Meeting/Event Information

AIPG MN Spring Social - Exploring the tectonic and climatic drivers in Surna valley, southwestern Norway!

April 18, 2018
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
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The Little Oven
1786 East Minnehaha Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55119

The social will take place on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Little Oven on the southeast corner of Minnehaha Ave & White Bear Ave in St. Paul. The Social will begin at 5:30 PM. The cost is $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. The cost includes food, two beverage tickets, a door prize ticket, and access to all sorts of cool people.


Exploring the tectonic and climatic drivers of asymmetric topography and fluvial incision in a rifted margin, Surna valley, southwestern Norway.

by Dr. Jeni McDermott, University of St. Thomas



Morphologic characteristics of a landscape, such as topographic relief and fluvial steepness, result from a balance of rock uplift and climatic denudation, although isolating the respective roles of these drivers is difficult. The southwestern coast of Norway displays high escarpment relief in a post-breakup, post-glacial setting. Here we report on patterns of relief and fluvial incision in a region characterized by glacial sculpting, rapid isostatic uplift, and a well-established brittle template of normal faults.

The Surna valley (Surnadalen) of mid-southern Norway is a SW-NE striking wide, alluvial, U-shaped valley whose SW margin defines part of the Great Escarpment. Surnadalen displays clear morphometric asymmetry, its inland (SE) side defined by high elevation (>1000 m) and well-developed drainage networks that display clear evidence of alpine glacial carving. By contrast its seaward side is lower (~500 m) and has neither developed drainage networks nor evidence for valley glaciers. Inland drainages are marked by a series of knickpoints, most of which are probably the result of valley glacial retreat. However, several display distinct convex-up longitudinal profiles and negative concavity values; this subset of knickpoints form a linear array aligned parallel with and projecting directly into a major strand of the Møre-Trøndelag fault complex. Many brittle fault outcrops that either strike parallel to or cross-cut the limbs of regional-scale MTFC-parallel folds are known to the SW of the knickpoint alignment. More brittle faults were discovered near or adjacent to several of the incised zones during fieldwork. These specific knickpoints, and only these knickpoints, are zones of deep bedrock incision. The depth of incision is highest in the southwest and is reduced along-strike to the northeast; incision depth does not correlate with fluvial process zone, lithology, structure, drainage basin size, climate, or isostatic uplift rates. We propose Surnadalen’s asymmetry is best explained by a model of late Cenozoic normal fault reactivation, including post-glacial activity that differentially partitions post-glacial rebound along important and pervasive structures parallel to the Surna valley axis where fluvial erosion became localized at or near the principal structural boundary.




Dr. Jeni McDermott, originally from California, received her M.S. in hydrogeology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Ph.D. in geology at Arizona State University. She taught geology for two years at Colgate University in upstate New York before beginning at the University of St Thomas in 2013. Jeni’s research interests lie in understanding how fluvial systems interact with and shape our world, both at the orogen scale through the interplay between surface processes, deformation, and tectonics, as well as at a smaller scale where surface water and groundwater dynamically interact with our human environment. She has worked in the Himalaya in Nepal and Tibet, the coastal fjords of Norway, and the Wind River mountains in WY. She is currently part of a multi-agency group compiling historic landslide data to create a landslide hazard map of Minnesota.




$25.00 Ticket (members)

$25.00 Ticket (non-members)

$0.00 Donation to Education Fund

$5.00 Spring Social Raffle Ticket Bundle (3)