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Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum?

Ely, J., Clark, C.D., Spagnolo, M, Stokes, C.R., Greenwood, S.L., Hughs, A.L.C., Dunlop, P. and Hess, D. (2016) Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum? Geomorphology, 257 . pp. 108-119. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.01.001


Understanding the evolution of the ice-bed interface is fundamentally important for gaining insight into the dynamics of ice masses and how subglacial landforms are created. However, the formation of the suite of landforms generated at this boundary — subglacial bedforms — is a contentious issue that is yet to be fully resolved. Bedforms formed in aeolian, fluvial, and marine environments either belong to separate morphological populations or are thought to represent a continuum of forms generated by the same governing processes. For subglacial bedforms, a size and shape continuum has been hypothesised, yet it has not been fully tested. Here we analyse the largest data set of subglacial bedform size and shape measurements ever collated (96,900 bedforms). Our results show that flutes form a distinct population of narrow bedforms. However, no clear distinction was found between drumlins and megascale glacial lineations (MSGLs), which form a continuum of subglacial lineations. A continuum of subglacial ribs also exists, with no clear size or shape distinctions indicating separate populations. Furthermore, an underreported class of bedform with no clear orientation to ice flow (quasi-circular bedforms) overlaps with the ribbed and lineation continua and typically occurs in spatial transition zones between the two, potentially merging these three bedform types into a larger continuum.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:subglacial bedforms; drumlins; ribbed moraine; flutes
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Quaternary Environmental Change
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:32980
Deposited By: Dr Paul Dunlop
Deposited On:18 Jan 2016 11:09
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:20

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