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The horned crag-and-tails of the Ungava Bay landform swarm, Quebec–Labrador, Canada

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Till lineations are widespread throughout the interior of Quebec–Labrador, Canada. We discuss a previously unrecognized lineation type, horned crag-and-tails, characterized by two till ridges at the lateral flanks of a bedrock crag. This lineation type appears to occur exclusively in the Ungava Bay lineation swarm and has not been reported from other glaciated shield areas. The morphology and spatial distribution of these peculiar landforms are analyzed in the context of Laurentide ice sheet dynamics in central Quebec–Labrador. We propose that a horned crag-and-tail ridge forms when the ice sheet is frozen to the summit of the crag, but basal melting occurs lower down on the crag. The lack of basal sliding at the summit of the crag inhibits till transport across the crag and prevents the accumulation of till in a direct lee-side position. The last phase of the formation is fossilization by basal freezing of the horned crag-and-tail system. This scenario requires that the ice sheet undergoes a transition from frozen-bed conditions to basal melting with frozen patches on topographical highs, and back to fully frozen-bed conditions. Horned crag-and-tails may thus indicate a unique sequence of basal thermal conditions over large areas of Quebec-Labrador.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1999

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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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