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Geomorphological Map of Ribbed Moraines on the Dubawnt Lake Palaeo-Ice Stream Bed: A Signature of Ice Stream Shut-down?

Stokes, C. R., Clark, C. D., Lian, O. B. and Tulaczyk, S. (2006) Geomorphological Map of Ribbed Moraines on the Dubawnt Lake Palaeo-Ice Stream Bed: A Signature of Ice Stream Shut-down? Journal of Maps. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1744-5647

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Abstract/Summary

The beds of active ice streams in Greenland and Antarctica are largely inaccessible, hindering a full understanding of the processes that initiate, sustain and inhibit fast ice flow in ice sheets. Detailed mapping of the glacial geomorphology of palaeo-ice stream tracks is, therefore, a valuable tool for exploring the basal processes that control their behaviour. In this paper we present a map that shows detailed glacial geomorphology from a part of the Dubawnt Lake Palaeo-Ice Stream bed on the north-western Canadian Shield (Northwest Territories), which operated at the end of the last glacial cycle. The map (centred on 63 degrees 55 '' 42'N, 102 degrees 29 '' 11'W, approximate scale 1:90,000) was compiled from digital Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus satellite imagery and digital and hard-copy stereo-aerial photographs. The ice stream bed is dominated by parallel mega-scale glacial lineations (MGSL), whose lengths exceed several kilometres but the map also reveals that they have, in places, been superimposed with transverse ridges known as ribbed moraines. The ribbed moraines lie on top of the MSGL and appear to have segmented the individual lineaments. This indicates that formation of the ribbed moraines post-date the formation of the MSGL. The presence of ribbed moraine in the onset zone of another palaeo-ice stream has been linked to oscillations between cold and warm-based ice and/or a patchwork of cold-based areas which led to acceleration and deceleration of ice velocity. Our hypothesis is that the ribbed moraines on the Dubawnt Lake Ice Stream bed are a manifestation of the process that led to ice stream shut-down and may be associated with the process of basal freeze-on. The precise formation of ribbed moraines, however, remains open to debate and field observation of their structure will provide valuable data for formal testing of models of their formation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:4131
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