Drøbak, Norway
Drøbak, Norway

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Glacial surges are periods of fast flow, often limited in space and time, and driven by internal conditions which are not fully explained. The quantity and variety of documented case-studies and settings demonstrate that the critical variables are difficult to isolate. In an alternative approach, two surges from the same basin were compared at Fridtjovhamna; one of the few known sites where this is possible. Fridtjovbreen is a polythermal glacier that has been through two recent surges: the last event (1991-2002) occurred during an unusually warm period in the high Arctic, whereas the previous surge culminated in 1861, around the Little Ice Age when many Svalbard-glaciers had their maximum Holocene extent. Based on a multi-disciplinary study, processes and landforms from the two episodes were compared with respect to ice-front movement rates, formation and decay of ice-cored moraines and glacial meltwater drainage patterns. The study demonstrates that moraines and meltwater traces from the oldest surge, locally well preserved, provide excellent opportunities for reconstructing the behavior of the ice-mass. The last surge, however, took place during a period with ablation rates never seen at this latitude, and 10. years after the maximum extent, the deglaciated areas onshore hardly show traces from the event. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Lonne I.,Villaveien 21 | Nemec W.,University of Bergen
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2011

The study focuses on the terminal moraineof a fast-flowing, temperate tidewater glacier that protruded in Oslofjorden trough, southern Norway, during one of the re-advances of the receding Fennoscandian Ice Sheet inthe Younger Dryas time. Allostratigraphic mappingis usedto reconstruct the moraine's morphodynamic development, showing how information on the dynamics of ancient glaciers can be derived from their grounding-line deposits. The Storsand moraine commenced its development in the latest phases of ice-margin advance and continued to grow during the stillstand phase, as long as the ice flux persisted. The thick moraine (.100 m) formed in a few decades, to be rapidly abandoned and later emerged by regional uplift. The study concludes that: (a) both meltwater and ice flow invariably supply sediment to the grounding line, and it is the varied preservation potential of ice-derived diamicton that results in misleading differences between moraines; (b) the glacier-front kinematics is asymmetrical with slow advances and rapid retreats; (c) no moraines can form during glacier retreat; (d) the front of an outlet glacier may stabilize while the adjacent ice marginis oscillatingor virtually retreating; and (e) marine moraines are an important source of information about ancient ice margins and glacier dynamics. © The Geological Society of London 2011.


Lonne I.,Villaveien 21 | Nemec W.,University of Bergen
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2011

Modern studies indicate that the kinematic behaviour of tidewater glaciers is a crucial part of ice-sheet dynamics. A similar relationship may be expected for ancient ice sheets, but can the kinematics of ancient tidewater ice margins be recognized? The paper addresses this methodological issue by pointing to the high-resolution stratigraphic record of marine moraines, thus far little explored. On the basis of a series of case studies, a range of field criteria are proposed for the recognition of short-term grounding-line movement and possible oscillations in moraine outcrop sections. The method combines allostratigraphic mapping and architectural facies analysis of the moraine sedimentary units formed during glacier advance, subaqueous stillstand and eventual subaerial stillstand, with recognition of the successive ice-contact surfaces. The stacking architecture of the sedimentary units and their ice-contact bounding surfaces reveal the time-distance trajectory of the grounding-line positions. It is also possible to recognize changes in the mode and rate of subglacial sediment delivery, as well as fluctuations in the ice flux and meltwater discharge. This methodology invites detailed studies of marine moraines. Systematic case studies on a regional scale may provide new information on the behaviour of tidewater ice margins and lead to unprecedented insights into the dynamics of ancient ice sheets. © The Geological Society of London 2011.

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