Basal ice facies and supraglacial melt-out till of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, western Arctic Canada

J.B. Murton, C.A. Whiteman, R.I. Waller, W.H. Pollard, I.D. Clark, S.R. Dallimore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Glacially-deformed massive ice and icy sediments (MI–IS) in the Eskimo Lakes Fingerlands and Summer Island area of the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, western Arctic Canada, show, in the same stratigraphic sequences, features characteristic of both basal glacier ice and intrasedimental ice. Basal-ice features comprise (1) ice facies and facies groupings similar to those from the basal ice layers of contemporary glaciers and ice sheets in Alaska, Greenland and Iceland; (2) ice crystal fabrics similar to those from basal ice in Antarctica and ice-cored moraines on Axel Heiberg Island, Canada; and (3) a thaw or erosional unconformity along the top of the MI–IS, buried by glacigenic or aeolian sediments. Intrasedimental ice consists of pore ice and segregated ice formed within Pleistocene sands deposited before glacial overriding. The co-existence of basal and intrasedimental ice within the MI–IS records their occurrence within the basal ice layer of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Stagnation of the ice sheet and melt-out of till from the ice surface allowed burial and preservation of the basal ice layer on a regional scale. The widespread occurrence of supraglacial melt-out till with clast fabrics similar to those in the underlying ice suggests that such till can be well preserved during partial thaw of a continental ice sheet in lowlands underlain by continuous permafrost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-708
Number of pages28
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume24
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

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