Landscape evolution and ice-sheet behaviour in a semi-arid polar environment: James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula
Bethan J. Davies, Neil F. Glasser, Jonathan L. Carrivick, Michael J. Hambrey, John L. Smellie, Daniel Nývlt, 2013. "Landscape evolution and ice-sheet behaviour in a semi-arid polar environment: James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula", Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes, M. J. Hambrey, P. F. Barker, P. J. Barrett, V. Bowman, B. Davies, J. L. Smellie, M. Tranter
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This study of landscape evolution presents both new modern and palaeo process-landform data, and analyses the behaviour of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Holocene and to the present day. Six sediment-landform assemblages are described and interpreted for Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula: (1) the Glacier Ice and Snow Assemblage; (2) the Glacigenic Assemblage, which relates to LGM sediments and comprises both erratic-poor and erratic-rich drift, deposited by cold-based and wet-based ice and ice streams respectively; (3) the Boulder Train Assemblage, deposited during a Mid-Holocene glacier readvance; (4) the Ice-cored Moraine Assemblage, found in front of small cirque glaciers; (5) the Paraglacial Assemblage including scree, pebble-boulder lags, and littoral and fluvial processes; and (6) the Periglacial Assemblage including rock glaciers, protalus ramparts, blockfields, solifluction lobes and extensive patterned ground. The interplay between glacial, paraglacial and periglacial processes in this semi-arid polar environment is important in understanding polygenetic landforms. Crucially, cold-based ice was capable of sediment and landform genesis and modification. This landsystem model can aid the interpretation of past environments, but also provides new data to aid the reconstruction of the last ice sheet to overrun James Ross Island.
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Antarctic Palaeoenvironments and Earth-Surface Processes
The volume highlights developments in our understanding of the palaeogeographical, palaeobiological, palaeoclimatic and cryospheric evolution of Antarctica. It focuses on the sedimentary record from the Devonian to the Quaternary Period. It features tectonic evolution and stratigraphy, as well as processes taking place adjacent to, beneath and beyond the ice-sheet margin, including the continental shelf.
The contributions in this volume include several invited review papers, as well as original research papers arising from the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh, in July 2011. These papers demonstrate a remarkable diversity of Earth science interests in the Antarctic. Following international trends, there is particular emphasis on the Cenozoic Era, reflecting the increasing emphasis on the documentation and understanding of the past record of ice-sheet fluctuations. Furthermore, Antarctic Earth history is providing us with important information about potential future trends, as the impact of global warming is increasingly felt on the continent and its ocean.