Sea Ice-Climate-Glacier Relationships in Northern Iceland since the Nineteenth Century: Possible Analogues for the Holocene

  • Maria Wastl
  • Johann Stötter
  • Chris J. Caseldine


Figure 1 shows the general approach which has been adopted here for palaeoclimatic reconstructions in northern Iceland, and which underlies the investigations presented in this paper. Iceland lies within the atmospheric and oceanic circulation of the North Atlantic. This determines the surrounding climatic and sea-ice conditions which, in turn, act upon indicators of the environmental system. Glacier behaviour (advance, standstill or retreat) is controlled by climate through the accumulation-ablation relation of the mass balance (Meier, 1965) and can be parameterized by the variations of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The approximately 250 small corrie and valley glaciers of the Tröllaskagi and Flateyjarskagi peninsulas in northern Iceland (Figure 2) react within 100–101 years to changes in temperature and precipitation conditions (see Häberle, 1991a; Stötter, 1991a; Caseldine and Stötter, 1993). This makes them very sensitive environmental indicators for climatic variations.


Winter Precipitation Calibration Period Glacier Mass Balance Glacier Advance Fossil Soil 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Wastl
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johann Stötter
    • 2
  • Chris J. Caseldine
    • 3
  1. 1.Abteilung PhysiogeographieUniversität BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für GeographieUniversität InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  3. 3.Department of Geography, School of Geography and ArchaeologyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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