Aspects of the glacial geomorphology of the Vestfirđir Peninsula of northwest Iceland with particular reference to the Vestur-Isafjarđarsysla area
The evolution of the landscape of Vestfirđir, made almost entirely of volcanic rocks, is traced from the lilocene, when the oldest rocks formed, through the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Volcanic activity ceased first in the north western part leaving a basalt plateau with occasional large volcanoes protruding. Fluvial erosion, guided by a westerly dip of the plateau and tectonic lineaments, left a well developed drainage pattern there by the rime volcanic activity ceased in the southeast. The snowline fluctuated widely during the Plio-Pleistocene. Cirque and valley glaciations were very effective in sculpturing the landscape where the preglacial relief was greatest, in the northwest. Ice sheet glaciations affected the whole peninsula and offshore areas with linear erosion dominant in the northwest and areal scouring elsewhere. The glacial geomorphology of Dyrafjorour and northern Arnarfjorour is mapped. The highest marine limit is in the Nupur area, about 110 m, and shorelines and marine limits higher than 70 m are at 7 other localities at least. At least' two stages of glacial readvances are recognized: The Tjaldanes stage occurred when sea level was between 11 and 22 m and is probably of "Younger Dryas" age; later a readvance occurred in the cirques in the area. On the basis of evidence on cirque distribution, cirque elevation, zeolite zonation, distribution of glacial erosional landscapes, glacial history, marine limits, ice cap profiles and shelf moraine a model of maximum glaciations of Vestfir6ir is proposed: The whole of Vestfir6ir and the surrounding shelf areas was completely ice covered with no ice free areas. Such a stage of glaciation, the Latragrunn stage, probably prevailed in the Vestfiroir area during the last glaciation.