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Zooming in on frozen-bed patches: scale-dependent controls on Fennoscandian ice sheet basal thermal zonation

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In this paper, we explore geomorphological evidence allowing a first-order reconstruction of the extent and pattern of frozen-bed conditions under the last Fennoscandian ice sheet. We mapped relict landscapes, i.e. glacial landforms and subaerially developed ground surfaces predating the last ice sheet and marking sustained frozen-bed conditions, at four different spatial scales. At the ice-sheet scale, relict landscapes are most abundant between the Last Glacial Maximum ice divide and the elevation axis of the Scandinavian mountain range. The location of frozen-bed zones was mainly a function of dispersal centre location (low surface temperatures and small strain heating) and small ice thickness over the eastern flank of the mountain range. At the mesoscale (260 × 360 km map area), the pattern of relict surfaces is governed by inward-cutting ice-stream erosion. Topographical control was weak, but relation to flow pattern was strong, with the major frozen-bed zone located where ice flow was strongly divergent. At the regional scale (40 × 65 km map area) in hilly terrain, topographical control was strong with relict surfaces only appearing above a plane dipping in the up-ice direction. At the local scale (12 × 14 km map area), control by topography was likewise strong, but the detailed boundary pattern was irregular, with specific landforms occurring both up- and down-ice of frozen patches.

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.

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