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The historical emergence of a geometric and sinuous ridge network at the Hørbyebreen polythermal glacier snout, Svalbard and its use in the interpretation of ancient glacial landforms

Evans, David J.A. and Ewertowski, Marek and Roberts, David H. and Tomczyk, Aleksandra M. (2022) 'The historical emergence of a geometric and sinuous ridge network at the Hørbyebreen polythermal glacier snout, Svalbard and its use in the interpretation of ancient glacial landforms.', Geomorphology., 406 . p. 108213.

Abstract

The post Little Ice Age recession and downwasting of Hørbyebreen, a Svalbard polythermal glacier, has revealed a sub-polar glacial landsystem within which a geometric and sinuous ridge network (GSRN) has evolved by ice melt-out. Spatio-temporal evolution of these features is evaluated using time series of remote sensing data, aerial photography, DEMs and field observations. The GSRN is interpreted as an assemblage of crevasse and hydrofracture infills branching out from parent eskers, a signature of the rapid release of pressurised subglacial and englacial meltwater, likely related to surge-induced jökulhlaups. This gives rise to a range of component materials including till, gravel and interdigitated till and gravel. Ancient examples of such jökulhlaup-diagnostic GSRN in ice sheet settings are recognised as elongate zones of conjugate, reticulate and honeycomb patterned ridges in close association with eskers that often also display reticulate ridge patterns. We present a conceptual model of a process-form continuum for the production of different styles of GSRN that identifies: a) surge crevassing, indicated by glacier wide GRN and zig-zag eskers; b) ice stream surging plug flow, indicated by linear assemblages of GRN; c) sub-marginal till emplacement in radially crevassed active temperate snouts, indicated by narrow concentric arcs of GRN linked to push moraines; and d) jökulhlaup-induced hydrofracture, indicated by linear assemblages of GSRN.

Item Type:Article
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2022.108213
Publisher statement:© 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Date accepted:17 March 2022
Date deposited:17 May 2022
Date of first online publication:23 March 2022
Date first made open access:No date available

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