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Last updated: May 27, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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The larger glaciers of Okstindan

Okstindan from N Okstindan from N, July 25, 1997. (73 kB)

Okstindan is the southernmost high mountain area in Northern Norway. Okstindan proper is a mighty massif just to the south of Svartisen. It contains the highest peak of Northern Norway, Oksskolten (1915 m), and is covered by an extensive complex ice field, Okstindbreen. The area around does not reach anything near that height, even if there ar a few fairly high peaks to the south, in the Børgefjell area.

Contents

  • The larger glaciers of Okstindan with basic data


  • Map over Okstindan


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


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


  • Table over the larger glaciers of Okstindan with basic data

    #Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
    1. Okstindbreen Glacier complex 53.81 14.9 725 1795 1070
    1a. of which Austre Oksfjellbreen Ice cap 3.22 4.2 950 1415 465
    1b. of which Vestre Oksfjellbreen Ice cap 1.69 1.3 1110 1510 400
    1c. of which Mørkbekkbreen Ice cap 9.27 5.9 845 1520 675
    1d. of which Gråfjellbreen Ice cap 1.21 1.2 1110 1335 225
    1e. of which Jordbrubreen Ice cap 3.71 3.1 1020 1640 620
    1f. of which Vestre Okstindbreen Ice cap 3.55 3.8 1035 1795 765
    1g. of which Okskalvbreen Ice cap 0.62 1.2 1290 1520 230
    1h. of which Austre Okstindbreen Valley glacier 14.22 8.5 735 1790 1055
    1i. of which Corneliussenbreen Valley glacier 3.11 3.0 920 1725 805
    1j. of which Austre_Svartfjellbreen Cirque glacier 1.75 1.6 1075 1745 670
    1k. of which Hekkelbreen Cirque glacier 0.61 0.9 1100 1510 410
    1l. of which Vestre Svartfjellbreen Cirque glacier 2.22 2.2 930 1570 640
    1m. of which Steikvassbreen Cirque glacier 4.54 3.0 725 1510 785
    1n. of which Bessedørbreen Valley glacier 4.09 3.5 885 1730 845
    2. Charles Rabot-breen Cirque glacier 0.98 2.1 1015 1770 755
    3. Langskardbreen Ice cap 1.32 1.7 835 1215 380
    4. Blåfjellbreen Ice cap 1.34 1.3 755 1225 470
    5. Golverbreen Glacier complex 1.92 3.8 990 1655 665
    5a. of which Lappskardbreen Ice cap 0.71 1.1 1310 1655 345
    5b. of which Golvertindbreen Cirque glacier 1.21 1.2 990 1500 510
    6. Golverskardbreen Valley glacier 3.74 2.9 960 1665 705
    7. Kvigtindbreen Valley glacier 2.66 2.6 1095 1640 545
    Total 65.77


    Map over Okstindan

    Map over the glaciers of Okstindan Map over the glaciers of Okstindan. (51 kB)


    1. Okstindbreen

    Austre Okstindbreen from N Austre Okstindbreen from N, July 26, 1997. (102 kB)

    Okstindbreen (53.81 km2) is a large glacier complex to the south of Svartisen. It is somewhat of a hybrid, since the western part is an ice cap, while the eastern is a continuos system of alpine ice streams. The largest outlets are Austre Okstindbreen and Mørkbekkbreen.

    1a. Austre Oksfjellbreen

    Austre Oksfjellbreen (3.22 km2) is an outlet towards the S from the western part of Okstindbreen. It flows down from the ice dome (1392 m) with a small icefall towards the narrow Oksfjelldalen, on which floor there is a 2 km long active sandur. There is a depression below Vesttinden at the northeast edge. During the Little Ice Age the ice front stood some 1.5 km farther out into the valley.

    1b. Vestre Oksfjellbreen

    Vestre Oksfjellbreen (1.69 km2) is a small patch of western Okstindbreen, towards the S and Oksfjelldalen.

    1c. Mørkbekkbreen

    Mørkbekkbreen above 
Mørkbekktjørna Mørkbekkbreen above Mørkbekktjørna, July 17, 2000. (80 kB)

    Mørkbekkbreen (9.27 km2) is the largest outlet from the western part of Okstindbreen. It flows down towards the NW in a shallow and flat depression, until it arrives at the drop down towards lake Mørkbekktjørna, where ice masses fall down in a 500 m wide and 200 m high icefall.

    The icefall of Mørkbekkbreen The icefall of Mørkbekkbreen, July 17, 2000. (123 kB)

    The increasing ice flow of the latest years have formed a small regenerated glacier below the cliff. During the Little Ice Age Mørkbekkbreen filled up the entire valley and lake and extended down to 770 m asl, a position 1.2 km farther down than the current.

    Ice crystal from Mørkbekkbreen Ice crystal from Mørkbekkbreen, July 17, 2000. (98 kB)

    Mørkbekkbreen contains unusually large ice crystals, like this roughly 10x10x15 cm large specimen.

    The upper part of Mørkbekkbreen with 
Oksfjelltuva The upper part of Mørkbekkbreen with Oksfjelltuva, July 17, 2000. (63 kB)

    You easily reach the glacier after slightly less than an hourīs hike on a good path up from the end of the construction road in Leirskardalen. The tiny hut Steinbua lies just within the terminal moraines on the northeastern side.

    Mørkbekkbreen from N Mørkbekkbreen from N, July 17, 2000. (72 kB)

    Stereo image of Mørkbekkbreen from N.

    1d. Gråfjellbreen

    Gråfjellbreen (1.21 km2) is a small ice cap at the north edge of western Okstindbreen.

    1e. Jordbrubreen

    Jordbrubreen from NW Jordbrubreen from NW, July 17, 2000. (99 kB)

    Jordbrubreen (3.71 km2) is a complicated outlet from the western part of Okstindbreen, which sends down several small narrow tongues into lake Okstindtjørna in a 1.7 km wide and 300 m high icefall. This glacier too has begun to readvance somewhat in the last few years and has started calving in the lake again.

    1f. Vestre Okstindbreen

    Vestre Okstindbreen from N Vestre Okstindbreen from N, July 27, 1997. (49 kB)

    Vestre Okstindbreen (3.55 km2) is a complex outlet towards the north from the central part of Okstindbreen. In its upper part, between Okstinden (1804 m) and Tvillingtindan (1824 m) there is an ice pass across to the large Austre Okstindbreen. From there the ice flows down through a 600 m wide and 200 m high icefall and ends with a small ice cliff in a little lake.

    1g. Okskalvbreen

    Okskalvbreen (0.62 km2) is a small patch of the northern part of Okstindbreen, south of Okskalvane.

    1h. Austre Okstindbreen

    The upper part of Austre Okstindbreen from 
Oksskolten The upper part of Austre Okstindbreen from Oksskolten, July 26, 1997. (126 kB)

    Austre Okstindbreen (14.22 km2) is a very large valley glacier, and the largest outlet of Okstindbreen. Its accumulation area is an extensive basin, which then is concentrated wedge-like into a massive tongue. It slides over a rock step in a rather large icefall, and then turns eastward. The southern part of Austre Okstindbreen is more plateau-like, with several ice passes, amongst others across to Vestre Okstindbreen.

    Crevasse on Austre Okstindbreen Crevasse on Austre Okstindbreen, July 26, 1997. (75 kB)

    Austre Okstindbreen has been the object for massbalace investigations, performed by the University of Århus, Denmark, since 1987. During the latest years Okstindbreen too has received more snow in winter, which has lead to positive mass balance. However, it will take a number of years before this extra ice has moved down to the snout, causing an advance. Stereo image of a crevasse on Austre Okstindbreen.

    The icefall of Austre Okstindbreen from 
NE The icefall of Austre Okstindbreen from NE, July 26, 1997. (47 kB)

    A few km upwards from the snout Austre Okstindbreen flows down across a rock step, forming a pretty extensive 500 m wide and 300 m high icefall. Since the ice is shattered primarily at the eastern side the icefall may be circumvented in the west. In the western part of the tongue, between Kjennvasshammaren and Okskalvan, the ice dams a little lake, Kalvtjørna, with a 300 m wide ice cliff. The lake has its outflow in the west however.

    The icefall in Austre Okstindbreen from 
E The icefall in Austre Okstindbreen from E, July 26, 1997. (86 kB)

    During the whole 20th century Austre Okstindbreen has been in retreat. As late as around year 1900 the front stood just a few hundred m behind its outermost terminal moraines, but around 1920 a rapid retreat started, which accelerated even more during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945 the outermost little lake, Bretjørna, started to form. The inner lake started to be uncovered from beneath the ice in 1962, and has been growing ever since. However, the lakes are too shallow for any significant calving to have taken place.

    The snout of Austre Okstindbreen from 
S The snout of Austre Okstindbreen from S, July 26, 1997. (90 kB)

    During the Little Ice Age the glacier was much more extensive, and the snout was some 2.0 km east of the current position. The northern part of the tongue then spread out across the pass point between Kjennvasshammaren and Ridarn, but the ice has retreated some 600 m in that direction since then, and does no longer drain to the north as well.

    Lateral crevasses in Austre
Okstindbreen Lateral crevasses in Austre Okstindbreen, July 26, 1997. (88 kB)

    The speed in the icefall is probably quite high. Here lateral crevasses can be seen, indicating at least 10-12 m movement since the end of winter at the eastern edge of the glacier. (A snow drift lies at the edge of the ice, the ice moves forward, pulls along some of the snow, and forms these crevasses.) Austre Okstindbreen is easily reached after a 45 minute hike up from the construction road at Austre Kjennsvatnet.

    1i. Corneliussenbreen

    Corneliussenbreen (3.11 km2) is a fairly large valley glacier in the eastern part of Okstindbreen. It starts in a deep cirque between Okshornet and Svartfjellet, but is despite most of it being rather flat heavily crevassed. This may indicate either a very irregular bed, och unusually high velocity.

    Since 1970 this glacier has advanced some 200 m, and now flows over a rock step in a 600 m wide and 150 m high icefall. It is still some 800 m behind its outermost terminal moraines from the Little Ice Age, though.

    1j. Austre Svartfjellbreen

    Austre Svartfjellbreen (1.75 km2) is a cirque glacier in the eastern part of Okstindbreen. Formerly it sent down a tongue in a small valley, but now the ice stops at the edge.

    1k. Hekkelbreen

    Hekkelbreen (0.61 km2) is a small cirque glacier on Hekkelfjellet in the southeasternmost part of Okstindbreen.

    1l. Vestre Svartfjellbreen

    Vestre Svartfjellbreen (2.22 km2) is a cirque glacier in southern Okstindbreen. It hangs out across the cliff edge above Steikvassdalen in a 500 m wide and 200 m high icefall.

    1m. Steikvassbreen

    Steikvassbreen (4.54 km2), a very large cirque glacier in southern Okstindbreen, lies east of Kvassnip and Bessedørtinden. It sends down a narrow tongue in Gryta, the innermost of Steikvassdalen. Steikvassbreen is steep and heavily crevassed, and in its northern part ice masses avalanche down from hanging glaciers on Kvassnip. During the Little Ice Age the tongue filled up the entire valley end, ice avalanced down on it fromn Vestre Svartfjellbreen, and the ice front stood roughly 1.0 km from the current position.

    1n. Bessedørbreen

    Bessedørbreen (4.09 km2) is a pretty large valley glacier in the southern part of Okstindbreen, but is still just a shadow of its former self. This glacier has retreated 2.1 km from its outermost terminal moraine and lost its entire lower part. This among other reasons due to large chunks being separated from the main ice. Today Bessedørbreen has two tongues; one to the west and another to the east of a rock knob, which used to be a small nunatak. The eastern tongue is fed by a small icefall.

  • Okstindan Glacier Project, University of Manchester

  • 2. Charles Rabot-breen

    Charles Rabot-breen from Oksskolten Charles Rabot-breen from Oksskolten, July 26, 1997. (79 kB)

    Charles Rabot-breen (0.98 km2) is a cirque glacier at the east side of the massif, between Oksskolten and Okshornet. Investigations of both mass balance and ice movement has been performed here; the latter indicated an extremely slow ice movement - almost as to classifying the ice as stagnant. However, during later years the ice has become thicker in the upper parts, and the ice movement increased, as shown by a small icefall in the upper part of Charles Rabot-breen.

    The icefall of Charles Rabot-breen The icefall of Charles Rabot-breen, July 26, 1997. (107 kB)

    During the Little Ice Age the ice front stood just below 1000 m asl, some 450 farther out than today, but since the 1960s the front has been roughly stable.


    3. Langskardbreen

    Langskardbreen (1.32 km2) is an irregular ice cap on Langskardfjellet NE of Tosenfjorden.


    4. Blåfjellbreen

    Blåfjellbreen (1.34 km2), an ice cap, also lies on Langsskardfjellet. This and the previous glacier are remnants of a larger continuos ice cap, which has fragmented.


    5. Golverbreen

    Golverbreen (1.92 km2) is a small glacier complex to the north of Golvertinden.

    5a. Lappskardbreen

    Lappskardbreen (0.71 km2), a small ice cap in Golverbreen, lies on the west side of Golvertinden.

    5b. Golvertindbreen

    Golvertindbreen (1.21 km2) is a cirque glacier in Golverbreen at the east side of Golvertinden.


    6. Golverskardbreen

    Golverskardbreen (3.74 km2), or Plietjedelte in Lappish, is a pretty large and wide valley glacier on the southeast flank of Golvertinden (1682 m), and the largest glacier in the Børgefjell area.


    7. Kvigtindbreen

    Kvigtindbreen (2.66 km2) is a valley glacier at the east side of Kvigtinden (1699 m) in Børgefjell. It is fairly even, but there are steeper areas in the upper part.


    The glaciers of Okstindan larger than 5 km2

    (Glacier complexes treated as one unit)

    Name Area (km2) Type District
    1. Okstindbreen 53.81 Glacier complex Okstindan


    The glaciers of Okstindan larger than 5 km2

    (Glacier complexes divided into ice streams)

    Name Area (km2) Type Glacier complex
    1. Austre Okstindbreen 14.22 Valley glacier Okstindbreen
    2. Mørkbekkbreen 9.27 Ice cap Okstindbreen


    Start page Top
    Top of
    document
    Previous
    The larger glaciers
    of Svartisen
    Up
    The larger glaciers
    of Norway
    Next
    The larger glaciers
    of Dovre
    Site map
    Site
    map
    Email
    Email the
    author
    Copyleft
    Copyleft
    information
    På svenska
    Detta dokument
    på svenska
    Last updated: May 27, 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.