Continuity comes first: recent progress in understanding subglacial deformation
Published:January 01, 2000
R. B. Alley, 2000. "Continuity comes first: recent progress in understanding subglacial deformation", Deformation of Glacial Materials, Alex J. Maltman, Bryn Hubbard, Michael J. Hambrey
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Subglacial till deformation is glaciologically and geologically important, but is difficult to model owing to numerous uncertainties related to till generation and the flow law for till deformation. I review recent results with the hope of at least focusing the uncertainties. Fine-grained subglacial tills often are sufficiently soft that continuity issues are more important than the ‘flow law’ of the till in affecting glacier behavior. Non-steady forcing, coarse clasts and an irregular ice-till contact favour till deformation to significant depths and thus rapid subglacial transport of till. Over long times, site history is important in till continuity and thus in glacier behaviour.
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Deformation of Glacial Materials
The flow of glacier ice can produce structures that are striking and beautiful. Associated sediments, too, can develop spectacular deformation structures, and examples are remarkbly well preserved in Quaternary deposits. Although such features have long been recognized, they are now the subject of new attention from glaciologists and glacial geologists.
This collection of papers addresses how the methods for unravelling deformation structures evolved in recent years by structural geologists can be used for glacial materials, and the opportunities offered to structural geologists by glacial materials for studying deformation in rocks.