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Landform assemblages and sedimentary processes along the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream

Otteson, D.; Stokes, C.R.; Bøe, R.; Rise, L.; Longva, O.; Thorsnes, T.; Olesen, O.; Bugge, T.; Lepland, A.; Hestvik, O.B.

Landform assemblages and sedimentary processes along the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream Thumbnail


D. Otteson

R. Bøe

L. Rise

O. Longva

T. Thorsnes

O. Olesen

T. Bugge

A. Lepland

O.B. Hestvik


Several regional and detailed bathymetric datasets together with 2D and 3D seismic data are compiled to investigate the landform assemblages and sedimentary processes along the former path of the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream (NCIS). At the broad scale, the glacial geomorphology and sedimentary architecture reveals three different zones along the ice-stream path, characterized by: (1) glacial erosion in the onset zone and inner shelf area, (2) sediment transport through the main trunk of the ice stream across the mid-shelf, and (3) a zone of deposition towards the outer continental shelf edge. Along the first 400 km of the ice stream bed (outer Oslofjord–Skagerrak–Stavanger) a major overdeepening is associated with suites of crag-and-tail features at the transition from the crystalline bedrock to the sedimentary bedrock, together with evidence of glaciotectonic thrusting in the form of hill-hole pairs. Here we interpret extensive erosion of both sedimentary rocks and Quaternary sediments. This zone is succeeded by an approximately 400 km long zone, through which most of the sediments eroded from the inner shelf were transported, rather than being deposited. We infer that sediment was transported subglacially and is likely to have been advected downstream by soft sediment deformation. The thickness of till of inferred Weichselian age generally varies from 0 and 50 m and this zone is characterized by mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGLs) which we interpret to be formed in a dynamic sedimentary system dominated by high sediment fluxes, but with some localized sediment accretion associated with lineations. Towards the shelf break, the North Sea Fan extends to the deep Norwegian Sea, and reflects massive sedimentation of glacigenic debris onto the continental slope. Numerous glacigenic debris flows accumulated and constructed a unit up to 400 m thick during the Last Glacial Maximum. The presence of these three zones (erosion, transport, deposition) is consistent with observations from other palaeo-ice streams and their significance arises from their potential to feedback and impact on ice stream dynamics.


Otteson, D., Stokes, C., Bøe, R., Rise, L., Longva, O., Thorsnes, T., …Hestvik, O. (2016). Landform assemblages and sedimentary processes along the Norwegian Channel Ice Stream. Sedimentary Geology, 338, 115-137.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 6, 2016
Publication Date Jun 1, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 6, 2017
Journal Sedimentary Geology
Print ISSN 0037-0738
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 338
Pages 115-137


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