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Geomorphological criteria for identifying Pleistocene ice streams

  • Chris R. Stokes (a1) and Chris D. Clark (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Ice streams are critical regulatory mechanisms in contemporary ice sheets. It has been inferred that they also had a significant effect on the dynamics of former ice sheets. Subsequently, many people have invoked their widespread occurrence from a variety of formerly glaciated areas. Hypothesised locations, however, have often outweighed meaningful evidence. This paper addresses the problem, using the characteristics of contemporary ice streams as a basis for their identification from former ice-sheet beds. A convergence of knowledge gained from contemporary ice-stream research, coupled with theories of glacial geomorphology, allows several geomorphological criteria to be identified as suggestive signatures of ice-stream activity. It is envisaged that the geomorphological criteria developed here will introduce a more objective approach to the study of former ice streams. The criteria are used to construct conceptual land-system models of the beds of former ice streams, and it is hoped such models can provide an observational template upon which hypotheses of former ice streams can be better based.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
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