Glacial geomorphology

Textbook examples of glacial geomorphological processes and landforms can be found all around the periphery of Vatnajökull ice cap. The mapping of the forelands of receding glacier snouts aids the understanding of the nature of landform evolution and provides a modern analogue for Quaternary environments. The recently deglaciated forelands of the southern outlet glaciers of Vatnajökull constitute an ideal outdoor classroom and laboratory for studying the impacts of glaciers on landscapes. As the glaciers retreat, freshly deposit­ed features and landforms are uncovered that are easily accessible for study and repeat measurements. The ongoing processes are characteristic of what will pertain to glacierized landscapes around the world in the coming decades and centuries as the climate continues to warm.

 

The ice-dammed lake Múlavatn, east of Hoffellsjökull outlet glacier 2018. Photo: Þorvarður Árnason.

The ice-dammed lake Múlavatn, east of Hoffellsjökull outlet glacier 2018. Photo: Þorvarður Árnason.

 

The foreland of Skaftafellsjökull outlet glacier 2014. Photo: Snævarr Guðmundsson.

The foreland of Skaftafellsjökull outlet glacier 2014. Photo: Snævarr Guðmundsson.

 

Heinabergsjökull outlet glacier and the ice-dammed lake of Vatnsdalur 2007.Heinabergsjökull outlet glacier and the ice-dammed lake of Vatnsdalur 2007. Photo: Hrafnhildur Hannesdóttir.

 

Foreland of Fláajökull 2016. Photo: Þorvarður Árnason.

Foreland of Fláajökull 2016. Photo: Þorvarður Árnason.