Surging glaciers in Scotland
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Glacier surges are cyclic oscillations of velocity and mass resulting from internal dynamic instabilities. For surge-type glaciers, cycles of advance and retreat are decoupled from climate forcing, so it is important to consider the possibility that former glaciers may have been surge-type when making climatic inferences from their dimensions and chronologies. In this paper, climatic and glacier geometric data are used to show that Scotland was likely the location of a surge cluster during the Loch Lomond Stade (∼12.9–11.7 ka), with high probabilities of surging for outlets of the West Highland Icefield and the larger glaciers in the Inner Hebrides and Northern Highlands. Terrestrial and marine landforms consistent with surging occur in all of these areas, and it is proposed that surge-type glaciers existed on the Islands of Skye and Mull, in the Northern Highlands, and in a ‘surging arc’ along the western, southern and south-eastern margins of the West Highland Icefield. The possibility that surge-type glaciers were widespread in Scotland during the Loch Lomond Stade offers a fresh perspective on some long-standing issues, including the relationship between style of deglaciation and climate change, the climatic significance of glacial chronologies, palaeoclimatic reconstructions, and the interpretation of numerical model results.
Benn , D I 2021 , ' Surging glaciers in Scotland ' , Scottish Geographical Journal , vol. Latest Articles . https://doi.org/10.1080/14702541.2021.1922738
Scottish Geographical Journal
Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
DescriptionHelp with data compilation and analysis was provided by Rebekah Kaufman with funding from the St Andrews University Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme.
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