The origin of glacial alpine landscape in Tröllaskagi Peninsula (North Iceland)


  • N. Andrés Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • L. M. Tanarro Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • J. M. Fernández Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • D. Palacios Universidad Complutense de Madrid



Iceland, Tröllaskagi Peninsula, deglaciation, Late Pleistocene, Holocene, rock glacier


The Tröllaskagi peninsula is located in north central Iceland, between meridians 19º30’W and 18º10’W , limited by Skagafjödur fiord to the west and the Eyjafjödur fiord to the east, jutting out into the North Atlantic to latitude 66º12’N and linked to the central Icelandic highlands to the south. The peninsula is a Tertiary basalt plateau topped by flat summits with altitudes of 1000-1500 m, intensely dissected by the drainage network. The aim of this present study is to synthesize the recent advances in our understanding of the landscape and its dynamics in the Tröllaskagi peninsula and find the origin of its significant difference from the rest of Iceland. Results of the most recent research suggest the situation of Tröllaskagi as ice-free, delimited by the two great glacial outlets flowing down from the Icelandic Ice Sheet through the Skagafjödur and Eyjafjödur fiords, from at least the Oldest Dryas to the end of the Early Preboreal. Inland in Tröllaskagi, the glaciers formed in the north-facing cirques without losing their alpine characteristics during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The advances of these glaciers during the Oldest, Older and Youngest Dryas and the Early Preboreal were only a few hundred metres greater than the most important advance in the second half of the Holocene, during the Little Ice Age. Only a few of these glaciers remained debris-free and are sensitive to the minor climate oscillations. The rest, due to the important geomorphological activity on their walls, developed into debris-covered and rock glaciers and lost this significant dynamism.


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How to Cite

Andrés N, Tanarro LM, Fernández JM, Palacios D. The origin of glacial alpine landscape in Tröllaskagi Peninsula (North Iceland). CIG [Internet]. 2016 Sep. 13 [cited 2024 Feb. 27];42(2):341-68. Available from: