Some periglacial geomorphology projects were recently completed.
Jan Hjort published a major work: «Environmental factors affecting the occurrence of periglacial landforms in Finnish Lapland: a numerical approach» (ISBN 3-8322-5008-5; ordering possible at ). The study was performed using a comprehensive empirical data set of periglacial landforms from a remote area of 600 km2. A total of 40 different landform types and subtypes were identified. Topographical variables, soil properties and vegetation characteristics were the primary correlates for the occurrence and extent of active periglacial landforms. Generalized linear modelling (GLM) proved to be a useful framework for testing the shapes of response functions and significances of the environmental variables.
Permafrost landforms such as palsas are now degrading in many regions; but new permafrost can also form (M. Luoto & M. Seppälä). Most recent observations of new permafrost are from August 2006, from Vaisjeäggi palsa mire, Utsjoki, where new palsa embryos formed during the last winter (2005-06) because of a very thin snow cover.
Pirita Oksanen presented her thesis (Development of palsa mires on the Northern European continent in relation to Holocene climatic and environmental changes. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis A446, 2005) on the basis of six articles published in different international forums. She used the peat stratigraphy of palsa mires as indicator of permafrost aggradation and degradation, and found evidence of permafrost formation around 2500-1900 BP and 700-100 BP.
Matti Seppälä ([email protected])