Preliminary study of laminated, silt-rich debris bands: Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A.

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Several different types of laterally extensive debris bands occur along the western terminus region of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A. An ice-bed process, which to our knowledge has not previously been recognized and described, forms the most common and most prominent type of debris band at Matanuska Glacier's terminus. The debris bands are composed of one or several millimeter-thick laminations of silt-rich ice having much higher sediment content than that of the surrounding ice. Samples of these bands and their surrounding englacial ice have been analyzed for anthropogenic tritium (3H), oxygen-18 (18O), and deuterium (D). We interpreted the laminated, silt-rich debris bands as basal fractures, along which silt-laden, glaciohydraulically supercooled and pressurized waters flowed, healing the fractures by ice growth. This process is analogous to the inward growth of hydrothermal quartz from the sides of an open fracture.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • 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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