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TitleLandscapes of cold-centred Late Wisconsinan ice caps, Arctic Canada
AuthorDyke, A S
SourceProgress in Physical Geography vol. 17, no. 2, 1993 p. 223-247,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 36892
PublisherSAGE Publications
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS48; 58; 68
AreaCornwallis Island; Baffin Island; Brodeur Peninsula; Borden Peninsula; Somerset Island
Lat/Long WENS-104.0000 -80.0000 76.0000 72.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; icefields; landforms; glacial deposits; glacial erosion; ice; glaciers; meltwater channels; Wisconsinan Glaciation; Quaternary
Released2016 08 18
AbstractUplands of the Canadian Arctic Islands supported Late Wisconsinan ice caps that developed two landscape zones reflecting basal thermal conditions regulated by long-sustained ice flow patterns. Central cold-based zones protected older glacial and preglacial landscapes while peripheral warm-based zones scoured and otherwise altered their beds.

Some geomorphic effects are independent of ice cap scale, others vary with scale. For ice caps of 30 km radius or more, scour-zone width remains proportionally constant to flowline length under similar flow conditions. But intensity of scouring, ice moulding of drift and rock eminences, size and abundance of subglacial meltwater features, and development of end moraines increase with ice cap size.

Ice caps became entirely cold based early in retreat as the boundary between warm and cold ice shifted outward, probably because ice thinned and flow slackened. The frozen margins deflected meltwater, thus maximizing formation of lateral meltwater channels throughout retreat. The landform record of cold-based glaciers in this region is easily interpreted. Hence, regional ice sheet models invoking or based on the premise that cold-based ice leaves no geomorphic record seem untenable.

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