Maciej Dąbski, Bartosz Fabiszewski and Alina Pękalska
This article presents the results of weathering micro-roughness measurements performed with the use of a Handy-surf E-35B electronic profilometer, a new tool in geomorphological studies. Measurements were performed on glacially abraded basaltic surfaces within the Little Ice Age (LIA) glacial forelands of Hoffelsjökull, Fláajökull, Skálafellsjökull and Virkisjökull in Iceland. Results show a statistical increase in micro-roughness in a direction from the glacial termini to LIA moraines. However, a major change in the micro-roughness of basaltic surfaces only occurs during the first 80 to 100 years since the onset of subaerial weathering. Increase in rock surface micro-roughness is accompanied by an increase in weathering rind thickness and a decrease in Schmidt hammer R-values. Micro-roughness measurements with the use of the Handysurf E-35B can provide insights into initial rates of rock surface micro-relief development. The use of this instrument as a relative dating technique is limited to fine-grained rocks and decadal time-scales of weathering because of the limited range of measureable micro-relief amplitude.
: Glacially abraded basaltic rock surfaces found within a Little Ice Age (LIA) fore− land of Skálafellsjökull (SE Iceland) were studied at eight sites of different age applying different weathering indices. They include surface micro−roughness parameters measured with the Handysurf E35−B electronic profilometer - a new tool in geomorphology, Schmidt hammer rebound (R−values) and weathering rind thickness. Values of these indices obtained from study sites exposed to subaerial weathering for more than ca. 80 years are significantly different than those from younger moraines closer to the glacier snout. Despite a wide scatter of readings within each study site, there is a significant correlation between the ages and the values of the indices. It is concluded that the micro−roughness parameters provided by the Handysurf E35−B profilometer, Schmidt hammer R−values and weathering rind thickness are robust indices of rock surface deterioration rate in short time−scales. There is mounting evidence that rock surface undergoes relatively rapid weathering during first decades since deglaciation.
Katarzyna Zwalińska and Maciej Dąbski
The article is a case study of the development of cavernous weathering forms (alveoli and tafoni) on a sea cliff near Keflavik on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland. The majority of forms are found on vertical or inclined rock faces and cluster around the uppermost edge of the cliff. Single hollows gradually evolve due to back wearing of their sidewalls into complex caverns, until finally the whole outermost layer of basalt is removed. Particular attention is paid to mineralogical changes of basalts due to chemical and salt weathering. Chemical decomposition of feldspars, pyroxenes and olivines followed by precipitation of iron on and within the weathering rind, the presence of micro- and macro-pores such as gas bubbles and delivery of marine salts are proposed to be the key factors influencing cavern development.
Jan Czempiński and Maciej Dąbski
The aim of this article is to show the results of the lichenometrical and Schmidt hammer measurements performed in 2015 during the AMADEE-15 Mars Mission Simulation in the Ötztal Alps in order to test the capabilities of analogue astronauts and collect information on the geomorphic history of the study area since the Little Ice Age (LIA). The results obtained differ significantly from our expectations, which we attribute to differences in the field experience of participants and the astronauts’ technical limitations in terms of mobility. However, the experiments proved that these methods are within the range of the astronauts’ capabilities. Environmental factors, such as i) varied petrography, ii) varied number of thalli in test polygons, and iii) differences in topoclimatic conditions between the LIA moraine and the glacier front, further inhibited simple interpretation. The LIA maximum of the Kaunertal glacier occurred in AD 1850, and relative stabilization of the frontal part of the rock glacier occurred in AD 1711.