Abstract

On Victoria Island, tunnel channels, eskers, and associated fans and extended deposits together constitute channelized glaciofluvial systems. Flutes and drumlinoid ridges, interpreted as residuals left by erosive, catastrophic, subglacial meltwater sheet flows, lie adjacent to these systems. One tunnel channel is described in detail. It exhibits deep scours, a discontinuous thalweg, sculpted margins, and flutes on the downflow side of one wall, features indicative of complex flow and possibly several flow events. The tunnel channel is interpreted as the product of erosion by catastrophic, subglacial meltwater flow in a combined ice – substrate (R/N) channel.Esker sediments and morphology are used to infer details of the depositional environment and meltwater regime. A continuous esker with fans and extended deposits records seasonally controlled discharge events through an R-channel. These features may also suggest a grounding-line environment, thin ice, and localized ice floatation events. Less well connected ridges also record seasonally controlled meltwater rhythms and were produced within a thinning and stagnating ice mass; the depositional environment may have been in a subglacial R-channel or an ice-walled reentrant.Differences in the drainage system associated with each glaciofluvial landform, and temporal disconnection between tunnel channel and esker formation, is also suggested by possible paleoflow reversals between inferred catastrophic and seasonally controlled drainage phases. Changes in ice-sheet profiles between events may have been responsible.

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