Submarginal glaciotectonic deformation of Pleistocene permafrost

Waller, R, Murton, J and Whiteman, C (2008) Submarginal glaciotectonic deformation of Pleistocene permafrost. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Permafrost Conference, Fairbanks, Alaska 2008. Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. ISBN 9780980017939

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Recent advances in our understanding of glacier-permafrost interactions provide an alternative hypothesis to interpret Pleistocene glaciotectonic sequences in regions where permafrost no longer exists. Instead of necessarily forming under unfrozen subglacial conditions, some glaciotectonic sequences may have formed by submarginal deformation of warm, partially-frozen permafrost. An example from North Norfolk, U.K., suggests that an ice sheet during Marine Isotope Stage 12 advanced across permafrost terrain, deforming it beneath the margin. Such a scenario can help explain some features whose formation under unfrozen conditions is problematic, including (1) the substantial thickness of the deforming layer and (2) the preservation of stratified intraclasts. Accordingly, glacial geologists should remain open to the possibility of glacier-permafrost interactions when interpreting glacigenic sequences. Such a re-interpretation could have major implications for reconstructing basal thermal regimes and modeling palaeo-ice sheets.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Julian Murton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:17
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2012 09:38
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