Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum?

Jeremy C. Ely*, Chris D. Clark, Matteo Spagnolo, Chris R. Stokes, Sarah L. Greenwood, Anna L. C. Hughes, Paul Dunlop, Dale Hess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalGeomorphology
Volume257
Early online date6 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Fingerprint

bedform
lineation
landform
ice
drumlin
ice flow
transition zone
marine environment

Keywords

  • Drumlins
  • Flutes
  • Ribbed moraine
  • Subglacial bedforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Ely, J. C., Clark, C. D., Spagnolo, M., Stokes, C. R., Greenwood, S. L., Hughes, A. L. C., ... Hess, D. (2016). Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum? Geomorphology, 257, 108-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.01.001

Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum? / Ely, Jeremy C.; Clark, Chris D.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Stokes, Chris R.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Dunlop, Paul; Hess, Dale.

In: Geomorphology, Vol. 257, 15.03.2016, p. 108-119.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ely, JC, Clark, CD, Spagnolo, M, Stokes, CR, Greenwood, SL, Hughes, ALC, Dunlop, P & Hess, D 2016, 'Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum?', Geomorphology, vol. 257, pp. 108-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.01.001
Ely JC, Clark CD, Spagnolo M, Stokes CR, Greenwood SL, Hughes ALC et al. Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum? Geomorphology. 2016 Mar 15;257:108-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.01.001
Ely, Jeremy C. ; Clark, Chris D. ; Spagnolo, Matteo ; Stokes, Chris R. ; Greenwood, Sarah L. ; Hughes, Anna L. C. ; Dunlop, Paul ; Hess, Dale. / Do subglacial bedforms comprise a size and shape continuum?. In: Geomorphology. 2016 ; Vol. 257. pp. 108-119.
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