Abstract

"Moated ice mounds" (mounds of ice several feet in diameter and surrounded by pebble-studded moats) were found on the ice of Greely Fiord, Ellesmere Island, near its precipitous northern shore. These are interpreted as the result of the melting of "armored snowballs" which were formed by fragments of rock or ice falling from the high cliffs, gathering snow by accretion during their descent of the scree and acquiring a final coating or armor of shingle when crossing the beach before rolling out on to the ice of the fiord. Insolation causes the coating of pebbles to slough off and melt their way into the ice to form the moat around the ice mound. The phenomenon offers an additional mechanism for the introduction of coarse and perhaps very angular terrigenous material into sea ice.

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