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Taku Glacier (Alaska, U.S.A.) on the move again: active deformation of proglacial sediments

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Taku Glacier is one of the few glaciers in Alaska, U.S.A., that has advanced over the last century: 7 km since 1890. This advance slowed substantially during the past decade, but in summer 2001the glacier terminus began to readvance at a rate of 30 cm d-1. The advance produced dramatic proglacial sediment deformation up to 200 m in front of the terminus.Two to three large bulges and several secondary bulges developed in the proglacial sediments as a result of glacial compression along a 1km wide portion of the terminus.The bulge nearest the terminus was 10m high and 65 m wide. The middle bulge (7 m high) advanced at 15cm d-1 and the distal bulge (3 m high and 50 m wide) at 9 cm d-1. Crenulations and prominent fractures developed in the overlying vegetation layer.The frontal lobes of the bulges were steep and overlaid a shear zone, where sediments were being thrust up and over the ground surface. Ice-proximal push moraines,1-10m high, formed along much of the 9 km wide terminus, although deformation was minimal at some locations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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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