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Contemporaneous, localized, basal ice-flow variations: implications for bedrock erosion and the origin of p-forms

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A detailed study of a proglacial bedrock site and a subglacial cavity of an outlet of ØksfjordjØkelen, Norway, is presented together with observations from the fore-land of Konowbreen, Spitsbergen. Striation directions and subglacial observations indicate that local ice-flow paths were highly variable, deviating at angles of approximately 90° from the main ice-flow direction. Stepped bedrock topography appears conducive to the production of highly variable ice-flow paths, because the high bed roughness creates a locally variable stress regime within the ice, including low-pressure, lee-side areas into which ice can flow. If ice flow is sustained along a specific path and the ice contains debris, then abrasion should produce an erosional bedform. Models are proposed whereby locally variable ice-flow patterns could produce erosional bedforms, which would be described as p-forms, purely through mechanical abrasion.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 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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