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Recumbent folding of divide arches in response to unsteady ice-divide migration

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Arches in stratigraphic layers directly under a flow divide (Raymond bumps) are predicted by models of steady ice-sheet flow, and have been observed in several ice domes. Here, we model the evolution of these layers when a formerly stationary divide migrates rapidly to a new position, then again becomes stationary, leaving the arched layers in a flank position. As they are then carried downstream with the flow, these abandoned arches can develop into recumbent folds. These folds can occur over a wide range of divide migration speeds. The shearing flow that produces these recumbent folds also distributes the folded layers over a wide distance downstream from the original divide location. If the divide offset is abrupt, 'pre-cores', or material lines comprising core-relative isochrones, can be used to quickly identify portions of an abandoned Raymond bump that would be overturned at any future ice-core site downstream. If, as appears to be the case in Greenland, the divide is never stable long enough to produce a mature arch, folds of this type would not occur. The most likely place to find such folds might be the flank of an ice ridge bounded by unsteady ice streams.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2005

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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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