furthermore, Guđjónsons calculations indicate that average sedimentation rates for the different units are in the order of 1,14-5,67 mm/yr. This high sedimentation rates makes for an unique opportunity to retrieve a high-resolution sedimentary record for the whole Holocene from Lögurinn. Six shallow cores retrieved by us in June 2006 confirm the varved character of the Lögurinn sediments.

  
Anni Madsen with one of the surface sediment cores retrieved in June 2006. To the right: a split core, showing the laminated (varved) sediments. Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson and S. Björck, 2006.

Project realization -  Field work – Seismic survey: The first part of the field work was carried out in June 2006 as a seismic survey in the northernmost part of Lake Lögurinn to find the optimal stratigraphy; this part of the basin forms a small sub-basin protected from mass movements/gravity flows from the south by a moraine ridge forming a sill at -20 m. An Icelandic company, Kjartan Thors Jarđfrćđistofa, was contracted to carry out the seismic survey.


Top: Seismic equipments loaded aboard the boat for carrying out the seismic survey.The boat during seismic surveying (bottom). Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006. The coring sites are in the northernmost part of Lake Lögurinn. The lines drawn mark seismic survey lines. The Freyssnes peninsula is a moraine ridge, which also forms a sill in the lake. For scaling, note that the distance between Freyssnes and FM17 is 1 km. Contour lines mark water depths. Outlet of the lake is situated at the bridge in the upper right corner.

Field workCoring: The first part of the coring programme, when six shallow cores were retrieved for surface sediment analyses as well as piloting the sediment characteristics of the basin, was carried out during the last week of June 2006. The long-core-part of the field work was carried out during 7 days of fieldwork in September 2006.  The corings were carried out in the northernmost and most distal part of the lake, in water depths of ca. 38 m. The seismic survey has revealed details about sediment thickness, and provided information that made it possible to retrieve a roughly 12 m sequence. We used a Uwitec Niederreiter 60 piston corer from an anchored Uwitec designed raft. This equipment is designed to be able to retrieve at least 30 m of  sediments, and can handle waterdepths of up to 100 m. The sediment sequence wias recovered in a number of 3 m segments with a diameter of 6 cm. Each 3 m segment was cored with ca 1 m overlap to the over- and underlying segments to ensure safe correlations between segments. Two parallel, overlapping sequences were cored within the sub-basin, to ensure that varve thicknesses are compatible. In addition, each core was measured with a magnetic susceptibility loop sensor in the field to ensure completeness and correlation between the cores. While the seismic survey was performed by an Icelandic company, the corings were carried out by the research group itself. The Swedish researchers transported the coring equipment from Sweden to Iceland, with the ship Norröna from Denmark to Seydisfjördur in eastern Iceland, only some 20 km from Lake Lögurinn.


Photos from the fieldwork: The coring rig (left), preparing the piston corer (middle), and measuring magnetic susceptibility in the field (right). All photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

Laboratory work - The cores were transported from Egilsstađir to Lund,  and stored in the cold room of the Quaternary Sciences core repository. Lund University laboratories will be used for sampling the cores.

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Lithologic analyses: The cores will first be split into halves for lithologic descriptions, long core scanning magnetic susceptibility, x-ray analyses and annual layer (varves) counting. The latter will be performed on one of the two halves from each sequence with one of the department´s tree-ring measurement equipments. Varve counting from at least parts of both sequences must be carried out, after which the ‘master core’ is picked out. Parts of the time-consuming work of layer measurements have to be carried out by at least two persons to calculate error margins. To analyse the hydrologic signal behind the varves, thickness of both summer and winter layers have to be measured as well as occasional grain-size analyses. To ensure calibration with hydrologic and meteorologic data these type of analyses have to be made on all layers of the last century. Presence of lake IRD (particles>250µm) will also be analysed for obtaining information on changes in extent of lake ice and strong winds. This has recently shown to be a useful proxy in two Faroe Island lakes (Andresen et al. submitted). It is planned to store a reference half of each core, while working halves will be used for the following analyses.


A three meter segment of the Lögurinn lake sediment core (left); details from the core, showing clear varve coplets (middle); peat core from Egilsstađir (right). All photos by Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

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Tephra chemistry: All tephra horizons will be sampled for geochemical analyses. An important part of this work will be to identify historical tephras to obtain age control for the varve chronology. We will also be able to obtain more detailed ages of older tephras as well as finding tephras not previously described from this part of Iceland. The tephra analyses will be carried out at University of Bergen, Norway.

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Paleomagnetism/mineral magnetism: The core will be continuously sampled for palaeomagnetic and mineral magnetic properties. The expected sediment accumulation rate is within the same range shown by varved lake sediments in Fennoscandia that have produced excellent secular variation and paleointensity records (e.g. Snowball & Sandgren, 2002; Ojala and Saarinen, 2002). Mineral magnetic data - necessary for proper paleomagnetic studies - will also provide additional information about sediment sources, grain size variability, and most likely a preliminary record of tephra deposition. All paleomagnetic analyses will be carried out at Lund University paleomagnetic laboratory.

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Geochemistry and biogenic silica: The content of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S) and biogenic silica (BioSi) will be measured in detail where any changes in these elements occur. It is expected that even the ‘glacial’ sediments (varves) will contain some organic material as well as diatom frustules since the large non-glacial river Grímsá, with its big catchment, should have a detectable influence on the lake sediments; changes in the content of organic material and BioSi in the varves may be a signal of varying influence from glacial melt-water/discharge. In case Vatnajökull more or less disappeared and organic sediments are found, these will be analysed in detail with respect to C, N, S and BioSi for paleolimnologic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Analyses of geochemistry will be carried out at Lund University laboratories.

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Pollen analyses: Owing to the large influence from river Grímsá and the relatively rich vegetation in the area, we expect that the pollen concentration in the sediments will be high enough for a paleobotanical study. The presence of very fine-grained sediments will make it possible to sieve the sediments in a fine mesh before preparation and the (annual) varves will make influx determinations very secure. The latter will be true for all types of ‘concentration analyses’ in the varved sediments. Pollen analyses will be carried out at Lund University and at University of Iceland, in Reykjavík. A MSc project is planned on the pollen record, at University of Iceland. The student will be trained in Lund (courses, laboratory techniques), and do analytical work at University of Iceland.

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Macrofossil analyses: The large discharge from river Grímsá, running through one of Iceland´s most vegetation-rich areas, has most likely brought coarse organic remains into the lake, which will provide us with macrofossils. These will be an additional tool for paleoecologic analyses and provide us with ‘reservoir effect-free’ 14C dates. Macrofossil analyses will be carried out at Lund University.

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14C age determinations:  We plan an extensive sampling for radiocarbon dating of macrofossils in the sediment core. This will be done to ensure good chronology for the sequence, for checking the tephrostratigraphy and for dating possible previously unknown tephras in the area. The 14C age determinations will be carried out at he AMS dating laboratory at Lund University.


Lagarfljót sceneries. Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

THE RESEARCH GROUP

The PhD project: The project has funds to finance a three-year PhD position, placed at Lund University. The PhD position was announced internationally in early 2006 and awarded to Anni Madsen. Her work will concentrate on lithologic analyses of the sampled cores. These comprise detailed logging of the sequence, x-ray analyses, varve measurements of all the cored segments, varve correlations, grain-size analyses (incl. IRD particles), and calibration between sediment properties and meteorological/ hydrological records. We also envisage that the student will work with paleomagnetic/ mineral magnetic analyses. The PhD thesis will revolve around the chronology of the cored sequence, the climate signals in the clastic sediment properties and the magnetic proxies.

An Icelandic-Swedish cooperation – This project is a collaborative effort between Icelandic and Swedish scientists, where Professor Ólafur Ingólfsson, University of Iceland, is the Icelandic principle investigator (PI), and professor Svante Björck, Lund University, is the Swedish PI. Behind the PI´s there is a group of researchers who will also be engaged in the project. An Icelandic project focussing on the surge record of Eyjabakkajökull, as preserved in the forefield sedimentary and geomorphological archives will run parallel to our project. This is part of a PhD project on surge records of three Icelandic surging glaciers, Brúarjökull, Eyjabakkajökull and Múlajökull, lead by Ó. Ingólfsson. A PhD student at University of Iceland, Ívar Örn Benediktsson, is working towards his degree within that project. It will therefore be possible to obtain a more holistic picture of the long ‘chain-of-processes’ between the glacier itself and the end product in the form of distal glaciolacustrine sediments.


Participants studying paleomagnetic results. From left Sverrir, Ívar, Anni, Ian and Svante (left); Ian making paleomagnetic measurements (middle); Per in the zodiac on Lögurinn (right). Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

From Quaternary Sciences in Lund, Svante Björck will be the project leader and will, together with Anni Madsen, be much engaged with the lithology of the sediments but he will also work with the paleolimnologic aspects of the project. Associate professor Ian Snowball and professor Per Sandgren, both at Lund University,  will be key persons on the coring logistics but also on paleomagnetic and mineral magnetic issues. Ian Snowball will also be heavily engaged with building up the chronology of the sequence.


Participants in the September fieldwork: Sverrir, Per, Ólafur E, Ívar, Svante, Ian and Anni during an evening dinner (left); Anni and Svante with the first core segment (middle); Árni and Hreggviđur having a seroious discussion on the glacial history of Fljótsdalshérađ (right). Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

The Icelandic group is led by professor Ólafur Ingólfsson, University of Iceland. Dr Hreggvidur Norddahl (University of Iceland) and Dr Árni Hjartarson (Íslenskar Orkurannsóknir) are two collaborators in the project. While the former is a specialist on glacial stratigraphy and sea level changes in eastern Iceland, the latter has background as a Quaternary geologist and a hydrogeologist with extensive knowledge about the river systems of eastern Iceland. Both have published on the glacial history of Eastern Iceland (Hjartarson et al 1981; Norddahl & Einarsson 2001). Dr. Ólafur Eggertsson, at the Iceland Forest Service, is also involved in the project, with research interests focused on the forest history of E Iceland. Professor Haflidi Haflidason (presently at University of Bergen, Norway) will supervise the tephra analyses. Kristinn Guđjónsson and Sverrir Ađalsteinn Jónsson plan to will write their graduate theses within the project.


Shallow cores. Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

SIGNIFICANCE/IMPORTANCE OF THE PROJECT

There is an urgent need for a better understanding of the complex Holocene climatic pattern in and around the Nordic Seas. An ongoing project, led by professor Áslaug Geirsdóttir (University of Iceland) and professor Gifford Miller (University of Colorado) has been studying sediments from Lake Hvítárvatn, adjacent to Langjökull. Their results suggest that the Langjökull ice cap (presently abour 950 km2) was either very small or absent for a period prior to 5000 BP (Á. Geirsdóttir, pers. Comm. 2005). This is very important for our understanding of Icelands cryosphere history, but very little is, however, known about the Holocene history of the foremost climatic sensor in (what one may call) the heart of the Nordic Seas: the Vatnajökull ice cap. Here we possibly have a unique opportunity to retrieve an annual/seasonal record of Vatnajökull´s melt-water discharge history. There is every reason to emphasise the following aspects to the project:

bulletThe project will add unique new insights to our understanding of Holocene environmental changes in eastern Iceland and the meltwater record of Eyjabakkajökull reflects on the Holocene history of Vatnajökull. Lake Lögurinn is the only basin/sediment trap available for Vatnajökull meltwater record.
bulletSince glacial surges in Eyjabakkajökull are accompanied by huge increase in meltwater, recognizing and fingerprinting the surge signature from the known surges in 1890, 1931, 1938 and 1972 in the sediment cores may help reveal the surge-history of Eyjabakkajökull further back in time – if surges are a neoglacial (<2000 BP) phenomena or older?
bulletAn important aspect is that we will be able to establish a base-line for the present lake environments (as reflected in surface sediments) and outline the natural amplitude of environmental changes in the lake for the Holocene. This is very important for in the future being able to estimate the impact of the greatly increased (more than doubled) input of meltwater that will result from the Kárahnjúkar project from 2007 and onwards.
bulletThe Icelandic project group constitutes scientists from both academic (University of Iceland, Bergen University in Norway) and governmental (Islenskar Orkurannsóknir, Skógrćkt Ríkisins) institutes.
bulletThe project finances a three-year PhD position (Anni Madsen), and Icelandic MSc/PhD students work within the project (Sverrir Ađalsteinn Jónsson, potentially Kristinn Guđjónsson). Thus the project contributes to the training of young scientists in geology.
bulletThis project is an Icelandic-Swedish collaboration, and contributes to Icelandic participation in international state-of-the-art Quaternary research. 


Kame terraces above Fljótsdalur, close to the farm of Skriđuklaustur. Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

TIMELINE FOR PROJECT REALIZATION

1. Summer-Fall 2006. Seismic survey of  the northern part of Lake Lögurinn. Lake coring expeditions in June and September. All cores transported to Lund University, where they will be sampled. Fieldwork in Fljótsdalshérađ for mapping of glacial deposits and raised beaches. This for getting a control on the terrestrial evidence of environmental changes at the end of the last glaciation-early Holocene. Project meeting in the fall, analytical work organized, progress report prepared.

2. Winter 2006-2007. Analytical work of samples, dating of sediments. Project introduction at international meeting(s)/conferences.

3. Summer-fall of 2007. Interpretation of first data to come out of the analytical procedure; additional sampling and analysing if needed. Project meeting in fall, status check and progress report prepared. Preparing first manuscripts on results.

4. Winter 2007-2008. Analytical work finished, interpretation of data and writing up of results. All results will be published in international peer-reviewed journals. Results introduced at international meeting(s)/conferences.

5. Spring-summer-fall 2008. Synthesis on the environmental history of Fljótsdalshérađ and the Holocene history of Vatnajökull prepared at a project meeting/workshop in Iceland (Skriđuklaustur).

6. 2008-2009. MSc and PhD students will prepare their thesis, and graduate in 2008 and in spring 2009, respectively. Results introduced in popular scientific lectures and popular scientific journals.

 
Retrieving peat core from Egilsstadir (left); Svante, pretty happy about the project results so far... Photos: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

Project sponsors and funding agencies: The project is generously supported by the Science Council of Sweden (Vetenskapsrĺdet, VR) and the Research Council of Iceland (Rannís). Lund University and University of Iceland support the project in numerous ways, with logistics, laboratory facilities, research time for scientists etc. Additional funding has been received from Landsvirkjun of Iceland.


The drill rig on Lögurinn. Photo: Ó. Ingólfsson, 2006.

For more photos from the September fieldwork, visit the homepage of Ivar Örn Benediktsson at http://www.hi.is/~iob2/

 

References

Battarbee, R.W., Gasse, F. & Stickley, C. (eds) 2004: Past climate variability through Europe and Africa. 638 pp. Springer, Dordrecht.

Björck, S. et al. 1997: Journal of Quaternary Science 12, 455-466.

Guđjónsson, K.A. & Desloges, J.R. 1997: Program and Abstracts 27th Arctic Workshop, 98-102.

Haflidason, H. et al. 2000: Journal of Quaternary Science 15, 3-22.

Hallgrímsson, H. 2005: Lagarfljót. 414 pp, Skrudda, Reykjavík.

Hjartarson, Á. et al. 1981: OS81006/VOD04, Orkustofnun, Reykjavík, 198 pp.

Hubbard, A. et al. in press: Quaternary Science Review.

Ingólfsson, Ó. & Norddahl, H., 2001: Arctic, Antarctic & Alpine Research 33, 231-243.

Ingólfsson, Ó. et al. 1995: Boreas 24, 245-259.

Karlén, W. 1988: Quaternary Science Reviews 7, 199-209.

Nesje, A. et al. 2001: The Holocene 11, 267-280.

Norđdahl, H. & Einarsson, Ţ., 1988: Náttúrufrćđingurinn 58, 59-80.

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