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The evolution of a submarine landform record following recent and multiple surges of Tunabreen glacier, Svalbard
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
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2015 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 108, 37-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on the glacial landform record associated with recent surge events of Tunabreen - a calving tidewater glacier in Tempelfjorden, Spitsbergen. Submarine geomorphology and recent terminal fluctuations of Tunabreen's glacier front were studied using high-resolution multibeam-bathymetric data and a range of published and remote-sensing sources, including topographic maps, satellite images and aerial photographs. The retreat moraines in the inner part of Tempelfjorden have been correlated with glacier terminus positions during retreat from the 2004 surge maximum. Glacier surface velocity and ice-front positions derived from high-resolution TerraSAR-X satellite data show ice movements at the glacier front during minor advances of the front in winter when calving is suppressed. This suggests that the moraines have formed annually during quiescent phase winter advances. Tunabreen has experienced three surges since the Little Ice Age (LIA). This is in contrast with most Svalbard surging glaciers which have long quiescent phases and have typically only undergone one or two surges during this time. The landform record in Tempelfjorden is distinguished from previously studied glacier-surge landsystems by four, well-preserved sets of landform assemblages generated by the LIA advance and three subsequent surges, all of which partly modify earlier landform records. Based on the unique landform record in Tempelfjorden, a new conceptual landsystem model for frequently surging glaciers has been put forward improving our understanding of the dynamics of the surging glaciers and, most importantly, how they can be distinguished from the climatically-controlled glaciers in the geological record.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 108, 37-50 p.
Keyword [en]
Submarine landforms, Tidewater glacier, Glacier surges, Multibeam-bathymetric data, Remote sensing, Svalbard
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115306DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.11.006ISI: 000348960000004OAI: diva2:800129


Available from: 2015-04-01 Created: 2015-03-18 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Kirchner, Nina
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