THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Big Bang on Ellesmere Island

I posted this image some time ago, but the more I look at it the more extraordinary it seems.  It is indeed the glaciological equivalent of a Big Bang -- with seven glaciers flowing into the same small section of a deep glacial trough and ending up in a gigantic corporate collision.  This is seriously deranged behaviour -- how could it have happened?  Isn't nature normally rather more organized than this?  Well, yes it is -- so something very strange must have happened here.  All I can think of is that the big trough into which these glaciers are flowing is a very old relic of a previous glaciation, in which a major outlet glacier must have carried ice from an ice sheet or large ice cap towards the coast.  For some reason that supply must have been cut off, allowing glaciers from smaller ice caps to take possession of the trough.  But why are the glaciers flowing together like this, instead of establishing a common exit route?  I'm really at a loss to explain it -- and maybe I might get a clearer idea if I was to zoom out and take a look at the regional -- rather than the local - landscape.......

In the meantime, just look at the extraordinary compression structures on all of the glacier snouts. Click to enlarge the image.  There is also a lot of melting going on here.  Where does the meltwater go to?  Answers on a postcard please.....

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