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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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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Striated ice


This is a wonderful image from James Ross Island, Antarctica, showing the surface of an ice-cored moraine.  We can see here that the ice surface is steeply sloping, and that the morainic debris on top of it is very wet and highly mobile, constantly sliding down and accumulating in hollows.  The ice surface is actually scratched or striated by the stones as they slide downslope.

Environments like this are deeply unpleasant to walk around in -- and in fact positively dangerous.  When I was in the South Shetland Islands in 1965-66 (on the other side of the Antarctic Peninsula) one of our great fears, when working close to wasting ice edges, was the prospect of getting bogged down in this saturated sediment -- or at worst disappearing without trace if we misjudged its thickness! 

The best bet is to stay well clear of such places if at all possible.....

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