Ice-marginal characteristics of Fridtjovbreen (Svalbard) during its recent surge
Glasser, Neil F.
Bennett, Matthew R.
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
(issn: 1751-8369, eissn: 1751-8369)
Fridtjovbreen is an actively surging tidewater glacier in western Spitsbergen, Svalbard. This paper presents observations made at the western flank of the glacier in July 1997, when the glacier front was still advancing rapidly and was characterised by steep lateral ice cliffs. The geomorphological consequences of the surge include the formation of push moraines from toppled ice blocks along this ice cliff and the development of debris-rich thrusts. There is also evidence of glaciotectonic deformation within deformed debris-rich thrusts. Thrusts are restricted to the lateral margins and are not seen in the terminal calving cliff. On its western flank, Fridtjovbreen is over-riding Sagabreen, a small-tributary glacier. Large facies variations in this area are a result of recycling by Fridtjovbreen of material originally transported as medial moraines on Sagabreen. There are few observations of landform development at actively surging glaciers in Svalbard. The Fridtjovbreen descriptions provide documentation for post-surge landform development. More observations are required at the margins of actively surging glaciers to determine how representative Fridtjovbreen is of a surge event.