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Date:11/14/2012

shelf and adjacent slope. The results of this study demonstrate significant contrasts between the Mackenzie Trough on the western Beaufort Sea margin and the Amundsen Gulf and M'Clure Strait troughs to the east, both in terms of their glacial history and resulting architecture. There is evidence for only two ice advances through the Mackenzie Trough and at least nine through the Amundsen Gulf Trough. Whereas the slope beyond the Mackenzie Trough lacks a significant glacial-sedimentary depocenter, major trough-mouth fans are present beyond Amundsen Gulf and M'Clure Strait.


Inferring sites of subglacial erosion using the Pb isotopic composition of ice-rafted feldspar: Examples from the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

M.J. Flowerdew et al., British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK. Posted online 13 November 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33644.1.

The Antarctic ice sheets drain from the continent interior to the ocean via fast flowing ice streams. As the ice within these streams moves, it erodes and modifies the bed over which it travels. Some of the eroded material is trapped within the ice as mineral and rock fragments and transported into the ocean as icebergs. As the icebergs melt, the minerals and rock fragments sink to the ocean floor as ice rafted debris. This study uniquely links lead isotope geochemistry of recently deposited ice rafted feldspars with geophysical observations over the glacial catchments and ice streams from where the feldspars originated. The findings presented by M.J. Flowerdew and colleagues indicate that subglacial erosion of bedrock is restricted to regions where ice velocity, basal shear stresses, and bed roughness are high. Changes in the age and isotope composition of ice-rafted debris are commonly taken as evidence for the collapse or disintegration of parts of the ice sheet. This study shows that significant variations in the chemistry and age of the ice rafted materials can instea
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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