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Last updated: June 2, 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.


The larger glaciers of Finnmark

Øksfjordjøkelen from S Øksfjordjøkelen from S, July 3, 1986. (44 kB)

In Finnmark there are glaciers in two areas; on the island of Seiland and on the Bergsfjord peninsula (part of the glaciers there lie in the county of Troms). The highest point in the area is a snow dome on Øksfjordjøkelen (1204 m). The area is dominated by pronounced ice caps, and there are 4 larger ones.

The relatively easterly position of these glaciers seems to have caused them to miss the precipitation increase that has caused many Norwegian glaciers to currently be in advance. Øksfjordjøkelen has during the latest years been more or less in balance, while the smaller Langfjordjøkelen has had significant deficits. This is probably due to that it has a considerably lower average altitude, making it suffer worse from the increased summer temperature. The area also contains the only Norwegian glacier reaching down into the sea, if only in regenerated form.

Contents

  • The larger glaciers of Finnmark with basic data


  • Maps over the glaciers of Seiland and Bergsfjordhalvøya


  • Table over the glaciers of Finnmark larger than 5 km2 (glacier complexes treated as one unit)


  • Table over the glaciers of Finnmark larger than 5 km2 (glacier complexes divided into ice streams)


  • Table over the larger glaciers of Finnmark with basic data

    #Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
    1. Nordmannsjøkelen Glacier complex 2.00 2.8 490 1050 560
    1a. of which Nordmannsbreen Ice cap 1.56 1.4 775 1050 275
    1b. of which Straumdalsbreen Ice cap 0.44 1.6 490 1050 560
    2. Seilandsjøkelen Glacier complex 12.25 5.6 475 935 460
    2a. of which Breidhovdbreen Ice cap 1.48 1.3 805 920 115
    2b. of which Rätkajekna Ice cap 0.98 1.9 630 845 215
    2c. of which Seilandsbreen Ice cap 9.79 3.5 475 935 460
    3. Svartfjelljøkelen Glacier complex 6.26 4.0 350 1160 810
    3a. of which Brattnesbreen Ice cap 1.52 2.4 350 1160 810
    3b. of which Tverrfjordbreen PIce cap 1.09 2.1 615 1160 545
    3c. of which Bergsfjordbreen Ice cap 3.65 3.1 480 1065 585
    4. Øksfjordjøkelen Glacier complex 42.62 10.3 0 1205 1205
    4a. of which Skognesbreen Ice cap 0.85 1.3 790 1035 245
    4b. of which Tverrfjordbreen Ice cap 1.47 1.9 660 1040 380
    4c. of which Sørfjordbreen Ice cap 2.58 3.5 430 1205 775
    4d. of which Fjorddalsbreen Ice cap 5.52 3.0 460 1205 745
    4e. of which Juovvajekna Ice cap 5.33 3.1 280 1165 885
    4f. of which Harjijekna Ice cap 0.76 1.8 470 1110 640
    4g. of which Isfjordjøkelen Ice cap 12.56 5.3 0 1200 1200
    4h. of which Isvassbreen Ice cap 3.93 3.9 475 1175 700
    4i. of which Isdaljøkelen Ice cap 9.62 5.2 265 1205 940
    5. Langfjordjøkelen Glacier complex 9.01 5.6 280 1055 775
    5a. of which Vestre Tverrfjordbreen Ice cap 1.06 2.1 680 1055 375
    5b. of which Austre Tverrfjordbreen Ice cap 0.79 1.2 785 1055 270
    5c. of which Nordmannbreen Ice cap 0.96 1.5 675 1025 350
    5d. of which Langfjordbreen Ice cap 3.94 4.8 280 1055 775
    5e. of which Årjep Eljajekna Ice cap 0.76 1.3 760 940 180
    5f. of which Nuortap Eljajekna Ice cap 1.50 2.2 610 1050 440
    Total 72.14


    Maps over the glaciers of Seiland and Bergsfjordhalvøya

    Map over the glaciers on Seiland Map over the glaciers on Seiland. (24 kB)

    Map over the glaciers on 
Bergsfjordhalvøya Map over the glaciers on Bergsfjordhalvøya. (61 kB)


    1. Nordmannsjøkelen

    Nordmannsjøkelen (2.00 km2) or in Lappish Tatjavuonjiekki is a small ice cap on Seiland. Previously it has been much more extensive, but now it has fragmented.

    1a. Nordmannsbreen

    Nordmannsbreen (1.56 km2) is the northern, larger part of the remaining Nordmannsjøkelen, on the northern part of Seilandstuva.

    1b. Straumdalsbreen

    Straumdalsbreen (0.44 km2) is a lesser part of Nordmannsjøkelen. It sends down a narrow tongue in Straumdalen.


    2. Seilandsjøkelen

    Seilandsjøkelen (12.25 km2) is a rather large ice cap on the island of Seiland. As a whole it lies below 1000 m asl and gently slopes to the south. The glacier consists of three parts, of which one, Seilandsbreen, is fairly extensive. In Lappish it is called Nuortakätjjiekki.

    2a. Breidhovdbreen

    Breidhovdbreen (1.48 km2) is a small, towards the NW facing part of Seilandsjøkelen. During the Little Ice Age this part was much more extensive, and had two significant ice tongues. The northwestern one stretched some 1.7 km further out than today and the northern one about 1.3 km.

    2b. Rätkajekna

    Rätkajekna (0.98 km2) is the northeastern part of Seilandsjøkelen.

    2c. Seilandsbreen

    Seilandsbreen (9.79 km2) is the largest, towards the south facing, part of Seilandsjøkelen. It slopes rather gently and evenly, and should be relatively free of crevasses. When it was at its largest, during the Little Ice Age, it reached some 1.2 km further out than today.


    3. Svartfjelljøkelen

    Svartfjelljøkelen (6.26 km2) is an ice cap on Svartfjellet, a small distance to the north of its much larger neighbor Øksfjordjøkelen. It consists of three small rather steep parts, which thus ought to be substantially crevassed.

    3a. Brattnesbreen

    Brattnesbreen (1.52 km2) is a steep oulet from Svartfjelljøkelen, that slides down towards Brattnesdalen.

    3b. Tverrfjordbreen

    Tverrfjordbreen (1.09 km2), a narrow and steep tongue from Svartfjelljøkelen, flows down from the ice dome of Svartfjellet towards Tverrfjorddalen.

    3c. Bergsfjordbreen

    Bergsfjordbreen (3.65 km2) glides down westwards and is the largest part of Svartfjelljøkelen. During the Little Ice Age it slid down over a sheer drop and ended at a height of only 135 m almost down at Bergsfjordvatnet, roughly 1.2 km further out than today, but now it rests in its entirety above the precipice.


    4. Øksfjordjøkelen

    The upper parts of Øksfjordjøkelen, 
above Isdaljøkelen The upper parts of Øksfjordjøkelen, above Isdaljøkelen, August 1998. (85 kB) --- Photo: Steffan Kristoffersen

    Øksfjordjøkelen (42.62 km2) is a large ice cap which dominates the Bergsfjord peninsula. It lies partly in the county of Troms and consists of 9 parts, of which Fjorddalsbreen, Juovvajekna, Isfjordjøkelen, Isvassbreen and Isdaljøkelen are the larger ones. The plateau proper slopes only gently, but the edges are very steep, resulting in many icefalls. The Lappish name for the glacier is Aksvuonjiekki.

    4a. Skognesbreen

    Skognesbreen (0.85 km2) is a small outlet from Øksfjordjøkelen, that faces towards Skognesdalen.

    4b. Tverrfjordbreen

    Tverrfjordbreen (1.47 km2) in the northwestern part of Øksfjordjøkelen is a small tongue which glides down towards Tverrfjorddalen.

    4c. Sørfjordbreen

    Sørfjordbreen from NE Sørfjordbreen from NE, August 1998. (59 kB) --- Photo: Steffan Kristoffersen

    Sørfjordbreen (2.58 km2) is a steep and narrow outlet from Øksfjordjøkelen. When it was at its biggest, during the Little Ice Age, it reached some 1.1 km longer down Sørfjorddalen.

    4d. Fjorddalsbreen

    Fjorddalsbreen in Øksfjordjøkelen from 
E Fjorddalsbreen in Øksfjordjøkelen from E. (101 kB) --- Photo: Stig Wigum

    Fjorddalsbreen (5.52 km2) is a steep, complex outlet, with a number of smaller icefalls, at the north side of Øksfjordjøkelen. This one too extended much further down into Fjorddalen earlier, and stood during the Little Ice Age some 1.0 km further out than now.

    4e. Juovvajekna

    Juovvajekna in Øksfjordjøkelen from E Juovvajekna in Øksfjordjøkelen from E. (86 kB) --- Photo: Stig Wigum

    Juovvajekna (5.33 km2) is a complex, steep and heavily crevassed outlet from Øksfjordjøkelen towards the east and Isbredalen. It has two branches; one northern and one southern, with up to 400 m high icefalls.

    The northern branch of Juovvajekna from E The northern branch of Juovvajekna from E. (111 kB) --- Photo: Stig Wigum

    The northern branch of Juovvajekna has a very narrow and steep inlet from the ice plateau above.

    The icefall in Juovvajekna´s southern branch from S The icefall in Juovvajekna´s southern branch from S. (104 kB) --- Photo: Stig Wigum

    During the Little Ice Age both branches flowed together and reached all the way out into the lake in the valley, some 1.4 km further out than today.

    4f. Harjijekna

    Harjijekna (0.76 km2) is a small part of Øksfjordjøkelen at its southeastern side, which during the Little Ice Age reached some 500 m further out into the valley.

    4g. Isfjordjøkelen

    Isfjordjøkelen in 
Øksfjordjøkelen from S Isfjordjøkelen in Øksfjordjøkelen from S, July 3, 1986. (48 kB)

    Isfjordjøkelen (12.56 km2) is the largest outlet of Øksfjordjøkelen, and it flows southwards to a sheer precipice. There a 400 m high icefall (Øverisen/Padjejiekki) is created, where the ice tumbles down hundreds of m and creates a regenerated glacier (Nerisen/Vuollejiekki), which at least a few years ago still extended all the way down into Isfjorden (which the innermost part of Jøkelfjorden is called).

    Isfjordjøkelen from SE Isfjordjøkelen from SE, August 1994. (106 kB) --- Photo: Steffan Kristoffersen

    Formerly Nerisen was much larger and actively calved in the fiord, and during the Little Ice Age (until the 1860s) the ice was continuous all the way up, and the ice front stood some 500 m further out into the fiord. When ice tumbles down on Nerisen, and from there down into the fiord the ice avalanches sometimes causes huge waves, so-called tsunamis. They can still reach a height of several m many km out in the fiord, and may constitute a serious risk to life and property. Ice used for refrigeration of fish was mined from Nerisen right through 1949.

    4h. Isvassbreen

    Isvassbreen (3.93 km2) is a southwestern outlet from Øksfjordjøkelen, which earlier calved in Isvatnet. It has now retreated out of the lake, which emerged from the ice as late as in the 1960s, entirely though. During the Little Ice Age this glacier extended all the way down into Skalsadalen, about 1.8 km further out than today.

    4i. Isdaljøkelen

    Up in the icefall in Isdaljøkelen Up in the icefall in Isdaljøkelen, August 1996. (99 kB) --- Photo: Steffan Kristoffersen

    Isdaljøkelen (9.62 km2) is a large western outlet of Øksfjordjøkelen. It has a pretty large and complex, 500 m high icefall.

    The upper parts of Isdaljøkelen The upper parts of Isdaljøkelen, August 1998. (96 kB) --- Photo: Steffan Kristoffersen

    During the Little Ice Age this glacier reached some 1.2 km further down the valley.

  • Steffan Kristoffersen´s web page about Øksfjordjøkelen
  • Stig Wigum´s web page about Øksfjordjøkelen

  • 5. Langfjordjøkelen

    Langfjordjøkelen (9.01 km2) is a mid-sized ice cap, partly within the county of Troms, to the west of Øksfjordjøkelen. The glacier is divided into 6 parts, of which one, Langfjordbreen, is the only large one. Langfjordjøkelen keeps having deficits, in contrast with its neighbors, which are more or less in balance. This can be due to that it has a considerably lower average altitude. Its Lappish name is Partnatvuonjiekki.

    5a. Vestre Tverrfjordbreen

    Vestre Tverrfjordbreen (1.06 km2) is a small part of Langfjordjøkelen at its northwestern side.

    5b. Austre Tverrfjordbreen

    Austre Tverrfjordbreen (0.79 km2), a northern patch of Langfjordjøkelen, slides down towards Tverrfjorddalen.

    5c. Nordmannbreen

    Nordmannbreen (0.96 km2) lies in the northeastern part of Langfjordjøkelen. This part may have been much reduced in area, since part of it has been entirely disconnected.

    5d. Langfjordbreen

    Langfjordbreen from E Langfjordbreen from E, July 27, 1998. (97 kB) --- Photo: Hallgeir Elvehøy (NVE)

    Langfjordbreen (3.94 km2), the large eastern outlet of Langfjordjøkelen, has a relatively even slope, though there are some crevasse zones, especially in the upper parts. This glacier is subject for mass balance measurements performed by NVE since 1989 (except for 1994-95), which have shown a continued retreat. This in contrast to most other investigated glaciers in Norway, which have been stable or advancing during the latest years. During the period 1989-2000 the glacier has decreased in thickness with 4.2 m water equivalent, evenly distributed over the entire area. Since its maximum during the Little Ice Age Langfjordbreen has retreated by 1.5 km, slightly more than half of which since 1966.

    5e. Årjep Eljajekna

    Årjep Eljajekna (0.76 km2) is a southwardly facing patch of Langfjordjøkelen.

    5f. Nuortap Eljajekna

    Nuortap Eljajekna (1.50 km2) is a small steep western tongue on Langfjordjøkelen. During the Little Ice Age it reached some 800 m further down the valley than now.


    The glaciers of Finnmark larger than 5 km2

    (Glacier complexes treated as one unit)

    Name Area (km2) Type District
    1. Øksfjordjøkelen 42.62 Glacier complex Finnmark
    2. Seilandsjøkelen 12.25 Glacier complex Finnmark
    3. Langfjordjøkelen 9.01 Glacier complex Finnmark
    4. Svartfjelljøkelen 6.26 Glacier complex Finnmark


    The glaciers of Finnmark larger than 5 km2

    (Glacier complexes divided into ice streams)

    Name Area (km2) Type Glacier complex
    1. Isfjordjøkelen 12.56 Ice cap Øksfjordjøkelen
    2. Seilandsbreen 9.79 Ice cap Seilandsjøkelen
    3. Isdaljøkelen 9.62 Ice cap Øksfjordjøkelen
    4. Fjorddalsbreen 5.52 Ice cap Øksfjordjøkelen
    5. Juovvajekna 5.33 Ice cap Øksfjordjøkelen
    6. Langfjordbreen 5.64 Ice cap Langfjordjøkelen


    Start page Top
    Top of
    document
    Up
    The larger glaciers
    of Norway
    Next
    The larger glaciers
    of Lyngen
    Site map
    Site
    map
    Email
    Email the
    author
    Copyleft
    Copyleft
    information
    På svenska
    Detta dokument
    på svenska
    Last updated: June 2, 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.