Taylor & Francis Group
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Glacial geomorphology of the terrestrial margins of the tidewater glacier, Nordenskiöldbreen, Svalbard

posted on 2016-07-09, 09:13 authored by Marek W. Ewertowski, David J. A. Evans, David H. Roberts, Aleksandra M. Tomczyk

A 1:4000 scale map of the terrestrial margins of the foreland of Nordenskiöldbreen depicts a polythermal glacial landsystem containing a record of the landform signatures of individual ice flow units that operate within the glacier snout. A 1:700 map provides a detailed overview of fluted terrain, based on unmanned aerial vehicle images captured in 2014. The pattern of landforms lying inside the Little Ice Age (LIA) latero-frontal moraine on the northern side of the fjord comprises a fluted till surface, which in turn grades into ice-moulded bedrock. This signature records the recession of a single, wide ice flow unit, which was characterised by limited incorporation of subglacial material and restricted delivery of supraglacial debris. Inside the latero-frontal moraine on the south side of the fjord, a fluted surface is subordinate to a pronounced and large ice-cored moraine complex related to the confluence of five narrower ice flow units, each of which transported significant quantities of englacial and supraglacial debris at their suture zones as a series of longitudinal debris stripes. The suite of foreland landforms is diagnostic of both temperate subglacial and frozen-snout conditions, indicating the operation of a warm polythermal glacier fed by multiple flow units during the LIA.


M.E. was supported by the European Research Council [REA Agreement number 299130] (Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship). A.M.T. was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education [grant number 927/MOB/2012/0] (‘Mobility Plus’ program).