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CHANGES IN ICE-MARGIN PROCESSES AND SEDIMENT ROUTING DURING ICE-SHEET ADVANCE ACROSS A MARGINAL MORAINE

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

Advance of part of the margin of the Greenland ice sheet across a proglacial moraine ridge between 1968 and 2002 caused progressive changes in moraine morphology, basal ice formation, debris release, ice-marginal sediment storage, and sediment transfer to the distal proglacial zone. When the ice margin is behind the moraine, most of the sediment released from the glacier is stored close to the ice margin. As the margin advances across the moraine the potential for ice-proximal sediment storage decreases and distal sediment flux is augmented by reactivation of moraine sediment. For six stages of advance associated with distinctive glacial and sedimentary processes we describe the ice margin, the debris-rich basal ice, debris release from the glacier, sediment routing into the proglacial zone, and geomorphic processes on the moraine. The overtopping of a moraine ridge is a significant glaciological, geomorphological and sedimentological threshold in glacier advance, likely to cause a distinctive pulse in distal sediment accumulation rates that should be taken into account when glacial sediments are interpreted to reconstruct glacier fluctuations.

Keywords: glacial geomorphology; glacial sediment; glacier fluctuations; ice-sheet margin; ice-sheet reconstruction; moraine; sediment budget; sediment routing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2007.00319.x

Affiliations: 1: EPSAM Research Institute and School of Physical and Geographical Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK 2: Minnesota Geological Survey, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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