There have been many opinions on the definition of solifluction since the expression was first used by J. G. Andersson in 1906. The original definition was “slow flowing from higher to lower ground of masses of waste saturated with water. Later studies have revealed that there may be other factors to consider and, in addition, the soil does not necessarily have to be saturated. In this thesis, an overview of the existing research about solifluction has been made. Field work was carried out at Dovre and Svalbard.
Near Kapp Linné, Svalbard, two areas with widespread solifluction have been studied and described. At one study site, a 7 metre long trench was dug into the solifluction lobe, exposing a profile through the outermost part of the lobe. Fabric analysis showed that there is a preferred orientation of oblong stones, this is parallel to the direction of movement of the solifluction lobe.
At Dovre, similar studies were undertaken. By looking at aerial photographs, the distribution of solifluction in the field area was mapped. Fabric analysis done in one of the lobes showed the same results as in Svalbard: the preferred orientation for the oblong stones is with the longest axis in the same direction as the flow lines.
Temperature data from Fokstua meteorological station at Dovre has been compared with temperatures from two loggers set out at the field site. The loggers measured temperatures every hour during almost one year (2004-2005), situated at the tree line and on the ground near a solifluction lobe.