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“Saw-Tooth” Moraines in Front of Bødalsbreen, Southern Norway

  • John A. Matthews (a1), Roger Cornish (a2) and Richard A. Shakesby (a3)


A series of end moraines, with a remarkable saw-tooth pattern, is reported from the glacier foreland of Bødalsbreen, a northern outlet of the ice cap Jostedalsbreen. The three-dimensional morphology of the moraines is described and analysed. Historical records and lichenometric measurements indicate that they were deposited after the “Little Ice Age” glacier maximum of the mid-eighteenth century. It is inferred that the local topography of Bødalen was conducive to the formation of a heavily crevassed pecten at the snout of Bødalsbreen, which produced the end moraines by a push mechanism during minor glacier advances. The observations suggest that pushing may be an underestimated mechanism in moraine ridge formation generally.


On décrit une série de moraines terminales qui présentent une disposition en “dents de scie” remarquable, dans la zone proglaciaire de Bødalsbreen, un émissaire septentrional de la calotte glaciaire de Jostedalsbreen. La morphologie en trois dimensions des moraines est décrite et analysée. Des relations historiques et des mesures lichénométriques indiquent qu’elles ont été déposées après le “petit âge glaciaire”, le maximum glaciaire du milieu du dix-huitième siècle. On en conclut que la topographie locale de Bødalen était favorable à la formation d’un “peigne” profondément crevassé à la langue de Bødalsbreen, qui produisit la moraine terminale par un mécanisme de poussée au cours de petites avancées du glacier. Les observations suggèrent que la poussée peut être un mécanisme sous-estimé dans la formation des reliefs morainiques en général.


Es wird über eine Serie von Endmoränen mit bemerkenswertem Sägezahn-Muster aus dem Vorfeld des Bødalsbreen, einem nördlichen Ausflussgletscher des jostedalsbreen berichtet. Die dreidimensionale Morphologie der Moränen wird beschrieben und analysiert. Historische Berichte und lichenometrische Messungen deuten auf ihre Ablagerung nach dem Maximum der “kleinen Eiszeit” in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts. Es wird vermutet, dass die lokale Topographie der Bødalen die Bildung eines stark zerspaltenen Spatels an der Front des Bødalsbreen gefördert hat, der die Endmoränen während kleinerer Gletschervorstösse aufwarf. Die Beobachtungen lassen darauf schliessen, dass Schubvorgänge bei der Bildung von Moränenrücken bisher allgemein in ihrer Bedeutung unterschätzt wurden.

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