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Landform modification by palaeo-ice streams in east-central Ireland

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Abstract:

In eastern Ireland, subglacial bedforms including drumlins and Rogen moraines were modified by headward erosion along two ice streams which had over-lapping flow tracks. The ice streams, which had tidewater termini, are dated by geochronometric and morphostratigraphic methods to <15.0 14C kyr BP (Castleblaney ice stream) and ∼13.814C kyr BP (Armagh ice stream). Bedforms along ice-stream tracks show a morphological continuum which reflects a down-ice increase in the degree of modification by ice-stream activity (i.e. resulting in unmodified → remoulded/overprinted → cross-cut → streamlined bedforms). The down-ice changes in bedform types are inferred to relate to changes in subglacial drainage and sediment-transport mechanisms. Bedform and sedimentary evidence suggest that discrete subglacial meltwater channels which developed up-ice changed in a down-ice direction to unchannelized flows which deepened towards the ice margin. Meltwater release from subglacial cavities, and produced by strain heating at sheared ice-stream margins, probably helped support ice-stream flow, which ended as the volume of subglacial meltwater discharge decreased. Dated millennial-scale cycles of ice activity may be related to instability at tidewater margins, followed by complex thermal and hydraulic responses within the ice mass.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756499781821616

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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