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Taku Glacier (Alaska, U.S.A.) on the move again: active deformation of proglacial sediments

  • Roman J. Motyka (a1) and Keith A. Echelmeyer (a1)

Abstract

Taku Glacier is one of the few glaciers in Alaska, U.S.A., that has advanced over the last century: 7 km since 1890. This advance slowed substantially during the past decade, but in summer 2001 the glacier terminus began to readvance at a rate of 30 cm d−1. The advance produced dramatic proglacial sediment deformation up to 200 m in front of the terminus. Two to three large bulges and several secondary bulges developed in the proglacial sediments as a result of glacial compression along a 1 km wide portion of the terminus. The bulge nearest the terminus was 10 m high and 65 m wide. The middle bulge (7 m high) advanced at 15 cm d−1 and the distal bulge (3 m high and 50 m wide) at 9 cm d−1. Crenulations and prominent fractures developed in the overlying vegetation layer. The frontal lobes of the bulges were steep and overlaid a shear zone, where sediments were being thrust up and over the ground surface. Ice-proximal push moraines, 1–10 m high, formed along much of the 9 km wide terminus, although deformation was minimal at some locations.

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References

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Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
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