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The interaction of a surging glacier with a seasonally frozen foreland: Hagafellsjökull-Eystri, Iceland

By
Matthew R. Bennett
Matthew R. Bennett
1
School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK (e-mail: mbennett@bournemouth.ac.uk)
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David Huddart
David Huddart
2
School of Outdoor Education, Liverpool John Moores University, I.M. Marsh Campus, Barkhill Road, Liverpool L19 3DB, UK
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Richard I. Waller
Richard I. Waller
3
School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

This paper describes aspects of the landform-sediment assemblage produced by a recent surge of Hagafellsjökull-Eystri. This surge occurred during the winter and early spring of 1998/1999 and consequently advanced into a partially frozen foreland. Two aspects of this landform-sediment assemblage are considered. First the evidence for a frozen subglacial sediment layer beneath a lateral piedmont lobe formed during the surge is reviewed. This sediment layer consists of blocks of glacier ice set within a matrix of frozen sediment and was injected into basal crevasses to form a network of crevasse-squeeze ridges prior to freezing. The sediment layer appears to provide evidence of sub-freezing deformation at the termination of the surge. Secondly the paper examines the detailed tectonic facies within a push-moraine formed along the eastern latero-frontal margin of the glacier during the surge. Architecturally this push moraine consists of a multi-layered slab of glaciofluvial sediments with a monocline structure that has been displaced laterally by the advancing ice margin. The sediment slabs within this monocline are characterized by both brittle and ductile styles of deformation. The authors argue that the observed variation in deformation style may be explained by spatial variation in the extent to which the glacial foreland was frozen or unfrozen at the time of displacement. Areas of frozen foreland would have behaved in a brittle fashion, while unfrozen areas deformed in a more ductile manor. Both these aspects of the landform-sediment assemblage examined in this paper appear to be the product of the seasonal timing of the surge. Not only do they add to our understanding of surge-type landsystems, but they also illustrate the potential of winter advances around the margins of some temperate glaciers to explore the coupling between glaciers and frozen proglacial sediments.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Cryospheric Systems: Glaciers and Permafrost

C. Harris
C. Harris
Cardiff University, UK
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J. B. Murton
J. B. Murton
University of Sussex, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
242
ISBN electronic:
9781862394902
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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