Structural composition and sediment transfer in a composite cirque glacier: Glacier de St. Sorlin, France

Sam Roberson

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17 Citations (SciVal)


This paper considers the links between structure, sediment transport and sediment delivery at Glacier de St. Sorlin, France. Sediment transported by the glacier is concentrated at flow-unit boundaries as medial moraines, controlled by the position of bedrock outcrops in the accumulation area. Rockfall entrained within primary stratification is tightly folded at flow-unit boundaries under high cumulative strains and laterally compressive stress. High cumulative strains and laterally compressive stresses lead to the development of longitudinal foliation from primary stratification. Folding elevates subglacial sediments into foliation-parallel debris ridges, which are exposed in the ablation area. Crevasses and shear planes within the glacier have little control on sediment transport. Debris stripes in the proglacial area are morphologically similar to foliation-parallel debris ridges; however, they are not structurally controlled, but formed by fluvial erosion. The conclusion of this study is that at Glacier de St. Sorlin proglacial sediment-landform associations are subjected to intense syn- and post-depositional modification by high melt-water discharges, hence their composition does not reflect that of sediments melting out at the terminus. The action of melt water limits the potential of the sedimentary record to be used to constrain numerical models of past glacier dynamics in debris-poor glacierized Alpine catchments. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1947
Number of pages17
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2008


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