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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Evans, D.J.A. Landscapes at the periphery of glacierization - retrospect and prospect. Scottish Geographical Journal. 2016;132:140-163.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper reviews the evolution of palaeoglaciological reconstructions in regions at the periphery of glacierization, where an improved understanding of the role of glacial thermal regime has helped refine the delimitation of ice sheet maxima. Also significant has been the recognition in numerical models that some areas, especially ice sheet marginal zones, are subject to short periods of ice occupancy and hence that glacial landsystem signatures can be extremely subtle. This is compounded wherever cold-based conditions dominate during early stages of ice sheet recession, giving rise to a landform imprint typical of peripheral regions and hence often misinterpreted as unglaciated or glaciated only by older glaciations. Subtle landform imprints include meltwater channels, thin glacigenic veneers or scattered erratics and modified tors. More substantial glacigenic landform-sediment assemblages (‘drift belts’) do not always represent ice sheet maxima but instead may record significant changes in thermal regime, possibly linked to periods of ice-marginal stabilization. Some upland areas that lie beyond the traditionally demarcated limits of glaciation (e.g. Dartmoor in SW England) may contain subtle evidence of satellite ice cap development which has been overlooked due to the strong periglacial landform signature.

Department of Geography