Glacial Landsystems

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Proglacial permafrost can also reduce effective stress by over-pressurising groundwater Entrainment of debris occurs through the transmission of basal shear stress from the glacier bed into the frozen subglacial sediment The basal thermal regime of ice sheets represents important empirical data required for numerical ice-sheet models. The subglacial thermal regime on Ulu Peninsula comprised four principal types: a wet-based ice stream, warm-based sheet flow, cold-based sheet flow and cold-based plateau ice caps.

Each leaves a distinctive sediment-landform assemblage behind in the geological record. There is evidence of frozen-bed patches with slow sheet flow. Marine geological evidence has been taken to suggest that there was cold-based ice on Antarctic Peninsula mountains during the LGM 72, Ice streaming and rapid basal sliding may have been encouraged by slippery marine sediments in Prince Gustav Channel.


The table below summaries some of the key features and inferred thermal regimes of different glacial drifts found on Ulu Peninsula. The glacial sandy boulder gravel that characterises James Ross Island today is significantly different to the Neogene diamictite logged in many places across the island 19,74, Similar contrasts have been noted in the Dry Valleys, where pebble gravels deposited by cold-based glaciers differ from the Neogene Sirius Group diamictons This is indicative of changing climatic regimes, with diamicton, silt and clay forming only under the warmer conditions of the Neogene cf.

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Warmer atmospheric temperatures encouraged basal sliding, erosion, transportation and deposition under a wet-based ice sheet, with abundant production of fines through glacial abrasion, producing diamictites note: a diamictite is a lithified diamicton. Abrasion under cold-based glaciers is insufficient to produce the large quantities of fines needed for subglacial till formation, which is associated with warm-based glaciers above the pressure melting point.

This study has shown that cold-based ice sheets are capably of entraining and moving subglacial sediments, and supports a new and emerging paradigm of sheet flow in high latitude regions. The old paradigm suggested that ice sheets comprised a patchwork of cold-based ice on mountain tops, with little or no erosion or deposition, surrounded by highly active warm-based ice that typically occupied valleys 78, New and emerging research suggests that this is an oversimplification, and that sheet flow is more complex.

Although cold-based glaciers are weak erosional and depositional agents compared with warm-based glaciers, their thermal regime and their beds is more subtle than previously thought 43, Sheet flow occurred on the main part of the peninsula, with both warm- and cold-based ice flowing across the island, and cold-based and stationary ice domes on high plateaux blockfields.

The lateral margins of Prince Gustav Ice Stream were likely to have been dominated by warm-based sheet flow; the evidence for this includes moraine fragments and enhanced deposition of erratics. This holistic and systematic study of Ulu Peninsula on James Ross Island has used detailed sedimentary descriptions, clast lithology, shape-roundness data and geomorphology mapped from both remotely sensed images and in the field to discriminate six sediment-landform assemblages and thus to present the first landsystem model from a semi-arid polar environment from the Antarctic Peninsula.

The conceptual model emphasises the interrelationship and importance of glacial, periglacial and paraglacial processes. We identified, 1 a glacier snow and ice assemblage; 2 a glacigenic assemblage; 3 a boulder train assemblage; 4 an ice-cored moraine assemblage; 5 the paraglacial assemblage; and 6 a periglacial assemblage. Analysis of these assemblages provides a detailed understanding of landscape evolution on James Ross Island. Sediments and landforms were deposited during LGM glaciation and during mid- and Late-Holocene glacier readvances.

They were subsequently reworked and deposited by periglacial and paraglacial processes, throughout the Holocene and into the present day. Crucially, when compared with other landsystem models, we find that the availability of meltwater encourages strong landform modification by periglacial processes. These processes would have been similarly important during Late Pleistocene glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere.

Therefore, the landsystem model presented here is a modern analogue to be used in the interpretation of past glaciated environments. The data and the model for the interplay between cold-based, warm-based and streaming ice challenges the theory that cold-based glaciers do not erode or deposit. Finally, this paper presented important new data regarding the thermal regime and character and behaviour of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet during the LGM, which will aid reconstructions of the LGM ice sheet in the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Davies, B. In: M. Hambrey et al. The full paper can be downloaded from the link above.

Please email the authors if you cannot access this publication. References 1. Evans, D. Introduction to glacial landsystems. The active temperate glacial landsystem: a model based on Breiethamerkurjokull and Fjallsjokull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 21 , Ballantyne, C. Paraglacial geomorphology. Hambrey, M. Martin, P. The spatial distribution of 10 m temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Journal of Glaciology 20 , Domack, E. Environmental setting of the Antarctic Peninsula. King, J. The spatial coherence of interannual temperature variations in the Antarctic Peninsula. Geophysical Research Letters 30 , — British Antarctic Survey. Laska, K.

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Seasonal variation of air temperature at the Mendel Station, James Ross Island, in the period of Precipitation, sublimation and snow drift in the Antarctic Peninsula region from a regional atmospheric model. Journal of Geophysical Research , D Strelin, J.

Rock glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Permafrost — Seventh International Conference Proceedings 55 , Riley, T. Bibby, J. Antarctic Science 24 , Nelson, P. British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports 54 , Nelson, A. Neogene glacigenic debris flows on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula, and their implications for regional climate history. Quaternary Science Reviews 28 , Smellie, J. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , Johnson, J. Holocene deglacial history of the north east Antarctic Peninsula — a review and new chronological constraints.

Quaternary Science Reviews 30 , Quaternary Science Reviews 31 , Rabassa, J. Menzies, J. Hjort, C. Journal of Quaternary Science 12 , Boreas 21 , Gilbert, R. Deglacial history of the Greenpeace trough: Ice sheet to ice shelf transition in the Northwestern Weddell Sea. Evans, J. Late Quaternary glacial history, flow dynamics and sedimentation along the eastern margin of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 24 , Heroy, D. Quaternary Science Reviews 26 , Glasser, N. Journal of Glaciology 57 , Journal of Glaciology 55 , Topographic controls on glacier sediment-landform associations around the temperate North Patagonian Icefield.

Structural, tectonic and glaciological controls on the evolution of fjord landscapes.

Glacial landsystems and dynamics of the Saginaw Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, Michigan, USA

Geomorphology , Bennett, M. Geomorphological evidence for variations of the North Patagonian Icefield during the Holocene. Geomorphology 71 , Benn, D. Reconstructing the transport history of glacigenic sediments: a new approach based on the co-variance of clast form indices. Sedimentary Geology 91 , Adam, W. Identification of basal layer debris in ice-marginal moraines, Russell Glacier, West Greenland.

Quaternary Science Reviews 22 , Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, northern Antarctic Peninsula, — The Cryosphere 6 , Carrivick, J. Late Holocene changes in character and behaviour of land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 58 , Engel, Z. Bockheim, J. Evolution of desert pavements and the vesicular layer in soils of the Transantarctic Mountains.

Camerlenghi, A. Marine Geophysical Researches 22 , Lloyd Davies, M. Evidence for cold-based glacial activity in the Allan Hills, Antarctica. Waller, R.

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The influence of basal processes on the dynamic behaviour of cold-based glaciers. Quaternary International 86 , Kleman, J. The subglacial thermal organisation STO of ice sheets. Hall, A. Reconstructing the basal thermal regime of an ice stream in a landscape of selective linear erosion: Glen Avon, Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. Boreas 32 , Hubbard, B.

Basal ice facies: a review and unifying approach. Basal ice facies and their formation in the Western Alps. Arctic and Alpine Research 27 , Miall, A.

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A review of the braided river depositional environment. Earth Science Reviews 13 , Knight, J. The environmental significance of ventifacts: A critical review. Earth-Science Reviews 86 , Matsuoka, N. Geomorphology 12 , Ermolin, E. Annals of Glaciology 39 , Mapping of permafrost on Vega Island, Antarctic Peninsula, using satellite images and aerial photography.

Annals of Glaciology 34 , Fukuda, M. Yoshida, N.

Glacial Landsystems

High-latitude rock glaciers: A case study of forms and processes in the Canadian arctic. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 4 , Ice-marginal terrestrial landsystems: sub-polar glacier margins of the Canadian and Greenland High Arctic. Revista de la Asociacion Argentina 62 , Sone, T. Polish Polar Research 28 , Wilson, P. Periglacial Landforms: Rock Forms. Scott, A. Murton, J. Periglacial Landforms: Patterned Ground.

Rea, B. Periglacial Landforms, Rockforms: Blockfields Felsenmeer.

Surging glacier landsystem

A general model of autochthonous blockfield evolution. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 21 , Sugden, D. Geomorphology 28 , French, H.

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Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 10 , Hall, B. Surficial geology and geomorphology of eastern and central Wright Valley, Antarctica. Geomorphology 64 , Atkins, C. Cold glaciers erode and deposit: evidence from Allan Hills, Antarctica. Geology 30 , Development of sediment-landform associations at cold glacier margins, Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

Sedimentology 57 , Fitzsimons, S. Ice-marginal terrestrial landsystems: polar continental glacier margins. Boulton, G. Groundwater flow beneath ice sheets: Part II — Its impact on glacier tectonic structures and moraine formation. Quaternary Science Reviews 14 , Basal glacier ice and massive ground ice: different scientists, same science?

Reinardy, B. Contrasting sources for glacial and interglacial shelf sediments used to interpret changing ice flow directions in the Larsen Basin, Northern Antarctic Peninsula.

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Marine Geology , Quaternary Research 56 , Earth-Science Reviews 94 , Francis, E. DeConto, R. Rapid Cenozoic glaciation of Antarctica induced by declining atmospheric CO 2. Nature , Mayewski, P. State of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate system. Reviews of Geophysics 47 , Stroeven, A. A relict landscape in the centre of Fennoscandian glaciation: cosmogenic radionuclide evidence of tors preserved through multiple glacial cycles. Geomorphology 44 , A relict landscape in the centre of Fennoscandian glaciation: Geomorphological evidence of minimal Quaternary glacial erosion.

Cuffey, K. Entrainment at cold glacier beds. Geology 28 , Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Glacial landsystems Methods Sediment-landform assemblages Processes of landscape evolution Glacial-paraglacial-periglacial interactions Character and behaviour of the LGM ice sheet Conclusions Full citation References Comments Glacial Landsystems A landsystems approach encourages looking at the whole of a landscape to understand how it formed.

View Larger Map Geological timescale. Brandy Bay moraine is visible in the distance, adjacent to the bay. Inspecting a diamictite boulder in the boulder train Monolith Lake, amongst hyaloclastite boulders in the boulder train Monolith Lake, amongst hyaloclastite boulders in the boulder train. Exposed stratified glacier ice in ice-cored moraine. Exposed glacier ice in ice-cored moraine Davies Dome outlet glacier Striated sandstone boulder, IJR moraine Ponded meltwater lakes, or kettle holes, in ice-cored moraine. Braided stream transporting glacial sediments Marine terrace indicating former sea high stand Blockfield on a plateau, with large angular basalt boulders Boulder sculpted by the wind a ventefact.

Glacier-derived rock glacier Talus-derived rock glacier Protalus rampart Solifluction lobes Stone stripes Nivation processes, with abundant meltwater Stone polygons from frost sorting Blockfield on a high mesa Lachman mesa Blockfield on mesa. Share this. If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses cookies. Glacier snow and ice. Contemporary glaciation. Small cold-based cirque and plateau glaciers dominate.

Erratic-poor drift; erratic-rich drift in coastal regions and cols and passes; moraine fragments. We infer that this landsystem was formed in the onset zone of fast-flowing ice, and that over-printing was due to a re-advance of ice from offshore. These submarine glacial landsystems are not inconsistent with a conceptual model showing Late Wisconsinan ice advance to shelf edges, rapid calving retreat along deepwater channels and slower retreat of ice margins grounded in shallow water. The re-advances docu-mented two of the study areas have parallels in the Last British Ice Sheet, confirming that the reorganization of.

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