Submarine geomorphology at the front of the retreating Hansbreen tidewater glacier, Hornsund fjord, southwest Spitsbergen

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Abstract

A 1:10,000 scale bathymetric map as well as 1:20,000 scale backscattering and geomorphological maps of two bays Isbjørnhamna and Hansbukta in the Hornsund fjord (Spitsbergen) present the submarine relief that was primarily formed during and after the retreat of the Hansbreen tidewater glacier. Geomorphological mapping was performed using multibeam bathymetric data and seismoacoustic profiling. The identified landforms include two types of transverse ridges interpreted as terminal and annual moraines, flat areas that are depressions filled with glaciomarine sediments, iceberg-generated pits and ploughmarks, pockmarks and fields of megaripples. Most of the identified landforms are genetically related to the retreat of Hansbreen since the termination of the Little Ice Age at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although Hansbreen has been speculated to be a surge-type glacier, no evidence of surging was identified in the submarine landform assemblage, which is in accordance with the absence of historically documented surges for that period.

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Sponsor

The work has been partially supported by National Science Centre (Poland) [grant number 2013/09/B/ST10/04141], [grant number 2013/10/E/ST10/00166], Arctic Field Grant funded by the Research Council of Norway [grant number 256879/E10] (Svalbard Science Forum), the Leading National Research Centre (KNOW) received by the Centre for Polar Studies for the period 2014–2018, and statutory activities no. 3841/E-41/S/2017 of the Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education of Poland.

Keywords

Spitsbergen, fjord, tidewater glacier, non-surge-type glacier, submarine landforms

Citation

Ćwiąkała J., Moskalik M., Forwick M., Wojtysiak K., Giżejewski J., Szczuciński W., 2018 – Submarine geomorphology at the front of the retreating Hansbreen tidewater glacier, Hornsund fjord, southwest Spitsbergen. Journal of Maps, 14(2): 123-134.

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Rights Creative Commons

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego