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Palaeo-ice streams in the northern Keewatin sector of the Laurentide ice sheet

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Evidence for ice streams in the Laurentide ice sheet is widespread. In the region of northern Keewatin and the Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut, Canada, palaeo-ice streams have been recognized, but their location, size and potential role in ice-sheet dynamics are poorly constrained. Based on the interpretation of satellite imagery, we produce a palaeo-ice-stream map of this region. Glacial directional landforms, eskers and moraines were mapped and integrated into landform assemblages using a glacial geological inversion model. Palaeo-frozen bed areas were also identified. Relative age of the geomorphic swarms was assessed by cross-cutting relationships and radiocarbon ages where available. Using this information we obtained a glaciologically plausible picture of ice-stream evolution within the northernmost Laurentide ice sheet. On the M'Clintock Channel corridor, three generations of pure ice streams are found. On Baffin Island and the Gulf of Boothia, glaciation was dominated by frozen-bed zones located on high plateaus and ice streams running along the troughs, i.e. topographic ice streams. A massive convergent pattern at the head of Committee Bay drained ice from both the Keewatin and Foxe sectors and was probably one of the main deglaciation channels of the Laurentide ice sheet. Finally, our results indicate that streaming flow was present in the deep interior of the Laurentide ice sheet, as recently shown for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-08-01

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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.

    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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