SUBMARINE EVIDENCE OF THE LATE WEICHSELIAN MAXIMUM EXTENT AND THE LITTLE ICE AGE (LIA) GLACIER LIMITS IN THE ST. JONSFJORDEN REGION (SVALBARD)

Michał Król, Marek Grześ, Ireneusz Sobota, Marcin Ćmielewski, Tomasz Jaworski

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/2330

Abstract


The paper presents the results of bathymetric mapping of selected tidewater glaciers in the St. Jonsfjorden (Svalbard) between 2004 and 2007. We also used the bathymetric data collected by the Norwegian Hydrographic Service (NHS) as well as the shaded relief images based on them. The most clearly visible traces in submarine marginal zones of the glaciers come from the Little Ice Age (LIA), i.e. the cooling period which in the area of St. Jonsfjorden might have ended no later than about 1900. At the beginning of the 20th century, i.e. during a warm period, the glaciers of St. Jonsfjorden reached their maximums. The youngest traces in the seafloor of the fjord and the bays date from this period, similar to the case of the land marginal zones. In front of the cliff of the Dahl Glacier there is a clearly visible zone of submarine moraines. It finishes exactly along the line of the LIA maximum. The sea-floor relief of the fjord and bays shows traces which we interpret as having been formed during the Late Weichselian (13–10 ka B.P.). At that time, the Dahl Glacier advanced onto the northern part of Hermansenøya; its main stream passed to the north of the island. Simultaneously, the Konow-Osborne Glacier terminated 2 to 4 km from the fjord mouth, leaving about 15 km2 of the fjord ice-free.  


Keywords


Arctic; Svalbard; glacier; sea-floor morphology; push-moraines

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References


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