Ribbed moraines and subglacial geomorphological signatures of interior-sector palaeo-ice sheet dynamics
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Transverse, subglacial bedforms (ribbed moraines) occur frequently in southern Keewatin, Nunavut, Canada, where they record a complex glacial history, including shifting centers of ice dispersal and fluctuating basal thermal regimes. Comprehensive mapping and quantitative morphometric analysis of the subglacial bedform archive in this sector reveals that ribbed moraines are spatially clustered by size and assume a broad range of visually distinct forms. Results suggest that end-member morphologies are consistent with a dichotomous polygenetic origin, and that a continuum of forms emerged through subsequent reshaping processes of variable intensity and duration. Translocation of mobile, immobile and quasi-mobile beds throughout the last glacial cycle conditioned the development of a subglacial deforming bed mosaic, and is likely responsible for the patchy zonation of palimpsest and inherited landscape signatures within this former core region of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Comparison against field evidence collected from central Norway suggests that bedforming processes can be locally mediated by pre-existing topography.