Skip to main content

Effect of a cold margin on ice flow at the terminus of Storglacïaren, Sweden: implications for sediment transport

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.


The cold-based termini of polythermal glaciers are usually assumed to adhere strongly to an immobile substrate and thereby supply significant resistance to the flow of warm-based ice upglacier. This compressive environment is commonly thought to uplift basal sediment to the surface of the glacier by folding and thrust faulting. We present model and field evidence from the terminus of Storglacïaren, Sweden, showing that the cold margin provides limited resistance to flow from up-glacier. Ice temperatures indicate that basal freezing occurs in this zone at 10–1 – 10–2 ma–1, but model results indicate that basal motion at rates greater than 1 ma–1 must, nevertheless, persist there for surface and basal velocities to be consistent with measurements. Estimated longitudinal compressive stresses of 20–25 kPa within the terminus further indicate that basal resistance offered by the cold-based terminus is small. These results indicate that where polythermal glaciers are underlain by unlithified sediments, ice-flow trajectories and sediment transport pathways may be affected by subglacial topography and hydrology more than by the basal thermal regime.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more