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Glaciated landscapes along Smith Sound, Ellesmere Island, Canada and Greenland

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Abstract:

Both the Ellesmere Island and Greenland coasts of Smith Sound, at 78°20′ N to 78°50′ N, exhibit exceptionally well-sculptured and heavily striated Precambrian bedrock. The glacial features were created by the southward flow of the "Smith Sound Ice Stream", which overrode Pim Island (550 m), where Smith Sound is >500 m deep and 40 km wide. The Smith Sound Ice Stream was the drainageway to Baffin Bay for ice derived from the coalescence of the Innuitian and Greenland ice sheets over Kane Basin, the shallowest part (much of it <200 m) of the Nares Strait system, in late-Wisconsinan (Weichselian) time. The north–south oriented glacial features along the outermost coasts of Smith Sound contrast markedly with the present-day eastward flow of outlet glaciers from the Prince of Wales Icefield (Ellesmere Island) and the westward flow of outlet glaciers from the Greenland ice sheet (Inglefield Land). The oldest 14C ages on marine shells and lake sediments show that glacier ice had receded from the Ellesmere Island coast of Smith Sound by 9000 14C yr BP. The heads of the three longest fiords,120–140 km to the west and northwest, did not become ice-free until 4500 14C yr BP.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756499781821814

Publication date: 1999-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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