A hypothesis-based approach to landscape change in Suðuroy, Faroe Islands.

Kevin John Edwards, Douglas MacDonald Borthwick, G. Cook, A. J. Dugmore, K. A. Mairs, M. J. Church, I. A. Simpson, W. P. Adderley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Hovsdalur, an area delimited by the great cirques of upland central uouroy, draining into the valley of the Hovsa and terminating in the east at the coastal amphitheatre of Hovsfiordur, 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 ( landnam), 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
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Faroe Islands
  • palaeoenvironments
  • hypothesis-testing
  • Norse
  • early Holocene
  • pollen
  • record
  • settlement
  • vegetation
  • Iceland
  • Betula
  • Norway
  • soils


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