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Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms

Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms

The Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms presents a comprehensive series of contributions by leading high-latitude marine-geophysical researchers from many countries that describe, discuss and illustrate landforms on the high-latitude, glacier-influenced sea floor. Included are submarine glacial landforms from modern, Quaternary and ancient glacimarine environments.

The 'Atlas' presents individual landforms in short, 2-page sections, assemblages of landforms in 4-page chapters, and whole fjord-shelf-slope systems in 8-page contributions. The Atlas is the first of its kind and showcases the use of high-resolution imaging technologies, which allow detailed sea-floor and sub-sea-floor mapping at water depths of tens to thousands of metres across continental margins.

Streamlined sedimentary landforms indicative of past ice extent and fast flow, West Greenland margin (from Dowdeswell et al. (In Press))

Streamlined sedimentary landforms indicative of past ice extent and fast flow, West Greenland margin (from Dowdeswell et al. (In Press)).

The Atlas provides examples from all parts of the glacier-influenced seas, from the relatively mild fjords of Chile and SE Alaska, where meltwater delivery of sediments is most important, along an environmental continuum to the very cold waters offshore of NE Greenland and East Antarctic where iceberg-processes dominate modern sedimentation.

The approximately 500-page Atlas will be published in 2015 by the Geological Society of London as a Memoir within the Lyell Collection, using the highest quality paper and colour figures. The Chief Editor is Prof. Julian Dowdeswell.

Sea-floor morphology of Borebukta, a 10 km-long fjord in Svalbard showing a set of five superimposed submarine glacial landforms (From Ottesen and Dowdeswell (2006))

Sea-floor morphology of Borebukta, a 10 km-long fjord in Svalbard showing a set of five superimposed submarine glacial landforms (From Ottesen and Dowdeswell (2006)).

The assemblages of submarine landforms typical of ice-stream sedimentary environments (from Dowdewell et al (2008))

The assemblages of submarine landforms typical of inter-ice-stream sedimentary environments (from Ottesen and Dowdeswell (2009))

The assemblages of submarine landforms typical of ice-stream and inter-ice-stream sedimentary environments (from Dowdewell et al (2008) and Ottesen and Dowdeswell (2009)).

The continuum of glacier-influenced marine environments

The continuum of glacier-influenced marine environments

Reconstructing past ice sheets with subglactial landforms

Submarine glacial landforms contain information key to the reconstruction of the form and flow of past glaciers and ice sheets (e.g. Ottesen et al., 2005; Dowdeswell et al., In Press). Landforms at or close to the modern sea floor can be imaged using multibeam echo-sounders. Glacial landforms preserved in the Quaternary and ancient stratigraphic record are imaged using 2- and 3-dimensional seismic methods. Landforms preserved on buried beneath hundreds of metres of subsequent sedimentation on high-latitude continental shelves indicate the presence of ice and elements of its dynamics.

The 'Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms' presents images and interpretation of all the major landforms that have been produced by glaciers and ice sheets on high-latitude continental margins. Sets of landforms are combined into landform assemblages, which are diagnostic of a number of distinctive glacial environments - for example, ice streams, surge-type glaciers, cold-based glaciers. Examples are also given of whole glacial systems, spanning hundreds of kilometres from the margins of modern glaciers and ice sheets, through fjords, across the adjacent continental shelf, and down the continental slope to deep-sea basins.

The chaotic pattern of ploughmarks produced by erosion as iceberg keels impinge on the sedimentary sea floor. These ploughmarks, from the North Sea, are up to about 2 million years old and are buried beneath up to a kilometre of subsequent sedimentation (from Dowdeswell and Ottesen (2013))

The chaotic pattern of ploughmarks produced by erosion as iceberg keels impinge on the sedimentary sea floor. These ploughmarks, from the North Sea, are up to about 2 million years old and are buried beneath up to a kilometre of subsequent sedimentation (from Dowdeswell and Ottesen (2013)).

Summary diagram of the distribution pattern of submarine landforms in Rink Fjord and in the Uummannaq-Fjord-Trough system, West Greenland (modified from Dowdeswell et al. 2014). (Bottom) Schematic landform-assemblage model for the fjord-shelf-slope sedimentary system in central West Greenland.

(Top) Summary diagram of the distribution pattern of submarine landforms in Rink Fjord and in the Uummannaq-Fjord-Trough system, West Greenland (modified from Dowdeswell et al. 2014). (Bottom) Schematic landform-assemblage model for the fjord-shelf-slope sedimentary system in central West Greenland.

For more information and additional examples, please visit www.submarineglacialatlas.com.

References

  • Dowdeswell, J.A., Ottesen, D., Evans, J., Ó Cofaigh, C. and Anderson, J.B., 2008. Submarine glacial landforms and rates of ice-stream collapse. Geology, v. 36, p. 819-822. doi:10.1130/G24808A.1
  • Dowdeswell, J.A. and Ottesen, D., 2013. Buried iceberg ploughmarks in the Early Quaternary sediments of the central North Sea: a two million year record of glacial influence from 3D seismic data. Marine Geology, v. 344, p. 1-9. doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2013.06.019
  • Dowdeswell, J.A., Hogan, K.A., Ó Cofaigh, C., Fugelli, E.M.G., Evans, J. and Noormets, R., In Press. Late Quaternary ice flow in a West Greenland fjord and cross-shelf trough system: submarine landforms from Rink Isbrae to Uummannaq shelf and slope. Quaternary Science Reviews.
  • Ottesen, D. and Dowdeswell, J.A., 2006. Assemblages of submarine landforms produced by tidewater glaciers in Svalbard. Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 111, F01016, doi:10.1029/2005JF000330.
  • Ottesen, D. and Dowdeswell, J.A., 2009. An inter-ice stream glaciated margin: submarine landforms and a geomorphic model based on marine-geophysical data from Svalbard. Geological Society of America, Bulletin, v. 121, p. 1647-1665. doi:10.1130/B26467.1.