Abstract

Clast shape data from a range of different glacial environments at several high-arctic valley glaciers in Svalbard are presented. These data add to the growing body of reference information about clast shape in modern glacial environments and is used to explore the role of lithology in clast morphogenesis and to evaluate the different methodological approaches to the analysis of clast shape data. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) it is possible to distinguish clasts transported subglacially from those moved supraglacially; (2) it is not possible to differentiate among different types of subglacial sediment or to distinguish them collectively from glaciofluvial samples; (3) lithology has some influence on clast shape, although not as much as previously suggested; and (4) covariant plots of the RA (percentage of angular and very angular clasts) versus C 40 (percentage of clasts with c to a axial ratio <=0.4) index give superior data visualization and discriminate more effectively among different glacial sediments than sphericity and roundness plots.

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