Abstract

The glacier damming Ape Lake has withdrawn from its Neoglacial terminal moraines in the lake since early in this century at an average rate of 15 m/a. As a result, the first known drainings of Ape Lake occurred in October 1984 and August 1986. In each event, about 54% of the volume of the lake was lost through a tunnel in the damming glacier. Most of the remaining water was held in the deep basin of the lake behind partially breached Neoglacial terminal moraines. As the glaciers have withdrawn, the character of the sediments has changed. Sediments in the deep basin of the lake are varved, but the grain size, especially of the summer deposits, has decreased and rates of sedimentation have decreased from about 4 mm/a to less than 2 mm/a. In shallow water, deposition of varved sediments has given way to the deposition of massive sediments at rates of less than 1 mm/a. Ice-rafted debris is rare in deep water, despite the presence of calving bergs.During and following the first draining, significant subaerial erosion occurred as a result of the event itself, the drawdown and steepened gradients, and the action of waves on the exposed sediments as the lake refilled. In proximal areas, distinct deposits within the normal winter deposits are recognised. In deep water, deposition of massive, highly underconsolidated, fine-grained sediments occurred. Organic debris released from shallow deposits by erosion has become concentrated in both shallow- and deep-water sediments. Within a year of the first draining, sediment loads in the lake water were returning to normal.

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