Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland

Timothy P. Lane, David H. Roberts, Colm Ó Cofaigh, Brice R. Rea, Andreas Vieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Uummannaq region is a mosaic of glacial landsystems, consistent with hypothesized landscape distribution resulting from variations in subglacial thermal regime. The region is dominated by selective linear erosion that has spatially and altitudinally partitioned the landscape. Low altitude areas are dominated by glacial scour and higher elevations are dominated by plateaux or mountain valley and cirque glaciers. The appearance and nature of each landscape type varies locally with altitude and latitude, as a function of bedrock geology and average glacial conditions. Selective linear erosion has been a primary control on landscape distribution throughout Uummannaq, leading to plateau formation and the growth of a coalescent fjord system in the Uummannaq region. This has allowed the development of the Uummannaq ice stream's (UIS) onset zone during glacial periods. Fjord development has been enhanced by a downstream change in geology to less-resistant lithologies, increasing erosional efficiency and allowing a single glacial channel to develop, encouraging glacier convergence and the initiation of ice streaming. The landscape has been affected by several periods of regional uplift from 33 Ma to present, and has been subject to subsequent fluvial and glacial erosion. Uplift has removed surfaces from the impact of widespread warm-based glaciation, leaving them as relict landsurfaces. The result of this is a regional altitude-dependent continuum of glacial modification, with extreme differences in erosion between high and low elevation surfaces. This study indicates that processes of long-term uplift, glacial erosion/protection and spatial variability in erosion intensity have produced a highly partitioned landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-234
Number of pages15
JournalBoreas
Volume45
Issue number2
Early online date30 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Fingerprint

landscape evolution
Greenland
erosion
glacial erosion
uplift
glaciers
geology
fjord
plateaus
glacier
ice
plateau
cirque
ice stream
thermal regime
bedrock
glaciation
scour
Erosion
Landscape Evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology

Cite this

Lane, T. P., Roberts, D. H., Ó Cofaigh, C., Rea, B. R., & Vieli, A. (2016). Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland. Boreas, 45(2), 220-234. https://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12150

Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland. / Lane, Timothy P.; Roberts, David H.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Rea, Brice R.; Vieli, Andreas.

In: Boreas, Vol. 45, No. 2, 04.2016, p. 220-234.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lane, TP, Roberts, DH, Ó Cofaigh, C, Rea, BR & Vieli, A 2016, 'Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland' Boreas, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 220-234. https://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12150
Lane, Timothy P. ; Roberts, David H. ; Ó Cofaigh, Colm ; Rea, Brice R. ; Vieli, Andreas. / Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland. In: Boreas. 2016 ; Vol. 45, No. 2. pp. 220-234.
@article{b5773ffc5bca4a479aef9adb01b4c210,
title = "Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland",
abstract = "The Uummannaq region is a mosaic of glacial landsystems, consistent with hypothesized landscape distribution resulting from variations in subglacial thermal regime. The region is dominated by selective linear erosion that has spatially and altitudinally partitioned the landscape. Low altitude areas are dominated by glacial scour and higher elevations are dominated by plateaux or mountain valley and cirque glaciers. The appearance and nature of each landscape type varies locally with altitude and latitude, as a function of bedrock geology and average glacial conditions. Selective linear erosion has been a primary control on landscape distribution throughout Uummannaq, leading to plateau formation and the growth of a coalescent fjord system in the Uummannaq region. This has allowed the development of the Uummannaq ice stream's (UIS) onset zone during glacial periods. Fjord development has been enhanced by a downstream change in geology to less-resistant lithologies, increasing erosional efficiency and allowing a single glacial channel to develop, encouraging glacier convergence and the initiation of ice streaming. The landscape has been affected by several periods of regional uplift from 33 Ma to present, and has been subject to subsequent fluvial and glacial erosion. Uplift has removed surfaces from the impact of widespread warm-based glaciation, leaving them as relict landsurfaces. The result of this is a regional altitude-dependent continuum of glacial modification, with extreme differences in erosion between high and low elevation surfaces. This study indicates that processes of long-term uplift, glacial erosion/protection and spatial variability in erosion intensity have produced a highly partitioned landscape.",
author = "Lane, {Timothy P.} and Roberts, {David H.} and {{\'O} Cofaigh}, Colm and Rea, {Brice R.} and Andreas Vieli",
note = "This work was supported by the Department of Geography (Durham University), the Department of Geography and the Environment (University of Aberdeen), the Royal Geographical Society-IBG and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. Thanks to Arne Neumann, Birte {\O}rum and Barbara Stroem-Baris for logistical support during fieldwork. Reproduced aerial photographs were provided by Kort and Matrikelstyrelsen. Svend Funder, an anonymous reviewer and the editor Jan A. Piotrowski are thanked for their comments, which clarified and improved the manuscript.",
year = "2016",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1111/bor.12150",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "220--234",
journal = "Boreas",
issn = "0300-9483",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland

AU - Lane, Timothy P.

AU - Roberts, David H.

AU - Ó Cofaigh, Colm

AU - Rea, Brice R.

AU - Vieli, Andreas

N1 - This work was supported by the Department of Geography (Durham University), the Department of Geography and the Environment (University of Aberdeen), the Royal Geographical Society-IBG and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. Thanks to Arne Neumann, Birte Ørum and Barbara Stroem-Baris for logistical support during fieldwork. Reproduced aerial photographs were provided by Kort and Matrikelstyrelsen. Svend Funder, an anonymous reviewer and the editor Jan A. Piotrowski are thanked for their comments, which clarified and improved the manuscript.

PY - 2016/4

Y1 - 2016/4

N2 - The Uummannaq region is a mosaic of glacial landsystems, consistent with hypothesized landscape distribution resulting from variations in subglacial thermal regime. The region is dominated by selective linear erosion that has spatially and altitudinally partitioned the landscape. Low altitude areas are dominated by glacial scour and higher elevations are dominated by plateaux or mountain valley and cirque glaciers. The appearance and nature of each landscape type varies locally with altitude and latitude, as a function of bedrock geology and average glacial conditions. Selective linear erosion has been a primary control on landscape distribution throughout Uummannaq, leading to plateau formation and the growth of a coalescent fjord system in the Uummannaq region. This has allowed the development of the Uummannaq ice stream's (UIS) onset zone during glacial periods. Fjord development has been enhanced by a downstream change in geology to less-resistant lithologies, increasing erosional efficiency and allowing a single glacial channel to develop, encouraging glacier convergence and the initiation of ice streaming. The landscape has been affected by several periods of regional uplift from 33 Ma to present, and has been subject to subsequent fluvial and glacial erosion. Uplift has removed surfaces from the impact of widespread warm-based glaciation, leaving them as relict landsurfaces. The result of this is a regional altitude-dependent continuum of glacial modification, with extreme differences in erosion between high and low elevation surfaces. This study indicates that processes of long-term uplift, glacial erosion/protection and spatial variability in erosion intensity have produced a highly partitioned landscape.

AB - The Uummannaq region is a mosaic of glacial landsystems, consistent with hypothesized landscape distribution resulting from variations in subglacial thermal regime. The region is dominated by selective linear erosion that has spatially and altitudinally partitioned the landscape. Low altitude areas are dominated by glacial scour and higher elevations are dominated by plateaux or mountain valley and cirque glaciers. The appearance and nature of each landscape type varies locally with altitude and latitude, as a function of bedrock geology and average glacial conditions. Selective linear erosion has been a primary control on landscape distribution throughout Uummannaq, leading to plateau formation and the growth of a coalescent fjord system in the Uummannaq region. This has allowed the development of the Uummannaq ice stream's (UIS) onset zone during glacial periods. Fjord development has been enhanced by a downstream change in geology to less-resistant lithologies, increasing erosional efficiency and allowing a single glacial channel to develop, encouraging glacier convergence and the initiation of ice streaming. The landscape has been affected by several periods of regional uplift from 33 Ma to present, and has been subject to subsequent fluvial and glacial erosion. Uplift has removed surfaces from the impact of widespread warm-based glaciation, leaving them as relict landsurfaces. The result of this is a regional altitude-dependent continuum of glacial modification, with extreme differences in erosion between high and low elevation surfaces. This study indicates that processes of long-term uplift, glacial erosion/protection and spatial variability in erosion intensity have produced a highly partitioned landscape.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84961211279&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/bor.12150

DO - 10.1111/bor.12150

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 220

EP - 234

JO - Boreas

JF - Boreas

SN - 0300-9483

IS - 2

ER -