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Different generation of controlled moraines in the glacier foreland of Midtdalsbreen, Norway
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Tvärställt styrda moränslätter alldeles invid Midtdalsbreen glaciär, Norge (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

A series of small mounds (< 3m) were sampled in the foreland of Midtdalsbreen outlet glacier, southern Norway. These landforms were interesting, especially at site number 1 because they were located very close to a higher Little Ice Age (LIA) moraine (> 5 m), thereby informing the dynamic of the glacier after the LIA at this location. It was yet to determine if these specific mounds are controlled moraines. If they are controlled moraines, then this would have implication for the glacier dynamics and the geometry of the snout after the LIA. It could be determined, based on the landform record evidence, whether the ice at the snout of Midtdalsbreen was thin and cold shortly after the LIA. Furthermore, whether the landscape was deglaciated by downwasting and then by backwasting was the main question addressed in relation to the nature of the mound and the thickness of ice at the snout during and after the LIA. In order to better understand the nature of the landform record and the mounds near the LIA moraine, satellite imagery coupled with careful field investigations were used in the foreland of the Midtdalsbreen outlet glacier. A geomorphological map was produced, and it was useful to put the mounds in a geographical context. Further sedimentological investigation; including clast-shape analyze, produced more evidence about the inner nature of these landforms. Both few controlled moraines and other landforms throughout the glacier foreland indicate that the ice geometry for Midtdalsbreen, shortly after the LIA was such that the snout of the glacier was a thin sheet of ice flowing against the previously deposited LIA moraine. The sedimentology of the controlled moraine is such that the sediments are deposited in steeply dipping layers, and they could even be misinterpreted as permafrost terrains at first glimpse. However, other sedimentological evidences such as the presence of sorted sand and sometimes dipping beds of gravels in addition to the geomorphological mapping make it meaningful to interpret few of the mounds as controlled moraines. A modern analogue to these controlled moraines is dirt cones present on top of the glacier snout as well as controlled moraines a few hundred of meter from the snout. Observations both on the glacier snout and on the foreland involve that dirt-cones later evolve into these sedimentological hummocky units with steeply dipping layers within the paleo-landscape. These observations constrain the thickness of ice at the snout of Midtdalsbreen after the LIA as well as the glacier dynamic during its melt: for controlled moraines to be generated by glaciers, these accumulations of sediments would have to thaw by downwasting and then by backwasting, directly at the glacier snout. This process -comprising of different stages- allows enough time to deposit controlled moraine. It is then a thin, cold-based sheet of ice which is by the end responsible for the deposition of such a landform record. There was even dead-ice present on the landscape at that point. After deposition of dirt cones on top of the ice, important meltwater action is contributing to the glacifluvial origin of these hummocks which evolve from dirt-cones onto the glacier, to ice-cored moraines, and then to controlled moraines onto the foreland. Details about the multistage processes leading to the formation of controlled moraines is also at the center of the investigations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 115
Keywords [en]
Glacial sedimentology, glaciology, geomorphology, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175533OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175533DiVA, id: diva2:1367648
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Updated version, september 2019.

Available from: 2019-11-12 Created: 2019-11-04 Last updated: 2019-11-12Bibliographically approved

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