Le Geotop - Dr. Martin Margold : The evolution of ice stream... (19-10-2017)

Dr. Martin Margold : The evolution of ice stream... (19-10-2017)

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Dr. Martin Margold (Stockholm University)

The evolution of the ice stream network in the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last deglaciation

Jeudi 19 octobre 2017 à 13h00/ Thursday, October 19, 2017, 1:00pm

Local PK-7605, 201 ave. Président-Kennedy, UQAM

Résumé / Abstract:

Martin Margold1,*, Chris R. Stokes1, Chris D. Clark2
1 - Department of Geography, Durham University, UK
2 - Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK
* - Present address: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Sweden (employer) & Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada (host institution)

We reconstruct the deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) from its Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), with a particular focus on the spatial and temporal variations in ice streaming. We build on a recent inventory of Laurentide ice streams and use an existing ice margin chronology to produce the first detailed transient reconstruction of the ice stream drainage network in the LIS. At the LGM, the LIS drainage network was similar to modernday Antarctica. The majority of the ice streams were marine terminating and topographically controlled and many of these continued to function late into the deglaciation, until the ice sheet lost its marine margin. Ice streams with a terrestrial ice margin in the west and south were more transient and ice flow directions changed with the build-up, peak-phase and collapse of the Cordilleran-Laurentide ice saddle. The south-eastern marine margin in Atlantic Canada started to retreat relatively early and some of the ice streams in this region switched off at or shortly after the LGM. In contrast, the ice streams draining towards the north-western and north-eastern marine margins in the Beaufort Sea and in Baffin Bay appear to have remained stable throughout most of the Late Glacial, and some of them continued to function until after the Younger Dryas (YD). The YD influenced the dynamics of the deglaciation, but there remains uncertainty about the response of the ice sheet in several sectors. Retreat rates markedly increased after the YD and the ice sheet became limited to the Canadian Shield. This hard-bed substrate brought a change in the character of ice streaming, which became less frequent but generated much broader terrestrial ice streams. These deglacial ice streams are mostly interpreted as a reaction to localised ice-dynamical forcing (flotation and calving of the ice front in glacial lakes and transgressing sea; basal de-coupling due to large amount of meltwater reaching the bed, debuttressing due to rapid changes in ice sheet geometry) rather than as conveyors of excess mass from the accumulation area of the ice sheet. At an ice sheet scale, the ice stream drainage network became less widespread and less efficient with the decreasing size of the deglaciating ice sheet, the final elimination of which was mostly driven by surface melt.