Geomorphology of intraplate postglacial faults in Sweden

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Maria V S Ask1, Mawaheb Abdujabbar1, Bjorn Lund2, Colby Smith3, Henrik Mikko3 and Raymond Munier4, (1)Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden, (2)Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, (3)Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden, (4)SKB Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management, Stockholm, Sweden
Melting of the Weichselian ice sheet at ≈10 000 BP is inferred to have induced large to great intraplate earthquakes in northern Fennoscandia. Over a dozen large so-called postglacial faults (PGF) have been found, mainly using aerial photogrammetry, trenching, and recognition of numerous paleolandslides in the vicinity of the faults (e.g. Lagerbäck & Sundh 2008). Recent LiDAR-based mapping led to the extension of known PGFs, the discovery of new segments of existing PGFs, and a number of new suspected PGFs (Smith et al. 2014; Mikko et al. 2015).

The PGFs in Fennoscandia occur within 14-25°E and 61-69°N; the majority are within Swedish territory. PGFs generally are prominent features, up to 155 km in length and 30 m maximum surface offset. The most intense microseismic activity in Sweden occurs near PGFs. The seismogenic zone of the longest known PGF (Pärvie fault zone, PFZ) extends to ≈40 km depth. From fault geometry and earthquake scaling relations, the paleomagnitude of PFZ is estimated to 8.0±0.3 (Lindblom et al. 2015).

The new high-resolution LiDAR-derived elevation model of Sweden offers an unprecedented opportunity to constrain the surface geometry of the PGFs. The objective is to reach more detailed knowledge of the surface offset across their scarps. This distribution provides a one-dimensional view of the slip distribution during the inferred paleorupture. The second objective is to analyze the pattern of vertical displacement of the hanging wall, to obtain a two-dimensional view of the displaced area that is linked to the fault geometry at depth. The anticipated results will further constrain the paleomagnitude of PGFs and will be incorporated into future modeling efforts to investigate the nature of PGFs.


Lagerbäck & Sundh 2008. Early Holocene faulting and paleoseismicity in northern Sweden. http://resource.sgu.se/produkter/c/c836-rapport.pdf

Smith et al. 2014. Surficial geology indicates early Holocene faulting and seismicity, central Sweden. doi: 10.1007/s00531-014-1025-6

Mikko et al. 2015. LiDAR-derived inventory of post-glacial fault scarps in Sweden. doi:10.1080/11035897.2015.1036360

Lindblom et al. 2015. Microearthquakes illuminate the deep structure of the endglacial Pärvie fault, northern Sweden. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv112