Surface processes

The landscape is the result of the combined effects of endogenic and exogenic processes. Climate has contributed to the development of the contemporary landscapes.

Surface processesClimate has strongly contributed to the development of the contemporary landscapes. This is Vøring waterfall i Måbødalen, Western Norway. Photo: Per Eide/

The growth and decay of ice sheets are closely related to variations in temperature and precipitation. Changes in precipitation control the activity of surface runoff and hence the efficiency of fluvial (rivers) and aeolian (wind) processes.

Destabilisation of slopes

Changes in temperature cause shifts in frost regimes and, in combination with potential permafrost degradation, can lead to destabilisation of slopes. The combined effects of climate change lead to a higher frequency of extreme process events like floods, rock falls, slides, debris flows and avalanches.

At NGU we focus on how surface processes contribute to develop the landscape. Spatial differences of the types and intensities of active surface processes cause changes of existing landforms. We also explore how these surface processes are related to local and regional tectonic processes and to their underlying structural controls.

In high northern latitudes

In-depth studies of glacial, gravitational, fluviatile, lacustrine, and marine processes make it possible to understand how landscapes in high northern latitudes have evolved through time.