Early Holocene glacial landscapes and final-stage deglaciation of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet

Carl Regnéll, Sarah L. Greenwood, Jan Mangerud, Anna L.C. Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At the start of the Holocene, the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet was still a sizable ice mass, comparable to the present-day Greenland Ice Sheet, and covered most of the modern terrestrial area of Norway, Sweden and Finland, as well as the Gulf of Bothnia. Such a large ice sheet quickly became out of equilibrium with the rapidly warming Early Holocene climate, resulting in fast and dynamic demise by approximately 10–9.5ka. The contrasting geomorphic domains of Fennoscandia influenced the style of deglaciation in different ways, resulting in a rich and varied landform record. Generally, large differences can be seen between high relief terrain (the fjord landscape and the mountains) and lower relief landscapes (the Fennoscandian Shield and the Baltic Sea) where ice flow was less topographically controlled. A distinct landscape boundary exists where the retreating ice margin transitioned from water-terminating to land-terminating, not only in the character of the glacial record but also made even more pronounced as postglacial isostatic uplift exposed the emerging landscape to reworking by wind and, most notably, water. This chapter presents the state-of-the-art knowledge of the final stage of deglaciation of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet and the diversity of landscapes it left behind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Glacial Landscapes:
Subtitle of host publicationThe Holocene
EditorsDavid Palacios, Philip D. Hughes, Vincent Jomelli, Luis M. Tanarro
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978-0-323-99712-6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2023


  • Fennoscandian Ice Sheet
  • Holocene
  • deglaciation
  • glacial landforms
  • palaeoglaciology


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