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Multi-scale analyses of subglacial and glaciomarine deposits from the Ross Sea continental shelf, Antarctica

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Piston cores collected from the Ross Sea continental shelf, Antarctica, were studied as part of a multi-scale analysis of glacial and glaciomarine stratigraphy and sedimentology. The objective of these analyses was to differentiate glaciomarine sediments from subglacially deformed tills. Results from analyses of microstructures, lithofacies and seafloor morphology indicate that glaciomarine and subglacially deformed sediments can be clearly distinguished and further characterized by variations in textural parameters. Overcompaction, as well as presence of stratification in sediments, are not considered critical criteria for distinguishing subglacial from glaciomarine deposits. Trough-shaped morphologies and fluted terrain strongly correlate with S-C and S-C-C′-type shear-zone microstructures and indicate that subglacial deformation is an important process in these areas, confirming the presence of grounded ice on the shelf during formation of these landforms and deposits. Flat, smooth topographies, as well as (low-angle) slope environments, correspond to microfabrics which lack microscopic shear-zone geometries and contain dropstones, angular-sediment clasts, large-shell fragments and slight sorting in sandy layers, which imply ice-shelf or open-water conditions present during deposition.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-01-01

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  • 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.

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