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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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The larger glaciers of Ålfoten

Ålfotbreen and Gjegnalundsbreen from Skåla Ålfotbreen and Gjegnalundsbreen from Skåla, June 25, 1999. (61 kB)

Ålfoten is the westernmost part of Breheimen; it lies to the south of the outer part of Nordfjorden and has an extreme maritime climate with up to 5500 mm precipitation. This results in rather extensive glaciation, despite the relatively low height above sea level. Most of the glaciers lie collected around Ålfotbreen in an area with peculiar geology. Today´s glaciers in the area are only remnants of a large, continuos ice cap that existed there during the Little Ice Age. The highest peak within the area is Gjegnen, or Blånibba as it is also called, (1670 m).

Table over the larger glaciers of Ålfoten with basic data

#Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
1.Oksefjellbreen Ice cap 1.01 1.3 990 1300 310
2.Blåbreen Glacier complex 4.92 3.4 1010 1325 315
2a.of which Sødalsbreen Ice cap 2.02 1.4 1010 1325 315
2b.of which Svartedalsbreen Ice cap 2.90 2.3 1030 1325 295
3.Ålfotbreen Glacier complex 13.87 5.8 880 1385 505
3a.of which Åskorbreen Ice cap 5.04 2.8 895 1385 490
3b.of which Hansebreen Ice cap 3.88 2.7 935 1330 395
3c.of which Straumbotnbreen Ice cap 4.95 2.9 880 1385 505
4.Kvannbotnbreen Ice cap 1.45 1.5 1070 1280 210
5.Gråfjellbreen Ice cap 2.15 1.8 990 1400 410
6.Gjegnalundsbreen Glacier complex 10.97 5.5 920 1590 670
6a.of which Isevassbreen Ice cap 1.20 1.7 975 1590 615
6b.of which Middagsvassbreen Ice cap 2.28 2.2 1050 1465 415
6c.of which Svartevassbreen Ice cap 0.97 2.2 920 1450 530
6d.of which Månytebreen Ice cap 1.28 2.5 1010 1465 455
6e.of which Skjerdalsbreen Ice cap 2.36 2.4 1080 1465 385
6f.of which Skordalsbreen Ice cap 2.88 3.5 965 1520 555
7.Blåbreen Valley glacier 1.91 2.3 955 1445 490
Total 36.28


1. Oksefjellbreen

Oksefjellbreen (1.01 km2) is a small ice cap on the east slope of Oksefjellet. Earlier it was continuos with Blåbreen, and via that with the large Ålfotbreen.


2. Blåbreen

Blåbreen (4.92 km2) is an ice cap east of Blåbrevatnet. One of the many steep rock ledges in the area now separates it from the much larger Ålfotbreen to the east. Earlier when the ice was thicker they were continuos though.

2a. Sødalsbreen

Sødalsbreen (2.02 km2), an ice cap and the northern part of Blåbreen, glides down towards Sødalen.

2b. Svartedalsbreen

Svartedalsbreen (2.90 km2) is an ice cap in the southeastern part of Blåbreen. Today it ends at the precipices above Svartedalen.


3. Ålfotbreen

Ålfotbreen (13.87 km2) is a pretty large ice cap in the central Ålfoten area. Yet it is but a remnant of a previously much more extensive ice cap, of which the now separate Oksefjellbreen, Blåbreen, Kvannbotnbreen, Gråfjellbreen, and perhaps even Gjegnalundsbreen were parts. Ålfotbreen lies in an area with extremely high precipitation, and its highest point is an ice dome at an altitude of only 1385 m. Furthermore the area has a peculiar geology with sedimentary rock from the Devon period, the structures of which dominate the landscape.

3a. Åskorbreen

Åskorbreen (5.04 km2) is the largest part of Ålfotbreen, an ice cap which glides down towards Store Åskorvatnet from the ice dome (1385 m). Here NVE has performed mass balance measurements since 1963 (where this glacier is named Ålfotbreen). During the time to 2000 the glacier has had a large mass surplus (15.3 m water equivalent), but it has become apparent that much of that is because of snow drift from southwest.

3b. Hansebreen

Hansebreen (3.88 km2) is an outlet from eastern Ålfotbreen, which glides to the north toward Store Åskorvatnet. Because of extensive snow drift across the more westerly Åskorbreen in 1986 NVE started performing mass balance measurements on this glacier too. The measurements, which show that Hansebreen is roughly in balance (+0.3 m water equivalent during the time 1986-2000), are considered to be more representative for Ålfotbreen as a whole than the measurements at Åskorbreen.

3c. Straumbotnbreen

Straumbotnbreen (4.95 km2) is the southern part of Ålfotbreen, an ice cap which moves down from the ice dome (1385 m) towards SE and Straumbotnen in a small tongue.


4. Kvannbotnbreen

Kvannbotnbreen (1.45 km2) is a small ice cap on Kvannbotnfjellet just east of Ålfotbreen, which it earlier was a part of.


5. Gråfjellbreen

Gråfjellbreen (2.15 km2) is an ice cap on the east side of Gråfjellet. A long time ago it was continuos with the large Ålfotbreen, via Kvannbotnbreen. To the north of Gråfjellbreen lies some lakes with the lovely names X-vatnet, Y-vatnet, and Z-vatnet (="X-lake", "Y-lake", "Z-lake").


6. Gjegnalundsbreen

Gjegnalundsbreen (10.70 km2) is a fairly large ice cap in the northeastern Ålfoten area. It lies east of the highest peak within the area, Gjegnen (1670 m), but is centered around an ice dome at 1465 m asl. Possibly even Gjegnalundsbreen was continuos with Ålfotbreen during the Little Ice Age, when it was as largest.

6a. Isevassbreen

Isevassbreen (1.20 km2) is a small steep ice tongue in northwestern Gjegnalundsbreen, which calves in Isevatnet with a 300 m wide ice cliff.

6b. Middagsvassbreen

Middagsvassbreen (2.28 km2) is an outlet of Gjegnalundsbreen, which moves down northward from the ice dome (1465 m).

6c. Svartevassbreen

Svartevassbreen (0.97 km2) is a small outlet from northeastern Gjegnalundsbreen. It calves with a 500 m wide ice cliff in a nameless lake 200 m above Svartevatnet.

6d. Månytebreen

Månytebreen (1.28 km2) is a short, steep and heavily crevassed ice tongue from Gjegnalundsbreen, above Skjerdalen and south of a mountain peak with the strange name Månyta (="Moon-surface") (1397 m).

6e. Skjerdalsbreen

Skjerdalsbreen (2.36 km2), a southern part of Gjegnalundsbreen, slides down towards SE and the precipices above innermost Skjerdalen.

6f. Skordalsbreen

Skordalsbreen (2.88 km2) is the largest outlet of Gjegnalundsbreen, a fairly long ice tongue, which glides south towards the upper part of the wild Skordalen. Where the ice pass over the ubiquitous rock ledges some crevasse zones are formed.


7. Blåbreen

Blåbreen (1.91 km2), or Sørsendalsbreen, as it is also known as, is the largest glacier in an alpine massif west of Breimsvatnet. It is a small valley glacier which glides north towards Sørsendalsvatna, and it lies to the west of Botnafjellet (1572 m), the highest peak in the massif.


Start page Top
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document
Up
The larger glaciers
of Breheimen
Next
The larger glaciers of
Western Jostedalsbreen
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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
Images with size information (xx kB) leads to the corresponding image in 4 x better resolution.