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The presence of thrust-block naled after a major surge event: Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland

  • Jacob C. Yde (a1), N. Tvis Knudsen (a1), Nicolaj K. Larsen (a2), Christian Kronborg (a2), Ole B. Nielsen (a2), Jan Heinemeier (a3) and Jesper Olsen (a3)...

Abstract

Thrust-block naled in front of Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland, appears to have formed during the termination of a terrestrial surge event by a combination of enhanced winter runoff, rapid advance of the glacier terminus, and proglacial stress release by thrusting and stacking of naled blocks. This process is equivalent to the formation of thrust-block moraines. The thrust-block naled consists of at least seven thrust sheets, which are characterized by stratified ice with beds composed of a lower debris-rich lamina, an intermediate dispersed lamina and a top clean-ice lamina, and underlain by frozen outwash deposits. The thrust-block naled differs from basal stratified ice in the absence of internal deformation structures, a relatively low debris concentration, a clay-rich particle-size distribution and a preferential sorting of lighter minerals. The oxygen isotope composition of the thrust-block naled is indistinguishable from δ18O values from meteoric glacier ice and bulk meltwater, but different from basal stratified ice facies. The d–δD relationship indicates that thrust-block naled has been formed by freezing of successive thin layers of bulk waters with variable isotopic composition, whereas basal stratified ice has developed in a subglacial environment with regelation. This work shows that the association between proglacial naled and rapidly advancing glaciers may have significant consequences for the proglacial geomorphology and the interpretation of basal ice layers.

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References

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