The fiordlands south of Merchants Bay contain an extensive, well-preserved moraine record of a late Foxe advance of local valley glaciers. This has allowed accurate reconstruction of former glacier margins and computation of former equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) by a variety of methods. Statistical comparison of three methods (maximum lateral-moraine elevation, median elevation, and accumulation area ratio (AAR)) shows that different techniques can give different results for the same glaciers. Lateral moraines gave estimates that were too low, probably due to post-glacial erosion or to non-deposition. Median elevations and the AAR method produced statistically similar results but only for glaciers of simple geometry. The median-elevation method fails to take into account variations in valley morphology and glaciological parameters, and so is not reliable in all situations. The AAR method is supported by empirical evidence and is the best of the three methods for estimating former ELAs.
Analysis of trend surfaces of present and late Foxe ELAs shows changes in elevation and orientation through time due to changing environmental factors. Present ELAs are strongly influenced by local factors, southerly storm tracks, and warm maritime conditions. Paleo-ELAs do not show this influence, suggesting that Davis Strait may have been ice-covered during the late Foxe stade and that storm tracks were from the north.