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

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Abstract:

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

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756499781821670

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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