Contemporaneous, localized, basal ice-flow variations: implications for bedrock erosion and the origin of p-forms

Brice Reid Rea, D J A Evans, T S Dixon, W B Whalley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed study of a proglacial bedrock site and a subglacial cavity of an outlet of Oksfjordjokelen, Norway, is presented together with observations from the fore-land of Konowbreen, Spitsbergen. Striation directions and subglacial observations indicate that local ice-flow paths were highly variable, deviating at angles of approximately 90 degrees from the main ice-flow direction. Stepped bedrock topography appears conducive to the production of highly variable ice-flow paths, because the high bed roughness creates a locally variable stress regime within the ice, including low-pressure, lee-side areas into which ice can flow. If ice flow is sustained along a specific path and the ice contains debris, then abrasion should produce an erosional bedform. Models are proposed whereby locally variable ice-flow patterns could produce erosional bedforms, which would be described as p-forms, purely through mechanical abrasion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number154
Publication statusPublished - 2000



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