A Hypothesis-Based Approach to Landscape Change in Suðuroy, Faroe Islands

K. J. Edwards, D. Borthwick, G. Cook, A. J. Dugmore, K. Mairs, M. J. Church, I. A. Simpson, W. P. Adderley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Hovsdalur, an area delimited by the great cirques of upland central Suðuroy, draining into the valley of the Hovsá and terminating in the east at the coastal amphitheatre of Hovsfjø rdur, is a microcosm of the Faroes. The area contains the physical and economic features which characterize the greater part of the island group—mountain, valley, and coast, and marine, cultivation, and grazing environments. Data comprising mainly geomorphological, palynological, and pedological evidence, covering the period prior to and subsequent to the initial Norse settlement (landnám), are used to test a series of hypotheses which exemplify the human ecology of the area. Not all the hypotheses, or aspects of them, proved acceptable—the Norse period clearly coincided with a number of vegetational and pedological changes, but this must be set partly against a backdrop of long-term geomorphological activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-650
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


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