The Lower Proterozoic Hokkalampi Paleosol in North Karelia, Eastern Finland

  • Jukka S. Marmo


An extensive Lower Proterozoic paleosol which has a minimum age of 2.2 Ga is reported from northern Karelia, eastern Finland. The paleosol suffered a greenschist facies regional metamorphism during the Svecofennian Orogeny 1.9 Ga ago. Interpretation of the Hokkalampi paleosol is based on variations in the chemical and mineral composition of its profiles and its association with overlying aluminous and quartz arenitic metasedimentary rocks. The paleosol consists of quartz-sericite schist with an increasing proportion of kyanite and andalusite toward the top. Paleosol thickness reaches 80 m but typically is much thinner. The original soil developed on both Archean granitoids and Lower Proterozoic glaciogenic rock.

The Hokkalampi paleosol clearly grades upward from its parent rocks through zones of increasing alteration. Relative to its parents, the paleosol is consistently depleted in ferrous iron, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. In the upper, most thoroughly weathered portions, ferric iron and potassium decrease, in some profiles considerably. Estimates of the extent of weathering (based on the ratio of alumina to more mobile components; the CIA index) are low near the bottom, moderate in the middle, and very high at the top. Silica and alumina constitute nearly all of the uppermost paleosol; alumina reaches 30%. The primary soil minerals probably were kaolinite and quartz.

The chemical maturity and great thickness of the paleosol and also associated metasediments are interpreted to record intense chemical weathering under a warm and humid climate, comparable to a modern tropical climate. Chemical reduction characterized the weathering until shortly before the soil became partially eroded and buried under clastic sediments. Soil erosion produced the overlying aluminous quartzite, conglomerate, and orthoquartzite.

The deep weathering which produced the Hokkalampi paleosol may have spanned an entire continent because other paleosols which are at least penecontemporaneous with the Hokkalampi are scattered across the eastern part of the Fennoscandian Shield. Lower Proterozoic paleosols have been attributed to “tropical” weathering on several other Precambrian cratons. A similar association of Lower Proterozoic aluminous rocks overlying glaciogenic deposits has been reported from the Laurentian Shield of Canada. Unfortunately, scarce paleomagnetic data and poor dating presently impedes an evaluation of either contemporaneity of Lower Proterozoic paleosols or pa-leolatitudinal control on climate.


Ferrous Iron Parent Rock Intermediate Zone Basal Zone Fennoscandian Shield 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jukka S. Marmo
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological Survey of FinlandEspooFinland

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