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Cosmogenic analysis of glacial terrains in the eastern Canadian Arctic: a test for inherited nuclides and the effectiveness of glacial erosion

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To determine the effectiveness of glacial erosion and the magnitude of cosmogenic nuclide inheritance from prior periods of cosmic-ray exposure, we measured the abundance of 10Be and 26Al in nine samples collected from bedrock, boulders and cobbles exposed by the retreat of Tumbling Glacier, Baffin Island, Canada. Most samples had nuclide concentrations so low that we were only able to set upper limits for nuclide abundance. Three boulders, two on a Neoglacial moraine of Tumbling Glacier that impounds Crater Lake and one on a roche moutonnée within the Neoglacial moraine loop, had nuclide abundances indicating no more than 900 yr of exposure at the surface. Three bedrock samples, striated by Tumbling Glacier and exposed by ice retreat within the last 20 yr, have similarly low nuclide abundances. One bedrock sample, covered by Tumbling Glacier ice for some part of the Holocene but not eroded, allows us to estimate crudely the duration of Neoglaciation at our sample site (about 5450 yr) and to provide a lower limit on the erosion rate of Tumbling Glacier (0.10±0.03 mm a−1). We analyzed two cobbles collected from the tops of roches moutonnées at Crater Lake; one cobble had the equivalent of 3000 yr of exposure, the other <900 yr.

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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