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The presence of thrust-block naled after a major surge event: Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland

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Thrust-block naled in front of Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland, appears to have formed during the termination of a terrestrial surge event by a combination of enhanced winter runoff, rapid advance of the glacier terminus, and proglacial stress release by thrusting and stacking of naled blocks. This process is equivalent to the formation of thrust-block moraines. The thrust-block naled consists of at least seven thrust sheets, which are characterized by stratified ice with beds composed of a lower debris-rich lamina, an intermediate dispersed lamina and a top clean-ice lamina, and underlain by frozen outwash deposits. The thrust-block naled differs from basal stratified ice in the absence of internal deformation structures, a relatively low debris concentration, a clay-rich particle-size distribution and a preferential sorting of lighter minerals. The oxygen isotope composition of the thrust-block naled is indistinguishable from 18O values from meteoric glacier ice and bulk meltwater, but different from basal stratified ice facies. The d–D relationship indicates that thrust-block naled has been formed by freezing of successive thin layers of bulk waters with variable isotopic composition, whereas basal stratified ice has developed in a subglacial environment with regelation. This work shows that the association between proglacial naled and rapidly advancing glaciers may have significant consequences for the proglacial geomorphology and the interpretation of basal ice layers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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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