Landscape evolution and ice-sheet behaviour in a semi-arid polar environment: James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeological Society Special Publications
Early online date19 Apr 2013
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Links
Permanent link
View graph of relations
Citation formats

Abstract

This study of landscape evolution presents both new modern and palaeo process-landform data, and analyses the behaviour of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Holocene and to the present day. Six sediment-landform assemblages are described and interpreted for Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula: (1) the Glacier Ice and Snow Assemblage; (2) the Glacigenic Assemblage, which relates to LGM sediments and comprises both erratic-poor and erratic-rich drift, deposited by cold-based and wet-based ice and ice streams respectively; (3) the Boulder Train Assemblage, deposited during a Mid-Holocene glacier readvance; (4) the Ice-cored Moraine Assemblage, found in front of small cirque glaciers; (5) the Paraglacial Assemblage including scree, pebble-boulder lags, and littoral and fluvial processes; and (6) the Periglacial Assemblage including rock glaciers, protalus ramparts, blockfields, solifluction lobes and extensive patterned ground. The interplay between glacial, paraglacial and periglacial processes in this semi-arid polar environment is important in understanding polygenetic landforms. Crucially, cold-based ice was capable of sediment and landform genesis and modification. This landsystem model can aid the interpretation of past environments, but also provides new data to aid the reconstruction of the last ice sheet to overrun James Ross Island.