Fjord Systems and Archives
Fjords are glacially over-deepened, semi-enclosed marine basins, but are often neglected as a sedimentary realm. They represent the transition from the terrestrial to the marine environment and as such have the potential to preserve evidence of environmental change. Typically most fjords have been glaciated a number of times and some high-latitude fjords still possess a resident glacier. The stratigraphic record in fjords largely preserves a glacial–deglacial cycle of deposition. Sheltered water and high sedimentation rates potentially make fjords ideal depositional environments for preserving continuous records of climate and environmental change with high temporal resolution. Fjords are also referred to as miniature oceans providing the unique opportunity to study marine processes in great detail. With predictions of warming climates, changing ocean circulation and rising sea levels, this volume is a timely look at these environmentally sensitive coastlines.
Modern glacimarine processes and potential future behaviour of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen polythermal tidewater glaciers, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard
Published:January 01, 2010
Luke D. Trusel, R. D. Powell, R. M. Cumpston, J. Brigham-Grette, 2010. "Modern glacimarine processes and potential future behaviour of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen polythermal tidewater glaciers, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard", Fjord Systems and Archives, J. A. Howe, W. E. N. Austin, M. Forwick, M. Paetzel
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Glacimarine dynamics and associated sedimentary processes are closely tied to glacial regime and reflect dominant climatic conditions. Quantitative measurements for subpolar glaciers, such as sediment yield, are limited especially near glacial termini where most sediment accumulates. Here we characterize the modern glacimarine environment, quantify sediment flux and yield, document landform genesis and hypothesize potential future behaviour of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen glaciers in inner Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. A minimum of 6.74×103 g m−2 d−1 (at least 300 mm a−1) of glacimarine sediment is building a grounding-line fan via submarine stream discharge from Kronebreen. Average daily sediment flux to the ice-contact basin is recorded to be 2.6×103 g m−2 d−1 or an average annual flux of 1.56×105 g m−2 a−1. We measure an average annual ice-contact sediment yield of 1.20×104 tonnes km−2 a−1 associated with the rapid genesis of grounding-line landforms. With forecasted warming we expect meltwater volumes and sediment flux to increase. Grounding-line deposits may aggrade above water, tending to stabilize the terminus at least initially if the sediment is sufficient to counteract total terminus ablation. This would hold until either the glaciers next surge or climatic warming ablates the glaciers through surface melting.