Simple theory supports field observations (Lawson and others, 1998) that subglacial water flow out of overdeepenings can cause accretion of layered, debris-bearing ice to the bases of glaciers. The large meltwater flux into a temperate glacier at the onset of summer melting can cause rapid water flow through expanded basal activities or other flow paths. If that flow ascends a sufficiently steep slope out of an overdeepening, the water will supercool as the pressure-melting point rises, and basal-ice accretion will occur. Diurnal, occasional or annual fluctuations in water discharge will cause variations in accretion rate, debris content of accreted ice or subsequent diagenesis, producing layers. Under appropriate conditions, net accretion of debris-bearing basal ice will allow debris fluxes that are significant in the glacier sediment budget.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth-Surface Processes