Bedrock morphology reveals drainage network in northeast Baffin Bay

patricia.slabon [ at ]


A subglacial drainage network underneath the paleo-ice sheet off West Greenland is revealed by a new compilation of high-resolution bathymetry data from Melville Bay, northeast Baffin Bay. This drainage network is an indicator for ice streaming and subglacial meltwater flow toward the outer shelf. Repeated ice sheet advances and retreats across the crystalline basement together with subglacial meltwater drainage had their impact in eroding overdeepened troughs along ice stream pathways. These overdeepenings indicate the location of a former ice sheet margin. The troughs inherit characteristics of glacial and subglacial meltwater erosion. Most of the troughs follow tectonic weakness zones such as faults and fractures in the crystalline bedrock. Many of these tectonic features correspond with the orientations of major fault axes in the Baffin Bay region. The troughs extend from the present (sub) glacial fjord systems at the Greenland coast and parallel modern outlet-glacier pathways. The fast flowing paleo-ice streams were likely accelerated from the meltwater flow as indicated by glacial landforms within and along the troughs. The ice streams flowed along narrow tributary troughs and merged to form large paleo-ice streams bedded in the major cross-shelf troughs of Melville Bay. Apart from the troughs, a rough seabed topography characterises the bedrock, and we see a sharp geomorphic transition where ice flowed onto sedimentary rock and deposits.

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DOI 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.11.024

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Slabon, P. , Dorschel, B. , Jokat, W. and Freire, F. (2018): Bedrock morphology reveals drainage network in northeast Baffin Bay , Geomorphology, 303 , pp. 133-145 . doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.11.024

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ARK > XXV > 3

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