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Elevation of ice-stream margin scars after stagnation

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The evolution of an inter-ice-stream ridge flanked by stagnated ice streams is simulated using a finite-difference, continuity ice-flow model. The model tracks the elevation of small-scale topographic undulations on the ice surface("scars'') which form at ice-stream margins, and shows that after ice-stream stagnation these surface features are lifted onto the flanks of the evolving ridge before they are carried downslope by ice flow. The model is applied to the stagnant ice streams bounding Siple Dome, West Antarctica: "Siple Ice Stream'' (SIS) on the northeast flank near Ice Stream D, and the "Duckfoot' 'area (DF) on the south flank near Ice Stream C. The volume-adjustment time-scale corresponding to the evolution of Siple Dome and these stagnant ice-stream areas is 1500–2000 years. The present geometry and elevation of the scar features, in addition to measurements of the present mass flux across the ridge, are used to estimate stagnation ages for SIS and DF. These measurements suggest that both SIS and DF stagnated 200–500 years ago.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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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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