Subglacial deformation and water-pressure cycles as a key for understanding ice stream dynamics: evidence from the Late Ordovician succession of the Djado Basin (Niger).

Abstract : Subglacial deformation is crucial to reconstructing glacier dynamics. Sediments associated with the Late Ordovician ice sheet in the Djado Basin, Niger, exhibit detailed structures of the subglacial shear zone. Three main types of subglacial shear zones (SSZ) are discriminated. The lowermost SSZ, developed on sandstones, displays Riedel macrostructures and cataclastic microstructures. These resulted from brittle deformation associated with strong glacier/bed coupling and low porewater pressure. Where they developed on a clay-rich bed, the overlying SSZ display S–C to S–C' fabrics, sheath folds, and dewatering structures. These features indicate high ductile shear strain and water overpressure. On finegrained sand beds, the SSZ exhibit homogenized sand units with sand stringers, interpreted as fluidized sliding beds. The succession of subglacial deformation processes depends on fluid-pressure behavior in relation to subglacial sediment permeability. Fluid overpressure allows subglacial sediment shear strength and ice/bed coupling to be lowered, leading to ice streaming.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 11:13:11 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 4:28:08 PM

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Michaël Denis, Michel Guiraud, Moussa Konaté, Jean-François Buoncristiani. Subglacial deformation and water-pressure cycles as a key for understanding ice stream dynamics: evidence from the Late Ordovician succession of the Djado Basin (Niger).. International Journal of Earth Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2010, 99 (6), pp.1399-1425. ⟨10.1007/s00531-009-0455-z⟩. ⟨hal-00509918⟩

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