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Glacial landscape evolution — Implications for glacial processes, patterns and reconstructions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (paleoglaciologi/paleoglaciology)
2008 (English)In: Geomorphology, ISSN 0169-555X, Vol. 97, no 1-2, 1-4 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This special issue presents a collection of papers that address a wide range of important challenges and exciting advances in the field of glacial landscape evolution. Primarily, these papers reflect persistent uncertainty that surrounds the mechanisms and timescales of glacial landscape evolution. For example, estimates of the duration of glacial occupancy required for the evolution of characteristic glacial valley forms from previously fluvial landscapes range from 100 kyrs for landscapes beneath large ice sheets (Jamieson et al.) to ~ 400–600 kyrs for glaciated alpine terrains (Brook et al.). Further, the mechanisms of glacial erosion are debated through analyses of the importance of ice thickness (Brocklehurst et al.; van der Beek and Bourbon), ice surface steepness (Vieira) and, in the case of large ice sheets, the co-evolution of ice sheet thermal regime, dynamics, and subglacial topography (Kleman et al.; Swift et al.). Debate concerning the potential climatic impacts of landscape evolution in alpine terrains is represented by van der Beek and Bourbon, who infer a significant increase in relief as a direct result of glacial erosion, and by Brocklehurst et al. and Heimsath and McGlynn, who demonstrate respectively that glacial relief production can be surprisingly modest and that rates of glacial erosion may be lower than those for fluvial incision. Further confirmation that valleys beneath large ice sheets evolve through selective linear erosion comes from studies that have combined geomorphological evidence with cosmogenic nuclide (Briner et al.) and apatite (U–Th)/He thermochronometry (Swift et al.), and the resulting style of landscape evolution is demonstrated by the antiquity of fjords in East Greenland (Swift et al.) and of deep erosion zones and thick drift covered zones in Fennoscandia (Kleman et al.), although the location of areal scouring zones may be subject to major alteration during single glacial events (Kleman et al.). Another set of papers shows that analyses of glacial lineation systems continue to provide important data on the dynamics of glacial landscape evolution, whether the lineations are formed underneath ice streams (Bradwell et al.; Andreassen et al.) or not (Jansson and Glasser), and whether they indicate intricate patterns of landscape modification (Andreassen et al.) or preservation (Jansson and Glasser). The final three papers address rarely-reported issues relating to landscapes of glacial deposition, including moraine degradation (Putkonen et al.), proglacial hydrogeology (Robinson et al.), and the evolution of hummocky-till topography (Clayton et al.).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 97, no 1-2, 1-4 p.
Keyword [en]
Glacial landscape evolution, Glacial reconstruction, Glacial erosion, Glacial deposition, Glacial geomorphology
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16981DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.035ISI: 000255826300001OAI: diva2:183501
Available from: 2009-01-01 Created: 2009-01-01 Last updated: 2012-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Stroeven, Arjen P.
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
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