Environment and climate change during the late Holocene in Hjaltadalur, Skagafjörður, north Iceland, interpreted from peat core analyses and pollen identification
2017 (English)In: Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography, ISSN 0435-3676, E-ISSN 1468-0459Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
We present an overview of the landscape and environmental development of the valley of Hjaltadalur, Skagafjörður in northern Iceland, with the aim to develop more knowledge before and during the settlement of humans in the 9th century, through a combination of several proxies such as pollen analysis, LOI, radiocarbon dating, sediment analysis and tephra analysis. Sediment cores were taken from four mires, ranging from the coast to further into the valley, and from three suitable peat bogs one (Viðvík) was identified as most representative and selected as the main site for evaluating climate and environmental changes. The results corresponds well with previous outlined fluctuations, with a transition from a warm and dry climate to a cool and humid climate around 2500 BP. There is no change in the sediment core as a response to human impact during the Landnám phase and the human activities are solely reflected by a distinct peak of the Compositae pollen curve in the uppermost sequence of the sediment core, indicating a settlement period during the years AD 870-930. There is a decrease in the Betula pollen curve together with an increase in the Gramineae pollen curve, several hundred years before the peak of the Compositae pollen curve. This shows that the transition of the landscape from forest-like conditions to a more open environment started well before human settlement, although the subsequent Viking Age and later settlements continued the afforestation trend.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Late Holocene, Iceland, Hjaltadalur, environmental development, human settlement
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Physical Geography
Research subject Earth Science with specialization in Quaternary Geology; Earth Science with specialization in Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316984OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-316984DiVA: diva2:1079478