A large valley, ideally suited for “selective linear erosion” by ice, extends from the Kreiger Mountains to Tanquary Fiord, north–central Ellesmere Island. During the last glaciation, the outlet glacier at the head of the valley advanced 18 km and was at least 250 m thick where it contacted the sea in the lower valley. Erosion of bedrock inside the last ice limit is recorded by an abraded diabase dike, and by crag–and–tail features developed in limestone. During deglaciation (7800 B.P.), melt–water streams along the ice margin incised a large alluvial fan that pre–dates the last glaciation. The fan shows little alteration by the over–riding ice and its final erosion by the melt–water streams incised, but did not remove, its original ice–wedge polygons.
The preservation of the fan indicates that the glacier was locally non–erosive and that it probably advanced across the fan by over–riding a protective frontal ice apron. Although it is commonly assumed that such alluvial fans occupying glaciated valleys are of post–glacial age, this need not be the case in permafrost terrain. In fact, at this site, there has been a net increment of alluvium versus glacial erosion or deposition spanning the last glacial cycle. The paper discusses the processes of erosion associated with sub–polar glaciers and questions whether erosion by them or more pervasive ice is responsible for such High Arctic valleys and fiords.