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Last updated: May 26, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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The larger glaciers of Breheimen proper

Liabreen and Holåtindan from 
Fannaråken Liabreen and Holåtindan from Fannaråken, July 30, 1984. (82 kB)

Breheimen proper is the area east of Jostedalen and west of Jotunheimen. It is a typical transitional area; the western part is characterized by ice caps while the eastern part is more alpine. The area is consideraby more continental than the rest of Breheimen, in particular the northeastern part, and it is only because the mountains re higher that there are larger glaciers at all there. The highest peak in the area is Nordre Hestbrepiggen (2172 m) in the easternmost part, while Tverrådalskyrkja (2087 m) dominates the western part.

Table over the larger glaciers of Breheimen proper with basic data

#Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
1.Fantelibreen Glacier complex 3.00 2.8 1330 1630 300
1a.of which Vanndalsbreen Ice cap 0.70 1.0 1410 1630 220
1b.of which Vestre Smådalsbreen Ice cap 2.30 2.6 1330 1630 300
2.Spørteggbreen Glacier complex 25.49 7.1 1135 1755 620
2a.of which Holmevassbreen Ice cap 1.57 1.8 1450 1755 305
2b.of which Leirbotnbreen Valley glacier 3.23 4.1 1135 1755 620
2c.of which Grånosbreen Ice cap 7.30 5.2 1280 1745 465
2d.of which Langgrøbreen Ice cap 2.12 1.7 1430 1615 185
2e.of which Austre Smådalsbreen Ice cap 7.41 4.8 1330 1710 380
2f.of which Søre Geisdalsbreen Ice cap 1.79 2.2 1445 1670 225
2g.of which Nordre Geisdalsbreen Ice cap 2.07 3.1 1355 1755 400
3.Gluggevardbreen Ice cap 1.32 3.0 1450 1695 245
4.Greinbreen Glacier complex 5.25 3.2 1180 1840 660
4a.of which Sprongeggibreen Ice cap 0.75 1.5 1275 1840 565
4b.of which Sprongdalsbreen Ice cap 1.58 2.7 1180 1840 660
4c.of which Greineggibreen Ice cap 2.92 1.9 1450 1830 380
5.Tverrbotnbreen Glacier complex 3.80 3.6 1475 1930 455
5a.of which Rivenosbreen Ice cap 1.79 1.6 1475 1920 445
5b.of which Isvassbreen Ice cap 2.01 1.8 1500 1930 430
6.Harbardsbreen Glacier complex 38.45 12.9 1240 2015 775
6a.of which Steindalsbreen Valley glacier 14.46 8.6 1240 1980 740
6b.of which Leirvassbreen Ice cap 4.49 3.2 1275 1720 445
6c.of which Løndalsbreen Ice cap 3.57 3.0 1405 1670 265
6d.of which Rausdalsbreen Ice cap 2.02 1.6 1470 1720 250
6e.of which Austre Kollebreen Valley glacier 4.46 3.3 1385 1940 555
6f.of which Vestre Kollebreen Ice cap 1.09 1.7 1425 1785 360
6g.of which Fortundalsbreen Valley glacier 6.72 4.6 1380 2015 635
6h.of which Steineggibreen Cirque glacier 1.64 2.4 1400 1960 560
7.Sveidalsbreen Ice cap 2.91 2.0 1335 1700 365
8.Holåbreen Glacier complex 20.65 8.6 1430 2030 600
8a.of which Tussetindbreen Cirque glacier 1.13 1.1 1505 1795 290
8b.of which Illvassbreen Cirque glacier 2.18 2.6 1550 2020 470
8c.of which Ytre Gjelåbreen Valley glacier 7.04 4.6 1435 2030 595
8d.of which Lundadalsbreen Ice cap 10.30 6.2 1430 1920 490
9.Midtre Gjelåbreen Cirque glacier 2.47 1.8 1605 1960 355
10.Heimste Gjelåbreen Ice cap 1.21 0.8 1600 1920 320
11.Grjotåbreen Cirque glacier 3.18 1.7 1575 2065 490
12.Hestedalsbreen Ice cap 1.34 1.2 1520 1965 445
13.Vestre Høybreen Cirque glacier 3.87 2.2 1460 1970 510
14.Austre Høybreen Cirque glacier 3.13 2.2 1595 2060 465
15.Isaksteinbreen Ice cap 1.53 1.7 1660 2130 470
16.Ystebreen Valley glacier 3.51 3.1 1555 2110 555
17.Heimstebreen Valley glacier 3.46 2.6 1580 2150 570
18.Høgsetbreen Cirque glacier 1.09 1.8 1610 2080 470
19.Hestbreen Glacier complex 3.05 3.9 1500 1940 440
19a.of which Hestfonna Ice cap 1.24 1.2 1500 1820 320
19b.of which Runningsbreen Ice cap 1.81 1.1 1750 1940 190
20.Sandgrovbreen Ice cap 1.14 1.8 1625 2005 380
21.Møydulbreen Ice cap 1.07 1.2 1490 2010 520
22.Søre Liabreen Ice cap 1.13 0.9 1450 1760 310
23.Midtre Liabreen Ice cap 1.09 0.8 1465 1880 415
24.Austre Liabreen Ice cap 1.20 1.7 1460 1800 340
Total 134.34


1. Fantelibreen

Fantelibreen (3.00 km2) is an ice cap east of Jostedalen, right to the southwest of the much larger Spørteggbreen, of which it until quite recently was a part. It is fairly thin, with a maximum ice thickness of some 90 m.

1a. Vanndalsbreen

Vanndalsbreen (0.70 km2) is a small tongue from Fantelibreen, which flows down westwards towards Vanndalen. It ends in a small lake with a 400 m wide ice cliff.

1b. Vestre Smådalsbreen

Vestre Smådalsbreen (2.30 km2) is the largest part of Fantelibreen, a rather wide ice tongue which turns eastwards. Just some 10 years ago it was continuos with Austre Smådalsbreen in Spørteggbreen, but since then a lake has formed and the ice tongues have separated due to rather intense calving. The ice cliff is some 500 m wide.


2. Spørteggbreen

Spørteggbreen with Grånosbreen from SE Spørteggbreen with Grånosbreen from SE, August 6, 1982. (96 kB)

Spørteggbreen (25.49 km2) is a large ice cap east of Jostedalen. The highest peak in it is Grånosi (1775 m). Like so many other glaciers Spørteggbreen too has diminished a lot during the 20th century, and as late as around 1990 increased calving in a new lake caused the southwesternmost part to be disconnected (Fantelibreen). Measurements of sediment layers in lakes close to Spørteggbreen show that this glacier didn´t start to reform until during the first phase of the Little Ice Age, around year 1500.

Maps based on data from Kennett, Mike; Kartlegging av istykkelse og feltavgrensninp på Spørteggbreen 1989, supplemented by own observations.

The surface topography of 
Spørteggbreen The surface topography of Spørteggbreen. (23 kB)
The bottom topography of Spørteggbreen The bottom topography of Spørteggbreen. (32 kB)
The ice thickness of 
Spørteggbreen The ice thickness of Spørteggbreen. (28 kB)

Between 1988 and 1991 NVE performed mass balance measurements here, and in 1989 they charted the bed topography beneath the ice too. There is a relatively deep valley in the western part and several smaller overdeepened basins. The largest ice thickness is about 315 m with and ice volume of some 3.0 km3 and an average depth of 113 m. Fantelibreen, which earlier was a part of Spørteggbreen, is thin with a max depth of some 90 m, a volume of 0.15 km3 and an average depth of 46 m.

2a. Holmevassbreen

Holmevassbreen (1.57 km2) is a small, rather thin lobe in northern Spørteggbreen.

2b. Leirbotnbreen

Leirbotnbreen (3.23 km2) is a valley glacier in the northern part of Spørteggbreen, on the north side of Grånosi (1775 m). A small icefall leads down to the tongue from the upper snow plateau. The tongue lies in a overdeepened basin with an ice thickness of 150 m, but in the upper parts there is a depression where the ice is 250 m thick.

2c. Grånosbreen

Grånosbreen (7.30 km2) is a large and evenly sloping outlet of Spørteggbreen, which slowly glides down eastward towards Mørkrisdalen. The ice flows over two depressions with 220 and 240 m thick ice, respectively, but in between a mountain juts up, where the ice is only some tens of m thick. This is marked by a steeper and more crevassed patch on the surface.

2d. Langgrøbreen

Langgrøbreen (2.12 km2) is a small ice cap in the southeastern part of Spørteggbreen, with up to some 130 m thick ice.

2e. Austre Smådalsbreen

Austre Smådalsbreen (7.41 km2) is the largest outlet glacier of Spørteggbreen, a wide ice tongue gliding southwards towards Smådalane. The slope is rather gentle and even, except just before the snout, where it gets a little steeper. The western part of the glacier tongue reaches down into a newly formed ice lake and calves with a 500 m wide ice cliff. As late as around 1990 the ice here was continuos with the tongue from Fantelibreen. Below this part of Spørteggbreen a deep valley runs in north-south direction, with four overdeepened basins. From north the ice is 275, 300, 290, and 240 m thick in the depressions, including the highest measured value on the entire ice cap.

2f. Søre Geisdalsbreen

Søre Geisdalsbreen (1.79 km2) is a small, thin lobe of Spørteggbreen, at its western edge. Its snout calves in a small lake.

2g. Nordre Geisdalsbreen

Nordre Geisdalsbreen (2.07 km2) is a small outlet from western Spørteggbreen. From a snow plateau a relatively steep, but fairly thin ice tongue flows down into uppermost Geisdalen. The snout of this glacier too ends in a small lake.


3. Gluggevardbreen

Gluggevardbreen (1.32 km2) is a small ice cap east of Sprongdalen.


4. Greinbreen

Greinbreen (5.25 km2), a medium-sized ice cap south of Sprongdalen, lies on the east slope of Greineggi (1847 m).

4a. Sprongeggibreen

Sprongeggibreen (0.75 km2) is a small steep ice cap in Greinbreen, on the north flank of Greineggi.

4b. Sprongdalsbreen

Sprongdalsbreen (1.58 km2) is an ice cap in northern Greinbreen. From the plateau-like accumulation area a rather narrow and steep ice tongue leads down into uppermost Sprongdalen.

4c. Greineggibreen

Greineggibreen (2.92 km2) is an ice cap in southern Greinbreen. It has a rather wide and roundish ice tongue towards the south.


5. Tverrbotnbreen

Tverrbotnbreen (3.80 km2), an ice cap east of Sprongdalen, lies on the north and east sides of Rivenoskulen (1943 m).

5a. Rivenosbreen

Rivenosbreen (1.79 km2) is an ice cap in northern Tverrbotnbreen, on the north side of Rivenoskulen.

5b. Isvassbreen

Isvassbreen (2.01 km2), an ice cap in Tverrbotnbreen, lies on the east slope of Rivenoskulen, above Isvatnet.


6. Harbardsbreen

Harbardsbreen (38.45 km2) is a very large glacier complex in central Breheimen proper. The southern part is a classical ice cap with an ice dome as its highest point (1720 m), while the northern part is a complex of alpine glaciers around the dominating peak Tverrådalskyrkja (2087 m). The largest outlet glacier is Steindalsbreen.

6a. Steindalsbreen

Steindalsbreen (14.46 km2) is the largest outlet glacier from Harbardsbreen and a valley glacier of significant size. It starts up on the west flank of Tverrådalskyrkja and glides southwards in a fairly even slope. After a few kilometers it gets a substantial ice contribution from the ice dome (1720 m), and at the meeting point there is a rather significant ice-dammed lake, which seems to be drained yearly. Then the ice turns towards southeast down into Steindalen, where another ice stream from the southern ice dome is added.

Since 1996 NVE has performed mass balance measurements here. A comparison of maps from 1966 and 1996 shows that most of the glacier has become thinner, but in some places in the upper parts, particularly on the ice dome, the ice has become considerably thicker. Steindalsbreen is still retreating, but gradually the retreat should stop and possibly even turn into an advance eventually. In 1999 radar measurements of the ice thickness in the flat area just downstream of the ice-dammed lake was performed by NVE. The result shows that the ice is at most some 160 m thick in this area.

6b. Leirvassbreen

Leirvassbreen (4.49 km2) is an outlet from southern Harbardsbreen. The ice glides southwards from the ice dome towards the mountain side above Leirvatnet, where a narrow, steep and crevassed ice tongue hangs down.

6c. Løndalsbreen

Løndalsbreen (3.57 km2) is an outlet glacier in southwestern Harbardsbreen, northwest of Leirvatnet.

6d. Rausdalsbreen

Rausdalsbreen (2.02 km2), an ice cap in western Harbardsbreen, lies on the west side of the ice dome. It ends in a small lake.

6e. Austre Kollebreen

Austre Kollebreen (4.46 km2) is a valley glacier in Harbardsbreen, on the west side of Tverrådalskyrkja. It calves in a small lake with a 500 m wide ice cliff.

6f. Vestre Kollebreen

Vestre Kollebreen (1.09 km2), an ice cap in northwestern Harbardsbreen, lies on the north side of Røykjeskardhøe.

6g. Fortundalsbreen

Fortundalsbreen (6.72 km2) is a rather large valley glacier in northeastern Harbardsbreen, on the east side of Tverrådalskyrkja (2087 m). From a fairly steep accumulation area the ice flows first towards NE, and then turns towards south in a rather wide ice tongue in uppermost Nørdstedalen.

6h. Steineggibreen

Steineggibreen (1.64 km2) is a cirque glacier in eastern Harbardsbreen, north of Steineggi. It is rather steep and heavily crevassed.


7. Sveidalsbreen

Sveidalsbreen (2.91 km2) is an ice cap on the east side of Sveidalsnosi (1708 m), between Mørkrisdalen and Fortunsdalen.


8. Holåbreen

Holåbreen (20.65 km2) is a large glacier complex in northern Breheimen, between Lundadalen and Tundradalen. It has partly alpine and partly ice cap character.

8a. Tussetindbreen

Tussetindbreen (1.13 km2) is a cirque glacier in southern Holåbreen, south of Tussetinden (2047 m).

8b. Illvassbreen

Illvassbreen (2.18 km2), a fairly large cirque glacier in southwestern Holåbreen, glides down towards SW and calves in a small lake with a 300 m wide ice cliff.

8c. Ytre Gjelåbreen

Ytre Gjelåbreen (7.04 km2) is a large valley glacier in western Holåbreen. It flows down towards north in an even and rather gentle slope from Holåtindan (2039, 2047, och 2043 m).

8d. Lundadalsbreen

Lundadalsbreen (10.30 km2) is a large ice cap in eastern Holåbreen. A wide ice tongue slowly glides down towards NE and Lundadalen from a large ice plateau.


9. Midtre Gjelåbreen

Midtre Gjelåbreen (2.47 km2) is a cirque glacier on the north side of Gjelhøi (1982 m).


10. Heimste Gjelåbreen

Heimste Gjelåbreen (1.21 km2) is a small ice cap on Steinflya.


11. Grjotåbreen

Grjotåbreen (3.18 km2) is a pretty large cirque glacier on the north side of Hestedalshøgdi (2091 m), south of Grjotådalen.


12. Hestedalsbreen

Hestedalsbreen (1.34 km2) is an ice cap on the north side of Hestedalshøgdi (1978 m).


13. Vestre Høybreen

Vestre Høybreen (3.87 km2) is a large cirque glacier in the southwestern Hestbrepigg massif, south of Vestre Hestbrepiggen (2139 m). Earlier this glacier was continuos with its eastern neighbor, Austre Høybreen.


14. Austre Høybreen

Austre Høybreen from S Austre Høybreen from S, August 6, 1982. (46 kB)

Austre Høybreen (3.13 km2) is a large cirque glacier in the western Hestbrepigg massif, which previously has been continuos with Vestre Høybreen right to the west.


15. Isaksteinbreen

Isaksteinbreen (1.53 km2) is an ice cap north of Vestre Hestbrepiggen.


16. Ystebreen

Ystebreen (3.51 km2) is a fairly large valley glacier in the central Hestbrepigg massif, west of Nordre Hestbrepiggen (2172 m), the highest peak in entire Breheimen. Its upper part is called Grautfatet (the porridge dish) and from there the ice streams northward towards the mountain side above Lundadalen. During the Little Ice Age the glacier tongue reached all the way down into the valley bottom, but now it stands entirely above the precipice.


17. Heimstebreen

Heimstebreen (3.46 km2) is a pretty large valley glacier in the eastern Hestbrepigg massif, east of Nordre Hestbrepiggen. A rather wide accumulation area collects to a tongue gliding down northward, towards Lundadalen. This glacier too reached almost all the way down into the valley bottom during the Little Ice Age.


18. Høgsetbreen

Høgsetbreen (1.09 km2) is a cirque glacier in the southeastern Hestbrepigg massif.


19. Hestbreen

Hestbreen (3.05 km2), a small ice cap complex, lies on Storberka east of Hestbrepiggan.

19a. Hestfonna

Hestfonna (1.24 km2), the northern part of Hestbreen, is a small ice cap.

19b. Runningsbreen

Runningsbreen (1.81 km2) is a small ice cap in Hestbreen.


20. Sandgrovbreen

Sandgrovbreen (1.14 km2) is a small ice cap on the north side of Hesthøi (2021 m).


21. Møydulbreen

Møydulbreen (1.07 km2), a small ice cap, lies on the east side of Moldulhøi (2044 m).


22. Søre Liabreen

Søre Liabreen (1.13 km2) is an ice cap and one of a number of fragments of the previously significant Liabreen, which surrounded Liabrekulen (1910 m).


23. Midtre Liabreen

Midtre Liabreen (1.09 km2) lies on the northeast and southeast sides of Liabrekulen and is another fragment.


24. Austre Liabreen

Austre Liabreen (1.20 km2), the easternmost fragment, glides down towards northeast and down into Liabrevatnet.


Start page Top
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Previous
The larger glaciers of
Southern Jostedalsbreen
Up
The larger glaciers
of Breheimen
Site map
Site
map
Email
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author
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information
På svenska
Detta dokument
på svenska
Last updated: May 26, 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.