University of Otago



Home
Research
Publications
What's New
About Us
Contributors
Current Students
Photo Gallery
Data Repository
Contact Us
 

 

Rotating micro-structures in Antarctic cold basal ice: implications for glacier flow and its interpretation

Denis Samyn1, Sean J. Fitzsimons2, Reginald D. Lorrain1

1 Laboratoire de Glaciologie, DSTE, Universite´ Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Present Address for D. Samyn: Glaciology Research Group, Geocentrum,University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden. e-mail: denis.samyn@geo.uu.se
 

2 Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

 

Abstract

 
Abstract Structural analyses were conducted in the basal zone of an Antarctic glacier. The studied basal ice sequence was retrieved from a 20-m-long subglacial tunnel dug at the margin of the glacier and is at the temperature of -17C. For the first time, rotating clast systems embedded within debris-rich ice were thin-sectioned using specially designed cutting techniques. The observed structures reflect the occurrence of pervasive shearing at the base of the glacier, and can be used as shear sense indicators. In addition, some of these structures provide evidence for the presence of thin liquid films at the time of formation despite the marked freezing temperature of the ice. It is showed here that cautious analysis of deformation structures present in debris-bearing ice may bring insights not only into the flow dynamics of the embedding matrix, but also into the behaviour of the interstitial fluid network at the base of cold glaciers and ice sheets.

 

Reference

Samyn, D., Fitzsimons, S. and Lorrain, R. 2009. Rotating micro-structures in Antarctic cold basal ice: implications for glacier flow and its interpretation. International Journal of Earth Science, doi 10.1007/s00531-009-0478-5. [pdf 766Kb]

 

Back to Reference List 

© 2009 Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand