Rock glaciers on the Faeroe Islands, the North Atlantic

Ole Humlum

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Three sites with alleged relict rock glaciers are described from southern Faeroe
Islands, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The rock glaciers represent both talus-derived and glacierderived types and were most likely initiated during the late Weichselian. One of the rock glaciers apparently became unstable at some point during degradation of permafrost and was
subsequently transformed by a landslide. The age of the rock glaciers are not known precisely,
but a Younger Dryas age is suggested, partly by considering contemporary local equilibrium
line altitudes. The climatic background for rock glacier initiation on the Faeroe Islands during
the Younger Dryas is investigated, using various types of palaeoclimatic information. The
potential of using relict rock glaciers in palaeoclimatic reconstructions is discussed, and their
implications for estimates on air temperature, precipitation, permafrost, rock weathering and the
contemporary extent of the Weichselian Faeroe Ice Cap is outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
JournalJournal of quaternary science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Faroe Islands
  • rock glaciers
  • palaeoclimate
  • Younger Dryas
  • North Atlantic Ocean


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