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Subglacial water-sheet floods, drumlins and ice-sheet lobes

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The effect of subglacial lakes upon ice-sheet topography and the velocity patterns of subglacial water-sheet floods is investigated. A subglacial lake in the combined Michigan-Green Bay basin, Great Lakes, North America, lcads to: (I) an icc-sheet lobe in the lee of Lake Michigan; (2) a change in orientations of flood velocities across the site of a supraglaeial trough aligned closely with Green Bay, in agreement with drumlin orientations; (3) low water velocities in the lee of Lake Michigan where drumlins are absent; and (4)drumlinization occurring in regions of predicted highwater velocities. The extraordinary divergence of drumlin orientations near Lake Ontario is explained by the presence of subglacial lakes in the Ontario and Erie basins, along with ice-sheet displacements of up to 30 km in eastern Lake Ontario. The megagrooves on the islands in western Lake Erie are likely to be the product of the late stage of a water-sheet flood when outflow from eastern Lake Ontario was dammed by displaced ice and instead flowed westward along the Erie basin. The Finger Lakes of northern NewYork state, northeastern U. S. A., occur in a region of likely ice-sheet grounding where water sheets became channelized. Green Bay and Grand Traverse Bay arc probably the products of erosion along paths of strongly convergent water-sheet flow.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 1999

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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