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Selection of geomorphosites in the Rondane National Park (central Norway): landforms and popularization

Sélection de géomorphosites dans le Parc national des Rondane (Norvège centrale) : relief et vulgarisation
Riwan Kerguillec et Dominique Sellier
p. 131-144

Résumés

Le massif norvégien des Rondane se situe à proximité du 62e parallèle nord et du 9e méridien est. Il appartient à la chaîne des Scandes et correspond à un Parc national depuis 1962. Son relief comporte trois propriétés fondamentales. Compris entre 1 000 et 2 178 m, les Rondane appartiennent d’abord aux plus hauts massifs de Norvège. En conséquence, ils présentent des reliefs de haute montagne qui comprennent des sommets étroits, de vastes cirques glaciaires et des versants étendus. Ils correspondent, ensuite, aux montagnes les plus continentales de Norvège donc à l’un des secteurs les plus secs de Scandinavie, ce qui justifie notamment l’absence d’étage glacio-nival authentique. Les Rondane sont majoritairement constitués de quartzites et présentent, par ailleurs, une lithologie homogène qui implique une fréquence élevée de formes actives et héritées. Pour ces trois raisons, ils sont dotés d’un potentiel patrimonial géomorphologique exemplaire qui justifie une opération de vulgarisation. L’objectif de cet article consiste à présenter les reliefs du massif dans cette perspective didactique, en suivant trois étapes successives : 1) L’étude des propriétés fondamentales du massif, 2) La sélection des géomorphosites selon une méthode déductive, 3) Une réflexion sur les outils et le langage de vulgarisation.

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Notes de la rédaction

Article soumis le 26 juin 2014, reçu sous sa forme révisée le 24 mai 2014, accepté le 5 octobre 2014

Texte intégral

Comments by Pr. Christian Giusti, an anonymous referee and the editors of the journal helped to improve the original manuscript.

1. Introduction

1The Rondane extends from the Norwegian fjell (1000 m a.s.l., forest-tundra ecoton) to 2178 m a.s.l. (summit of Rondslottet). The massif lies above the forest belt and presents essentially a mineral landscape. These mountains can be considered the third Norwegian massif in terms of their elevation, just after the Jotunheimen (2468 m) and the Dovrefjell (2286 m). They present a high mountain landscape characterized by sharp summits, large glacial cirques and extended slopes with sometimes more than 1000 m in elevation.

2Located approximately 180 km from the Norwegian Sea within the limits of Oppland, Hedmark and Sør-Trondelag (fig. 1), the massif is the most continental Norwegian mountain and one of the driest areas of Scandinavia. Consequently, these mountains do not conserve any authentic glacio-nival belt. According to the nature of the bedrock, the area belongs to the sandstone mountains of Northwest Europe and corresponds to a thick “sandstone” formation with sparagmites and “feldspathic sandstones” which are, in fact, mainly quartzites. This homogeneous lithology explains the sparseness of differential erosion reliefs, but liberates the analysis of reliefs from structural parameters. On the other hand, the massif of Rondane illustrates the properties of quartzitic reliefs in an exemplary way, with clear colors of bedrocks, high pyramidal summits and frequent glacial forms and block formations like blockfields on the summits or talus slopes. Because quartzites are one of the most sensitive rocks to periglacial processes (Sellier 2002, 2004a, 2004b), functional periglacial features are obviously developed. For all these reasons, the Rondane has a high geomorphological value in the perspective of a popularization of landforms. This heritage is associated with a high significant cultural potential resulting from the geomorphological properties of the massif: in fact, these mountains correspond to a mythical site that is expressed in the toponyms. The adventures of the legendary character Peer Gynt took place here and were orally transmitted before being transposed into a play by Henrik Ibsen, where it is said that “the Rondane are castles on castles”.

Fig. 1 – Location map of the Rondane National Park.
Fig. 1 – Carte de localisation du Parc national des Rondane.

Fig. 1 – Location map of the Rondane National Park. Fig. 1 – Carte de localisation du Parc national des Rondane.

1: study area; 2: nearby massifs; 3: Norway/Sweden boundary; 4: altitude < 500 m a.s.l.; 5: altitude between 500/1000 m a.s.l.; 6: altitude > 1000 m a.s.l.
1 : zone d’étude ; 2 : massifs voisins ; 3 : frontière Norvège/Suède ; 4 : altitude < 500 m ; 5 : altitude comprise entre 500 et 1 000 m ; 6 : altitude > 1 000 m.

3Since 1962, the Rondane has been a National Park. The major aim of this paper is to present the landforms of the massif in the perspective of their popularization in the National Park, thus to justify the registration of landforms in the natural heritage of the Park and ways of popularizing geomorphology by: 1) Studying the main properties of the massif of Rondane. 2) Applying a method which has previously been tested in France and which is based on a deductive selection of geomorphosites according to several levels of analysis (general relief properties, major components, elementary units or “geomorphotypes”, and geomorphosites; Sellier, 2010, 2011). The degree of functionality of landforms is a parameter that is added in this paper for the selection of geomorphosites (inherited forms/active landforms). 3) Designing tools of popularization of geomorphologic features and heritages, considering the selection of information about relief to be transmitted to the public, and the language to be used in the perspective of popularization. These three objectives are justified by the fact that little work has been done on the geomorphological heritage of this National Park (Kerguillec, 2013).

2. Main properties of Rondane

2.1. A homogeneous quartzitic mountain

4On the large scale, the whole landscape of the massif is marked by equilibrium and symmetry. The Rondane can be divided into three successive elements from the periphery to the center (fig. 2 and fig. 3): the Norwegian fjell, which extends from 1000 m a.s.l. to 1200 m a.s.l. and is strewn with lakes and hills (1300-1500 m a.s.l.), is characteristic of the action of Quaternary glacial sheets at high latitudes. The second element is a ring of peripheral mountains (1600-1800 m a.s.l.) with rounded summits and wide glacial cirques. These mountains are surrounded by rectilinear external slopes, with an inclination lower than 20° and which will be called here “paleïc slopes” because they are considered as inherited from the pre-quaternary reliefs of the massif (Gjessing, 1967; Peulvast, 1985a; 1985b). These paleïc slopes are linked to the fjell by large inclined slopes, called “flyi” in Norway (average inclination 5-10°). The last element consists of three central massifs of similar size and altitude (Smiubelgen, Høgronden, and Rondslottet), which are inherited from a high erosion surface (Strøm, 1945; Peulvast, 1985a, 1985b; Sellier, 2002).

Fig. 2 – Map of the massif of Rondane.
Fig. 2 – Carte du massif des Rondane.

Fig. 2 – Map of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 2 – Carte du massif des Rondane.

A: Contour map. 1: mountain refuge; 2: rivers and lakes; 3: spot elevation; 4: contour lines (100 m); 5: limits of the National Park. B: Location map. 6: limits of the National Park; 7: limits of the contour map; 8: elevation < 1000 m a.s.l.; 9: Norwegian fjell; 10: elevation > 1200 m a.s.l.
A : Carte principale. 1 : refuge ; 2 : réseau hydrographique et principaux lacs ; 3 : cote d’altitude ; 4 : courbes de niveau (équidistance 100 m) ; 5 : limites du Parc national. B : Encart cartographique. 6 : limites du Parc national ; 7 : localisation de la carte principale ; 8 : altitude < 1 000 m ; 9 : fjell ; 10 : altitude > 1 200 m.

Fig. 3 – The morphostructural elements of the massif of Rondane.
Fig. 3 – Les éléments morphostructuraux du massif des Rondane.

Fig. 3 – The morphostructural elements of the massif of Rondane.Fig. 3 – Les éléments morphostructuraux du massif des Rondane.

5These central massifs have nine summits higher than 2000 m a.s.l. (2015 m a.s.l. for the Storsmeden in the massif of the Smiubelgen, 2114 m a.s.l. for the Høgronden and 2178 m a.s.l. for the Rondslottet in the central massif of the same name). They present two types of fitted relief: first, they are wrapped by paleïc slopes that cut each other by forming great pyramids, characteristic of the Rondane. In addition, they are separated by glacial valleys (Dørålen in the north of the Rondane, Illmanndalen in the south and Rondvassdalen in the center; fig. 2 and fig. 3).

6In spite of the absence of glaciers, these central massifs present an “alpine” relief, which assimilates them to the higher Scandinavian mountains (fig. 4). Furthermore, this appearance results from frequent and large glacial cirques as well as from the morphology of their internal slopes, which are higher than 600-800 m and have rocky faces and large talus slopes. This appearance also results from the altitudes of the Rondane (more than 2000 m) which induce, because of the latitude, similar climatic conditions to those in the Alps at 3500-3800 m a.s.l.

Fig. 4 – The south of the massif of Rondane.
Fig. 4 – Le sud du massif des Rondane.

Fig. 4 – The south of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 4 – Le sud du massif des Rondane.

The Rondane present an «alpine» appearance which results from the frequency of glacial cirques (Krokåtbekkbotn, Klarabotn and Kaldbekkbotn from the left to the right of the photography, at the background). Photography towards the northwest from the summit of the peripheral mountain of the Fremre Illmannhoï (1602 m a.s.l.).
Les Rondane présentent une apparence “alpine” qui résulte de la fréquence des cirques glaciaires (Krokåtbekkbotn, Klarabotn et Kaldbekkbotn, à l’arrière plan et de gauche à droite). Cliché pris vers le nord ouest, depuis le sommet de la montagne périphérique du Fremre Illmannhoï (1 602 m).

2.2. A periglacial high mountain in a dry environment

7The base of the massif of Rondane corresponds to the annual 0°C isotherm, which is close to 900-1000 m a.s.l. in the region. According to the monthly climate data from Venabu meteorological station for the period 1981-2009 (municipality of Ringebu, Oppland, 930 m a.s.l.), the thermal average of the coldest month is - 9.7°C (January) and the warmest month is July (10.4°C). Thus, the climate of Rondane can be described as subpolar. On the fjell (1000 m a.s.l. on average), the average number of freeze-thaw cycles was 85.5 per year at Venabu meteorological station for the period 1981-2011 (Kerguillec, 2013). The massif is also situated within the limit of the continental domain with a mean thermal annual amplitude close to 20°C (Norsk Meteorologisk Institutt, 2014).

8Because of its distance from the sea and its sheltered location behind the massifs of Dovrefjell and Jotunheimen that dominate it to the west, the massif of Rondane is one of the driest mountains in Scandinavia. The climatic data show low amounts of precipitation despite the altitude of the Venabu station. The total monthly precipitation only exceeds 70 mm in summer (June, July and August) and is less than 40 mm during five months (from January to May). The annual mean total precipitation reaches 660 mm, indicating a dry mountain environment. The summits of Rondane receive less than 700 mm per year, whereas those of Jotunheimen receive more than 2500 per year. Snow represents approximately 30% of the precipitation and the duration of the snow-cover is from 5 to 6 months per year.

2.3. The thickest functional periglacial belt in Europe

9For these climatic reasons, the massif of Rondane totally corresponds to the periglacial belt if the annual 0°C isotherm is considered an acceptable limit. In fact, the mountain area presents the thickest periglacial belt in Europe (Sellier, 2002, 2006; Kerguillec, 2013).

10By using an average lapse rate of 0.6°C/100 m of elevation, the annual - 2°C and - 5°C isotherms can be positioned at 1300 and 1800 m a.s.l., respectively. Using the same lapse rate, the summits of Rondane are located just above the - 6°C isotherm. In these conditions, the ELA (Equilibrium Line Altitude) is close to 2000-2200 m a.s.l. on the highest summits, close to the annual isotherms of - 6 and - 7°C. The massif conserves residual névés at the bottom of some glacial cirques, always facing northward.

11Thus, the whole massif is situated in the permafrost belt (sparse to continuous permafrost). From its lower limit (950 m a.s.l.), the functional periglacial belt can be divided into three minor belts with systematically characteristic features (forms of the first, second and third groups), and turns out to be particularly visible in Rondane (Sellier, 2002; Kerguillec, 2011, 2013; fig. 5):

  • the lower periglacial belt, from 950 m a.s.l. to 1250 m a.s.l.;

  • the middle periglacial belt, from 1250 m a.s.l. to 1550 m a.s.l.;

  • the upper periglacial belt, from 1550 m a.s.l. to the summits.

Fig. 5 – The mountainous belts of the massif of Rondane.
Fig. 5 – Les étagements montagnards du massif des Rondane.

Fig. 5 – The mountainous belts of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 5 – Les étagements montagnards du massif des Rondane.

12These periglacial belts are more or less in accordance with the vegetation belts (Moen, 1987): the lower alpine belt (1000-1500 m a.s.l.) is characterized by a tundra landscape with blueberries, dwarf birches (Betula nana), dwarf willows and mosses occupying the wettest sites. It corresponds to sporadic permafrost areas from 1000 m a.s.l. to 1450 m, if one refers to L. King’s theoretical boundaries (1983, 1984, 1986). The middle alpine belt (from 1500-1650 m a.s.l.) is characterized by an open vegetation with Juncus sp., Saxifraga, and Ranunculus sp. It corresponds to sparse discontinuous permafrost, using the same theoretical boundaries. The upper alpine belt (from 1650 m a.s.l. to the summits) is characterized by a limited number of species (Salix herbacea, Ranunculus glacialis, Lycopodium selago) and corresponds to extended rocky areas with bedrocks or blockfields, possibly colonized by crustaceous lichens. This belt is occupied by wide discontinuous permafrost, considering that the lower limit of continuous permafrost varies according to different publications and may concern the higher summits only (King, 1983, 1984, 1986; Sellier, 2002; Kerguillec, 2011, 2013).

2.4. Inherited landforms and current processes

2.4.1. Pre-quaternary heritage (“paleïc heritage”)

13The organization of the paleïc slopes enables the reconstitution of elementary massifs in the location of the three central massifs of the Rondane. Such a paleotopography, connected by flared valleys before being eroded by the Quaternary glaciers, is consistent with pre-quaternary forms (“paleïc reliefs”). Some summits, such as the Rondslottet and the Storronden, conserve pieces of surfaces covered with blockfields, giving evidence of this paleotopography. The massif of Rondane has the appearance of a monadnock compared with the surrounding slaty units of the fjell of Mysusaeter or the Granit of Atna.

2.4.2. Glacial heritage

14The upper limit of the Weichselian glaciation (trimline) can be positioned at 1750-1900 m a.s.l. (Sellier, 2002) and the frequency of erosion forms inherited from the Quaternary glacial stages determines one of the fundamental characteristics of the landscape of the three central massifs (fig. 6). The intersection of densely distributed glacial cirques results in narrow crests which lead to a compartmented relief. The glacial cirques belong to several types, in particular to stretched-out cirques that are characteristic of sparagmites.

Fig. 6 – The north of the massif of Rondane, towards the south from the refuge of Dørålseter (1050 m a.s.l.).
Fig. 6 – Le nord du massif des Rondane, vu vers le sud depuis le refuge de Dørålseter (1 050 m).

Fig. 6 – The north of the massif of Rondane, towards the south from the refuge of Dørålseter (1050 m a.s.l.). Fig. 6 – Le nord du massif des Rondane, vu vers le sud depuis le refuge de Dørålseter (1 050 m).

The banks of the Atna River (middle ground and foreground) are occupied by staged fluvioglacial terraces (paraglacial heritages). At the background, the summit of the Nordre Hammaren (1898 m a.s.l.) is wrapped by paleïc slopes (pre-quaternary heritages). This landscape, where glacial and periglacial inherited forms are very common (glacial cirques and glacial valleys, talus slopes), illustrates the frequency of various heritages in Rondane.
Les rives de la rivière Atna (premier et second plans) correspondent à des terrasses fluvioglaciaires étagées (héritages paraglaciaires). À l’arrière-plan, le sommet du Nordre Hammaren (1 898 m) correspond à des versants paléïques (héritages pré-quaternaires). Ce paysage, où les héritages glaciaires et périglaciaires sont fréquents (cirques glaciaires, vallées glaciaires, versants à éboulis), rend compte de l’abondance des reliefs hérités dans le massif des Rondane.

2.4.3. Periglacial and paraglacial heritages

15The frequency of inherited periglacial features and their positioning with altitude complicates the current periglacial belts. The most obvious are gelivation forms on surfaces (blockfields) or slopes (talus slopes, fig. 6A and 6B). Many periglacial-inherited features correspond to patterned grounds or gelifluxion forms. The melting of the Weichselian ice-sheet and permafrost has redistributed the morainic material and built large paraglacial fans, particularly in the north of the massif (Storflye).

2.4.4. Current geomorphic processes

16At present, the most efficient geomorphic processes on slopes are frost actions in soils and rocks. The mountain area is an exemplary case of a dry periglacial high mountain exclusively built with quartzites, where functional talus slopes are common. Functional periglacial features in soils also remain particularly visible in the massif, especially at the bottom of glacial cirques and along the flyi in the north and south of the massif (gelifluxion forms, patterned grounds).

17Finally, the Rondane results from the dissection of a large pre-quaternary mountain, first by the implementation of paleo-valleys (“paleïc reliefs”), then by efficient glacial erosion, followed by the effects of postglacial, periglacial, and paraglacial processes. The current geodynamics essentially involve periglacial processes. All these aspects define the general properties of the massif of Rondane, which can be the object of popularization because of its exemplary reliefs and the association of inherited/active landforms.

3. Using a deductive method for the selection of geomorphosites

18The development of popularization in geomorphology often refers to the notion of geomorphosites, which can be defined as “landforms of different scales characterized by scientific, cultural and historical, aesthetic and social/economic values” (Panizza, 2001). This concept inevitably requires an inventory of sites of geomorphological interest, a procedure of evaluation, and finally a selection of these sites (Grandgirard, 1999; Reynard, 2005; Reynard and Panizza, 2005; Pereira et al., 2007; Reynard et al., 2007, 2009; Portal, 2010). Several assessment methods have effectively been proposed, in particular by Grandgirard (1999), Reynard (2005, 2006), Reynard and Panizza (2005), Reynard et al. (2007), Pereira and Pereira (2010), according to scientific parameters (exemplarity, educational interest, representativeness) or added parameters (accessibility, legibility). In these methods, the properties of the space concerned by the popularization of landforms are less taken into account.

19An operation of landforms popularization can use a multi-scale analysis. The method of popularization proposed here includes a deductive method, which has already been tested in France (Sellier, 2010, 2013b; Sellier and Portal, 2013) and in the Rondane/Dovrefjell National Parks (Kerguillec, 2013). This method uses a geomorphological analysis of the study area and includes four successive stages. In the first stage, the general properties of the study area are defined as proposed in the paragraph above (Main properties of Rondane). In the second stage, the key geomorphological components are identified with the aim of recognising several sub-sets having similar dimensions but different characteristics. The third stage is the result of the subdivision of each main geomorphological component into elementary units of relief (“geomorphotypes”). Finally, the last stage selects one or more geomorphosites for each geomorphotype. The final choice of geomorphosites should be based on additional criteria. In the massif of Rondane, the association of active/inherited features requires an additional value be taken into account, i.e. the degree of activity of landforms. Thus, the method focuses on the geodynamic aspects of landforms and this parameter is added here to the deductive method for the selection of geomorphosites (fig. 7).

Fig. 7 – The deductive selection of the potential geomorphosites.
Fig. 7 – La sélection déductive des géomorphosites.

Fig. 7 – The deductive selection of the potential geomorphosites. Fig. 7 – La sélection déductive des géomorphosites.

See fig. 2 for location of geomorphosites.
Voir fig. 2 pour la localisation des géomorphosites.

3.1. The major components of the relief

20In the Rondane, the deductive method distinguishes divides from depressions. Divides correspond to summits and external slopes: the three central massifs are characterized by similar summits altitudes (more than 2000 m in elevation) and by their high mountain relief. This appearance comes from the multiplicity of glacial cirques (compartmentalized relief) and the morphology of the external slopes (elevations higher than 600-800 m, rocky faces or talus slopes). On the other hand, depressions are the second major component of the massif and concern glacial cirques associated with their internal slopes, as well as glacial valleys.

3.2. The geomorphotypes (elementary units of relief)

21The deductive method distinguishes four elementary units, here called geomorphotypes, derived from divides, and four elementary units associated with depressions.

  • First, the divides include crest lines, pyramidal summits and summit surfaces with blockfields as geomorphotypes. The external slopes concern paleïc slopes with blocky formations, and the slopes corresponding to the flyi of the massif.

  • Four geomorphotypes are associated with depression forms: the internal slopes include rocky faces, talus slopes and Richter denudation slopes. The bottom of the glacial cirques and the glacial valleys are characterized by morainic and paraglacial formations as well as periglacial formations.

22Four elementary units of reliefs are currently active. For the divide forms, the functionality of crest lines, pyramidal summits and summit surfaces essentially depends on altitude. The functionality of rocky faces and talus slopes depends on their exposure, whereas the activity of current periglacial formations at the bottom of the glacial cirques depends on hydrological and structural parameters.

3.3. The geomorphosites

23The use of the degree of functionality of landforms as an additional parameter enables the selection of several potential geomorphosites according to dynamic criteria (inherited/active). Most of the geomorphosites are mainly inherited or only reworked by present gelivation, gelifluxion and run off. Today, the most active elements are the periglacial dynamics on slopes (internal slopes of the glacial cirques) or at the bottom of the glacial cirques (periglacial formations). In addition to these geomorphosites, there are in most cases many opportunities to geomorphological observations because the access to the geomorphosites requires a hike.

4. Framework, tools and language of popularization

4.1. The National Park and its public

24The massif of Rondane is centered in the National Park of the same name (fig. 8), which is the oldest in Norway. It was created in 1962 and then extended in 2003 to reach the current surface area of 963 km2. On the board at the northern entrance of the National Park, its main objectives are given as: “the preservation of the mountain massif of great natural and cultural value. The zone of the park is protected from any technical intervention, including the construction of new roads and buildings”.

Fig. 8 – The National Park of Rondane and the geomorphological available information.
Fig. 8 – Le Parc national des Rondane et l’information à caractère géomorphologique disponible.

Fig. 8 – The National Park of Rondane and the geomorphological available information. Fig. 8 – Le Parc national des Rondane et l’information à caractère géomorphologique disponible.

1: limits of the National Park; 2: limits of the massif of Rondane; 3: localities; 4: rivers; 5: spot elevation; 6: elevation < 1000 m a.s.l.; 7: Norwegian fjell; 8: elevation > 1200 m a.s.l. Available geomorphological information in the field. 9: location of the geomorphosites mentioned in the present study (fig. 9, fig. 10); 10: presentation guide with a paragraph about the Weichselian glaciation (available on the website and in the main mountain refuges); 11: three recommended itineraries (NGU).
1 : limites du Parc national ; 2 : limites du massif des Rondane ; 3 : localité ; 4 : réseau hydrographique ; 5 : cote d’altitude ; 6 : altitude < 1 000 m ; 7 : fjell ; 8 : altitude > 1 200 m. Information à caractère géomorphologique disponible sur le terrain. 9 : géomorphosites mentionnés dans la présente étude (fig. 9, fig. 10) ; 10 : guide contenant un paragraphe sur la glaciation weichselienne, disponible dans les principaux refuges et sur le site internet du Parc national ; 11 : itinéraires recommandés par le NGU.

25The massif of Rondane contains four mountain refuges at the main entrances of the park: Rondvassbu (south), Björnhollia (east), Peer Gynt hytta (west), and Dørålseter (north). In fact, the two largest structures are also at both main entrances (Dørålseter and Rondvassbu). Dørålseter can be accessed by car, while seven kilometers of walking is necessary to reach Rondvassbu, the mountain refuge bought by the Norske Turistforening in 1929. The National Park provides a relatively large network of marked hiking paths, allowing access to the main summits, to the majority of the glacial cirques and thus to the selected geomorphosites.

26Many tourists visit the area in summer and in winter. Their activities involve essentially sports and countryside pursuits (hiking, skiing, biking, hunting, fishing). The visitors are mostly families, generally educated, relatively homogeneous, motivated and nature-loving.

4.2. The current valorization of landforms

27The geomorphological information in the National Park is limited and always associated with the geology of the massif. It consists of topographic maps and tourist leaflets with a short paragraph on the geology of the massif, available at the park entrances, in the main mountain refuges and on the website (www.rondane geopark.no, this name has no statutory meaning because the National Park of Rondane is not yet included in the international Geopark network).

28This geology paragraph essentially deals with some of the glacial heritages of the massif. The only boards providing geomorphological information do not concern the massif itself but rather the Frekmyr nature reserve situated north of the massif: this information deals mainly with the Weichselian glaciation as well as some landforms of deglaciation (kettles, eskers). Other aspects of the geology or geomorphology of the National Park are not developed. The National Park of Rondane also proposes three recommended itineraries to the public, described on the website as “geological and mineralogical”, and associated with cartographic supports, listed stations and leaflets (Atndalen, Dørålen and Sølndalen).

29Overall, the valorization of some sites of geomorphological interest is still scarce and brief. Where it exists, it focuses almost exclusively on the inherited glacial landforms. There is nothing about the current periglacial dynamics, despite the fact that they are the most efficient at present, or about the general properties of the massif (landscapes, climate, mountainous belts).

4.3. The popularization project and the language of popularization

30Considering this lack of valorization of landform, a real geomorphological popularization remains to be carried out in this National Park. This can be created from comments on the selected geomorphosites proposed above, with the help of the National Park facilities (main mountain refuges, marked paths). The two main refuges, which are both favored meeting points and places to stay for the public, provide suitable structures for the installation of boards containing geomorphological information, but these cannot be placed anywhere else in the National Park. Thus, considering that numerous guides about the vegetation, fauna, historic and prehistoric heritages of the region are available in these refuges, a short book about the geomorphology of the massif could be placed here. In addition, several descriptive leaflets popularizing the selected geomorphosites could be placed on the website of the park.

31The popularization of the landforms of Rondane requires some thought about which language should be used. First, the absence of the term “geomorphology” in the currently available information should be taken into account. This term needs to be explained to the public and inserted into the natural heritage and ordinary language, before any transmission of geomorphological information. Then, the notions and scientific terms to be transmitted need to be determined. Simple language can be used to explain the general properties of the massif, avoiding terms that require too much development or deal with infrequent landforms or processes. The language has to highlight the most important geomorphological aspects of the National Park, supported by elementary diagrams for their educational value. Moreover, the geomorphology already exists in the toponymy (Sellier, 2002, 2013a): in order to captivate a public already interested in the Norwegian cultural heritage, the use of toponyms can be envisaged to promote the discipline and transmit scientific information. There are many toponyms in the massif that can be used as the starting point of a geomorphological language: for example “Jutulhogget”, which means “the blow of the Giant’s axe”, is a glacial and paraglacial ravine located in front of the refuge of Rondvassbu.

32Thus, the linguistic difficulties can be gradually overcome. In order to share scientific information with the park visitors, the simplest and most effective method is first to observe the forms and their positioning, and then analyze the processes concerned. The explanation of the relief has to envisage several levels of scale simultaneously and to take into account the degree of functionality of the landforms (inherited/active). The selected geomorphosites enable an analysis with several scale levels, also taking into account the timescale. This gives the public the opportunity to understand and use these keys of understanding to read the present landscape of the massif.

4.4. Two examples of geomorphosites according to functionality

33Two geomorphosites, which correspond to inherited and/or functional processes and landforms, are proposed here concerning divides and depressions landforms as examples.

34Storronden is the second summit of the massif of Rondane (2138 m a.s.l.) and can be chosen to illustrate the methods and language of popularization discussed above (fig. 9). This geomorphosite can illustrate to the public the staged landscapes with regard to the last glaciation, and the origin of the corresponding landforms. Its geomorphological interest comes notably from the fact that it was partially glaciated during the last glacial stage. For this reason, this summit associates pre-Weichselian and postglacial forms and so can be the subject of a popularization operation that takes into account a dynamic approach and timescales. Six stopping places can be recommended during the hike toward the summit. At the beginning of the hike, the landscape associates postglacial rocky slopes and surfaces characterized by morainic blockfields. At the end of the hike, preglacial slopes (paleïc slopes) and a preglacial blockfield on the summit can be observed.

Fig. 9 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (divides forms): the Storronden.
Fig. 9 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes d’interfluve) : le Storronden.

Fig. 9 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (divides forms): the Storronden. Fig. 9 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes d’interfluve) : le Storronden.

35The glacial cirque of Klarabotn is located in the south of the massif to the west of the summit of Steet (1794 m, fig. 10). The average altitude at the bottom of the cirque is 1640 m a.s.l. and its main interest is the observation of one of the largest functional periglacial patterned grounds of the massif. This geomorphosite can explain to the visitors the importance of lithology, climate and hydrology in the activity of periglacial processes. This site provides the necessary information about the current functional processes: thus, it offers the opportunity to show the public that the mountain area is still evolving today.

Fig. 10 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (depressions forms): the glacial cirque of Klarabotn.
Fig. 10 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes en creux) : le cirque glaciaire de Klarabotn.

Fig. 10 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (depressions forms): the glacial cirque of Klarabotn. Fig. 10 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes en creux) : le cirque glaciaire de Klarabotn.

5. Conclusion

36Because of its general properties, the Norwegian massif of Rondane has a rich geomorphological potential, illustrated by its cultural meaning and presented here in the overall perspective of a popularization of landforms. This potential remains to be incorporated in the National Park natural heritage and this paper is the first geomorphological promotion proposal in Rondane. This proposal is based on a selection of numerous geomorphosites by the use of a deductive method as well as on a thought about tools of popularization (i.e. selection of information to be transmitted, language to be used).

37The deductive method has several interests, among which to provide an integrated approach of the reliefs of an area by using successive levels of scale (i.e. four successive stages). Because the geomorphosites are selected according to each basic geomorphological unit, the deductive method defines homogeneous groups of sites which are representative of the fundamental properties of an area as well as of its elementary units of relief. This method has already been applied in French areas, including sedimentary basins, coastal areas and marshes, and is applied here in a high Atlantic mountain. This method implies a preliminary study of the main characteristics of an area and defines a limited number of sites that is sufficient to explain the geomorphology of an area to the public. Thus, it could contribute to feasibility studies carried out prior to popularisation processes and be used before the “selective method”, which aims to determine priority sites for natural heritage valuation and tourism management. The deductive method has also an educational interest. As it results from a geomorphological analysis, it could help the public to understand the need to place the geomorphosites in the general geomorphology of the massif according to several levels of scale. Thus, the deductive method could popularize the geomorphology, one of its methods of analysis (i.e. use of levels of scale) and the landforms of the National Park. Therefore, it should be detailed for the public of the National Park and largely integrated into the popularization of landforms.

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Annexe

Version française abrégée

Localisé à proximité du 62e parallèle nord et du 9e méridien est, le massif des Rondane culmine à 2 178 m au Rondslottet et compte de ce fait parmi les plus hautes montagnes de Scandinavie après le Jotunheimen (2 469 m) et le Dovrefjell (2 286 m). Il présente trois propriétés fondamentales qui justifient l’intégration de son relief à une opération de vulgarisation.

En raison de leurs altitudes mais aussi d’englacements répétés au cours du Quaternaire, les Rondane se caractérisent d’abord par un relief de haute montagne. Ils comprennent des sommets étroits, des empreintes glaciaires répandues (fréquence des cirques glaciaires, auges glaciaires), ainsi que des versants dont l’extension altitudinale est souvent supérieure à 1 000 m. Leur situation géographique implique par ailleurs la modération des totaux pluviométriques annuels moyens et, en conséquence, l’appartenance du massif à l’un des secteurs les plus secs de la Scandinavie et l’absence d’étage glacio-nival authentique. L’absence de glaciers se traduit par l’épaisseur remarquable de l’étage périglaciaire actif. Par ailleurs, une fusion plus précoce du manteau neigeux que dans le Jotunheimen situé plus près de la mer, facilite la lecture des reliefs et renforce l’intérêt didactique du massif des Rondane. En outre, les Rondane témoignent d’une homogénéité structurale qui résulte d’une lithologie essentiellement quartzitique : les quartzites expliquent la rareté des reliefs d’érosion différentielle, mais affranchissent des paramètres structuraux dans l’analyse du relief en même temps qu’ils aboutissent à un équilibre entre formes actives et héritées (Sellier, 2002, 2004a, 2004b ; Kerguillec, 2013).

Le potentiel patrimonial géomorphologique exemplaire du massif des Rondane découle par conséquent de paramètres géographiques, climatiques ou structuraux. Il justifie un projet de vulgarisation (Sellier et Kerguillec, 2012). Ce potentiel est présenté en trois étapes. La première consiste à effectuer un recensement des propriétés du massif. Les Rondane sont une montagne relativement homogène en raison de leur structure majoritairement quartzitique ; ils s’apparentent à un milieu périglaciaire de haute montagne sèche où l’étage périglaciaire fonctionnel a, par conséquent, été reconnu comme le plus épais d’Europe, c'est-à-dire celui qui présente la plus grande extension altitudinale (Sellier, 2002, 2006 ; Kerguillec, 2013) ; ils manifestent également une fréquence élevée d’héritages pré-quaternaires, glaciaires, paraglaciaires et périglaciaires, en même temps qu’une morphogenèse périglaciaire actuelle particulièrement active, exprimée par la fréquence des formes fonctionnelles et notamment des versants à éboulis.

La seconde étape consiste à employer une méthode déductive pour sélectionner les géomorphosites les plus significatifs. Appliquée en d’autres lieux, cette méthode se fonde sur une analyse des reliefs selon plusieurs niveaux scalaires successifs (propriétés générales du massif, composants majeurs, unités de relief élémentaires désignées en l’occurrence sous le terme de « géomorphotypes », géomorphosites) et sur une approche géomorphologique (Sellier, 2009, 2010, 2013b ; Sellier et Portal, 2013). Il s’agit par conséquent d’une méthode intégrée qui prend en compte les propriétés de l’espace concerné par l’opération de vulgarisation. Elle aboutit à une sélection déductive de géomorphosites représentatifs de chacune des unités géomorphologiques élémentaires, en introduisant ici la fonctionnalité des formes comme valeur additionnelle.

La dernière étape expose les conditions de mise en place d’une opération de vulgarisation, compte tenu du statut juridique du Parc national, de la qualité de ses structures et de la spécificité de son public, majoritairement familial, sportif et instruit, donc relativement homogène. Elle fait également le point des informations à transmettre en gardant à l’esprit l’information à caractère géomorphologique déjà disponible et sa provenance, tout en discutant du langage à adopter et du renfort pédagogique que peut jouer la toponymie. Cette procédure s’achève par la présentation de deux géomorphosites, l’un représentatif de formes d’interfluves, l’autre de formes en creux.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Location map of the Rondane National Park. Fig. 1 – Carte de localisation du Parc national des Rondane.
Légende 1: study area; 2: nearby massifs; 3: Norway/Sweden boundary; 4: altitude < 500 m a.s.l.; 5: altitude between 500/1000 m a.s.l.; 6: altitude > 1000 m a.s.l. 1 : zone d’étude ; 2 : massifs voisins ; 3 : frontière Norvège/Suède ; 4 : altitude < 500 m ; 5 : altitude comprise entre 500 et 1 000 m ; 6 : altitude > 1 000 m.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 212k
Titre Fig. 2 – Map of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 2 – Carte du massif des Rondane.
Légende A: Contour map. 1: mountain refuge; 2: rivers and lakes; 3: spot elevation; 4: contour lines (100 m); 5: limits of the National Park. B: Location map. 6: limits of the National Park; 7: limits of the contour map; 8: elevation < 1000 m a.s.l.; 9: Norwegian fjell; 10: elevation > 1200 m a.s.l. A : Carte principale. 1 : refuge ; 2 : réseau hydrographique et principaux lacs ; 3 : cote d’altitude ; 4 : courbes de niveau (équidistance 100 m) ; 5 : limites du Parc national. B : Encart cartographique. 6 : limites du Parc national ; 7 : localisation de la carte principale ; 8 : altitude < 1 000 m ; 9 : fjell ; 10 : altitude > 1 200 m.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,2M
Titre Fig. 3 – The morphostructural elements of the massif of Rondane.Fig. 3 – Les éléments morphostructuraux du massif des Rondane.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 696k
Titre Fig. 4 – The south of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 4 – Le sud du massif des Rondane.
Légende The Rondane present an «alpine» appearance which results from the frequency of glacial cirques (Krokåtbekkbotn, Klarabotn and Kaldbekkbotn from the left to the right of the photography, at the background). Photography towards the northwest from the summit of the peripheral mountain of the Fremre Illmannhoï (1602 m a.s.l.). Les Rondane présentent une apparence “alpine” qui résulte de la fréquence des cirques glaciaires (Krokåtbekkbotn, Klarabotn et Kaldbekkbotn, à l’arrière plan et de gauche à droite). Cliché pris vers le nord ouest, depuis le sommet de la montagne périphérique du Fremre Illmannhoï (1 602 m).
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 5 – The mountainous belts of the massif of Rondane. Fig. 5 – Les étagements montagnards du massif des Rondane.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 292k
Titre Fig. 6 – The north of the massif of Rondane, towards the south from the refuge of Dørålseter (1050 m a.s.l.). Fig. 6 – Le nord du massif des Rondane, vu vers le sud depuis le refuge de Dørålseter (1 050 m).
Légende The banks of the Atna River (middle ground and foreground) are occupied by staged fluvioglacial terraces (paraglacial heritages). At the background, the summit of the Nordre Hammaren (1898 m a.s.l.) is wrapped by paleïc slopes (pre-quaternary heritages). This landscape, where glacial and periglacial inherited forms are very common (glacial cirques and glacial valleys, talus slopes), illustrates the frequency of various heritages in Rondane. Les rives de la rivière Atna (premier et second plans) correspondent à des terrasses fluvioglaciaires étagées (héritages paraglaciaires). À l’arrière-plan, le sommet du Nordre Hammaren (1 898 m) correspond à des versants paléïques (héritages pré-quaternaires). Ce paysage, où les héritages glaciaires et périglaciaires sont fréquents (cirques glaciaires, vallées glaciaires, versants à éboulis), rend compte de l’abondance des reliefs hérités dans le massif des Rondane.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 3,1M
Titre Fig. 7 – The deductive selection of the potential geomorphosites. Fig. 7 – La sélection déductive des géomorphosites.
Légende See fig. 2 for location of geomorphosites. Voir fig. 2 pour la localisation des géomorphosites.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 356k
Titre Fig. 8 – The National Park of Rondane and the geomorphological available information. Fig. 8 – Le Parc national des Rondane et l’information à caractère géomorphologique disponible.
Légende 1: limits of the National Park; 2: limits of the massif of Rondane; 3: localities; 4: rivers; 5: spot elevation; 6: elevation < 1000 m a.s.l.; 7: Norwegian fjell; 8: elevation > 1200 m a.s.l. Available geomorphological information in the field. 9: location of the geomorphosites mentioned in the present study (fig. 9, fig. 10); 10: presentation guide with a paragraph about the Weichselian glaciation (available on the website and in the main mountain refuges); 11: three recommended itineraries (NGU). 1 : limites du Parc national ; 2 : limites du massif des Rondane ; 3 : localité ; 4 : réseau hydrographique ; 5 : cote d’altitude ; 6 : altitude < 1 000 m ; 7 : fjell ; 8 : altitude > 1 200 m. Information à caractère géomorphologique disponible sur le terrain. 9 : géomorphosites mentionnés dans la présente étude (fig. 9, fig. 10) ; 10 : guide contenant un paragraphe sur la glaciation weichselienne, disponible dans les principaux refuges et sur le site internet du Parc national ; 11 : itinéraires recommandés par le NGU.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 444k
Titre Fig. 9 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (divides forms): the Storronden. Fig. 9 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes d’interfluve) : le Storronden.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 860k
Titre Fig. 10 – An example of geomorphosite promotion (depressions forms): the glacial cirque of Klarabotn. Fig. 10 – Un exemple de valorisation d’un géomorphosite (formes en creux) : le cirque glaciaire de Klarabotn.
URL http://geomorphologie.revues.org/docannexe/image/11012/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
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Riwan Kerguillec et Dominique Sellier, « Selection of geomorphosites in the Rondane National Park (central Norway): landforms and popularization », Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement, vol. 21 – n° 2 | 2015, 131-144.

Référence électronique

Riwan Kerguillec et Dominique Sellier, « Selection of geomorphosites in the Rondane National Park (central Norway): landforms and popularization », Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement [En ligne], vol. 21 – n° 2 | 2015, mis en ligne le 01 janvier 2016, consulté le 30 avril 2017. URL : http://geomorphologie.revues.org/11012 ; DOI : 10.4000/geomorphologie.11012

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Auteurs

Riwan Kerguillec

Institut de Géographie et d’Aménagement Régional de l’Université de Nantes – Géolittomer UMR 6554 CNRS – Chemin de la Censive du Tertre – BP 81227 – 44322 Nantes cedex 3 (riwan.kerguillec@univ-nantes.fr). Tél. : 33 (0)2 53 48 76 59 ; Fax : 33 (0)2 53 48 76 50.

Dominique Sellier

Institut de Géographie et d’Aménagement Régional de l’Université de Nantes – Géolittomer UMR 6554 CNRS – Chemin de la Censive du Tertre – BP 81227 – 44322 Nantes cedex 3 (dominique.sellier@univ-nantes.fr).

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