Glaciodynamic context of subglacial bedform generation and preservation
Abstract:Subglacially-produced drift lineations provide spatially extensive evidence of ice flow that can be used to aid reconstructions of the evolution of former ice sheets. Such reconstructions, however, are highly sensitive to assumptions made about the glaciodynamic context of lineament generation; when during the glacial cycle and where within the ice sheet were they produced. A range of glaciodynamic contexts are explored which include: sheet-flow submarginally restricted; sheet-flow pervasive; sheet-flow patch; ice stream; and surge or re-advance. Examples of each are provided. The crux of deciphering the appropriate context is whether lineations were laid down time-transgressively or isochronously. It is proposed that spatial and morphometric characteristics of lineations, and their association with other landforms, can be used as objective criteria to help distinguish between these cases.
A logically complete ice-sheet reconstruction must also account for the observed patches of older lineations and other relict surfaces and deposits that have survived erasure by subsequent ice flow. A range of potential preservation mechanisms are explored, including: cold-based ice; low basal-shear stresses; shallowing of the deforming layer; and basal uncoupling.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1999-01-01
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