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Glacial and submarine processes on the shelf margin of the Disko Bay trough Mouth Fan.

Hofmann, Julia C. and Knutz, Paul C. and Kjær, Kurt H. and Nielsen, Tove and Ó Cofaigh, Colm (2018) 'Glacial and submarine processes on the shelf margin of the Disko Bay trough Mouth Fan.', Marine geology., 402 . pp. 33-50.


Fast-flowing ice streams and outlet glaciers exert a major control on glacial discharge from contemporary and past ice sheets. Improving our understanding of the extent and dynamic behaviour of palaeo-ice streams is crucial for predictions of how the chryosphere will respond to climate warming and the associated implications for global sea level. This paper presents results from two 3D-seismic surveys located on the continental shelf adjoining the Disko Bay Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), one of the largest glacial outlet systems in Greenland. Located at the seaward terminus of the c. 370 km long cross-shelf Disko Trough, the Disko Bay TMF was generated by highly efficient subglacial sediment delivery onto the continental slope during repeated ice stream advances. A variety of submarine glacial landform assemblages are recognised on the seabed reflecting past ice stream activity. The 3D-seismic study covers the shallow banks located north and south of the Disko Trough and sheds focus on the seabed and the uppermost stratigraphic interval associated with the late Pleistocene development. The buried section (probably of Saalian age) contains a prominent grounding-zone wedge (GZW) in the northern and low-angle progradational packages in the southern area, indicating a period of major glacial advances to the shelf margin. Subsequently, the outer margin was influenced by glacimarine sedimentation, localized shelf-edge ice advances and sediment transport by contour currents that possibly began in the last interglacial period (Eemian). During the last (de)glaciation, the northern bank appears to have been covered by passive ice leaving a field of dead-ice deposits. In contrast, multiple sets of terminal moraine ridges observed on the southern bank suggest a slow retreat of active, grounded ice from the Last Glacial Maximum position on the outer shelf. Isostatic and tectonic influences on relative sea level may have played a role in generating the divergent glacial configurations of the northern and southern bank areas.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:© 2017 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:01 December 2017
Date deposited:03 January 2018
Date of first online publication:05 December 2017
Date first made open access:05 December 2018

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