14 and 15 Aug 2012
Yesterday we drove from Kilpisjärvi to Kevo, first through the arm of Finland, then through Norway’s Finnmark, and then along the Norwegian-Finnish border river. The drive takes > 7h and therefore gives the possibility for only few stops. The area was completely new for me on the shield, with new observations and many new discussion points. The area shows an abundance of glacifluvial sediments and enormous eskers. Sand dunes in the area are associated to the huge eskers (as we learned of our colleague Jukka from Turku University who is presently here in Kevo). Except for the loose material on the shield, the large-scale bedrock landforms differ from what I have seen before and opened questions about amounts of uplift, erosion and glacio-isostasy, and associated drainage systems, all in connected to Quaternary glacial erosion and glacial sediment distribution. As usual, I will need to look on a digital elevation model and do some GIS-analyses to get a better understanding of this new area.
Again, our arrival in Kevo was perfectly organized – thank you to Elina Vainio!
In Kevo, we are in the area of our main interest. In the vicinity of Kevo, a glacially streamlined area borders an area with many signs for glacial preservation under cold-based ice. We intend to visit and map both areas for comparison, and for identification of factors responsible for ice erosion behaviour. A large part of the area was already mapped by Kaitanen in 1969 – a result of mapping over 6 field seasons based at Kevo. A visit to a part of his area yesterday showed that Kaitanen’s mapping is excellent and of great help for us, as the area is difficult to access. We started off today by touring the area on its northern part, along the Barents Sea coast. We found indicators for different degrees of glacial erosion, where the higher uplifted parts of the shield were unsurprisingly much more dissected by glaciers than the lower areas. However our most curious observations were in visiting the tillites of the Varangian glaciation, remnants of the global Neoproterozoic ice age ~600 million years ago. These tillites rest on the shield, side by side with Quaternary glacial sediments and raise questions if all glacial landforms on the shield have been formed during the last 2,5 million years or if some of them might be 600 million years older?