Morphology and Sedimentology of an Emergent Fjord-Head Gilbert-Type Delta: Alta Delta, Norway

  1. Albina Colella2 and
  2. David B. Prior3
  1. G. D. Corner,
  2. E. Nordahl,
  3. K. Munch-Ellingsen and
  4. K. R. Robertsen

Published Online: 2 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch8

Coarse-Grained Deltas

Coarse-Grained Deltas

How to Cite

Corner, G. D., Nordahl, E., Munch-Ellingsen, K. and Robertsen, K. R. (1990) Morphology and Sedimentology of an Emergent Fjord-Head Gilbert-Type Delta: Alta Delta, Norway, in Coarse-Grained Deltas (eds A. Colella and D. B. Prior), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Universita della Calabria, Italy

  2. 3

    Atlantic Geoscience Center, Nova Scotia, Canada

Author Information

  1. Department of Geology, Institute of Biology and Geology, University of Tromsø, N-900 Tromsø, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 19 OCT 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632028948

Online ISBN: 9781444303858



  • morphology and sedimentology;
  • modern alluvial deltas;
  • Alta delta;
  • wave and tide dominated;
  • sand-gravel facies;
  • pro delta;
  • channel (subtidal)


The Alta delta, in Finnmark, northern Norway (70° N, 23.5°E), is a Holocene, partially emergent, fan-shaped, sandy to sandy–gravelly Gilbert-type delta, set in a subarctic, fjord-head environment.

A study of the modern delta surface, subrecent subsurface and sections in older, raised terraces, shows that the delta comprises three major components: (1) a relatively thin (1–3 m), sandy–gravelly topset unit with erosional base, formed on an emerging, partly fluvial-, partly wave- and tide-dominated, intertidal delta plain; (2) a thick, sandy foreset unit comprising steeply dipping beds, deposited on a steep (5–35°), gravity-process-dominated delta slope; and (3) a muddy bottomset unit containing intermittent, turbidite sand beds, formed on a gently sloping (< 3–4°) prodelta area.

Radiocarbon dates and a regional sea-level curve have been used to reconstruct palaeodepths, sedimentation rates and average rate of delta progradation (c. 0.4 m yr−1 over the last 6000 years).