Past ice flow in Wahlenbergfjorden and its implications for late Quaternary ice sheet dynamics in northeastern Svalbard
Wahlenbergfjorden is a fjord situated in the western part of Nordaustlandet in northern Svalbard. It leads into the 400 m deep Hinlopen Strait located between Nordaustlandet and Spitsbergen. High-resolution multibeam bathymetric and sub-bottom data, as well as sediment cores are used to study the past extent and dynamics of glaciers in Wahlenbergfjorden and western Nordaustlandet. The submarine landform assemblage in Wahlenbergfjorden consists of landforms characteristic of subglacial, ice marginal and proglacial conditions. Glacial lineations indicate that Wahlenbergfjorden was occupied by streaming ice during the LGM and most likely acted as an ice stream onset zone. Westward ice flow in the fjord merged with the ice stream in Hinlopen Strait. Absence of ice recessional landforms in outer Wahlenbergfjorden suggests relatively fast deglaciation, possibly by flotation of the glacier front in the deeper parts of the fjord. The inner part of Wahlenbergfjorden and Palanderbukta are characterized by De Geer moraines, indicating episodic retreat of a grounded glacier front. In Palanderbukta, longer still stands of the glacier terminus resulted in the formation of larger terminal moraine ridges. The inner part of Wahlenbergfjorden was deglaciated prior to 11.3 ± 55 Cal. ka BP. The submarine landform assemblages in front of Bodleybreen, Etonbreen, Idunbreen, Frazerbreen and Aldousbreen confirm that these glaciers have surged at least once during the Holocene.
Authors: Flink, Anne E., Noormets, Riko, Fransner, Oscar, Hogan, Kelly A., ÓRegan, Matthew, Jakobsson, Martin