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Sedimentology of a sandur formed by multiple jökulhlaups, Kverkfjöll, Iceland

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew RussellORCiD


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The Kverkfjöll sandur in north Iceland is the furthest upstream of a suite of fluvial landforms extending for 200 km along the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river. Incision of the sandur exposes over 3 km of sedimentary sections, up to 15 m in height. A sandur wide, well-bedded succession of matrix-rich cobblegravel and pebble/granule gravel, with individual beds 0.2 to 0.5 m thick indicates that the sandur is primarily the product of sandur-wide sheet-floods, with sediment-rich hyperconcentrated flows and also some debris flows and channelised turbulent flows. This interpretation is evidenced by bedded hyperconcentrated flow deposits occurring as laterally extensive tabular depositional units that dominate the entire sandur, reflecting the unconfined nature of the flow. Clast-supported boulder-gravel units interpreted as the product of macroturbulent flow occur in relatively narrow, but deep channels. The sedimentary succession is interpreted as the product of at least six volcanically generated catastrophic outburst floods (jökulhlaups)during the Holocene.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marren PM, Russell AJ, Rushmer EL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sedimentary Geology

Year: 2009

Volume: 213

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 77-88

ISSN (print): 0037-0738


DOI: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2008.11.006


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