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Basal Freezing of Squeezed Water: Its Influence on Glacier Erosion

  • R.A. Souchez (a1) and J.-L. Tison (a1)

Abstract

The basal ice layer of Glacier de Tsidjiore Nouve in the Swiss Alps consists of debris bands and associated clear ice lenses. This layer is due to refreezing of squeezed water at the sale of the glacier, as evidenced by the chemical properties of the ice. Active erosion processes include entrainment of debris in the basal ice layer and abrasion on rock protuberances immediately down-glacier. The formation of the basal ice layer requires that the temperature of the squeezed water, which is determined by the pressure-melting point within the basal ice, should be below the freezing temperature of the pore water in the subglacial debris layer. This would be the case if the pore water were at a pressure lower than the basal ice pressure.

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References

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Goodman, D J, King, G C P, Millar, D H M, Robin, G de Q 1979 Pressure melting effects in basal ice of temperate glaciers: laboratory studies and field observations under Glacier d'Argentière. Journal of Glaciology 23(89): 259271
Robin, G de Q 1976 Is the basal ice of a temperate glacier at the pressure melting point? Journal of Glaaiology 16(74): 183196
Röthlisberger, H 1968 Erosive processes which are likely to accentuate or reduce the bottom relief of valley glaciers. International Association of Saientifia Hydrology Publication 79(General Assembly of Bern 1967 - Snow and Ice): 8797
Souchez, R A, Lorrain, R D 1978 Origin of the basal ice layer from Alpine glaciers indicated by its chemistry. Journal of Glaciology 20(83): 319328
Souchez, R A, Lorrain, R D, Lemmens, MM 1973 Refreezing of interstitial water in a subglacial cavity of an Alpine glacier as indicated by the chemical composition of ice. Journal of Glaciology 12(66): 453459
Souchez, R A, Lemmens, M M, Lorrain, R D, Tison, J-L 1978 Pressure-melting within a glacier indicated by the chemistry of re-gelation ice. Nature 273(5662): 454456
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Basal Freezing of Squeezed Water: Its Influence on Glacier Erosion

  • R.A. Souchez (a1) and J.-L. Tison (a1)

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