EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Plio-Pleistocene glacial history of the Melville Bugt Ice Stream

Andrew Newton1,2, David Cox2, Mads Huuse2, and Paul Knutz3
Andrew Newton et al.
  • 1School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK (
  • 2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 3Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark

In this work we use high-resolution seismic reflection surveys collected across the northeast Baffin Bay region to investigate the glacigenic Melville Bugt Trough Mouth Fan (MB-TMF). The MB-TMF stratigraphy is characterised by over 100 km of progradation since ~2.7 Ma and the heterogeneous truncation or subsidence of topset strata. Variation in topset character is thought to relate to the waxing and waning of the northwest sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet across the shelf since ~2.7 Ma. 3D seismic reflection data reveal the preservation of multiple sets of mega-scale glacial lineations, suggesting that grounded ice extended across the shelf a number of times since the onset of the Middle Pleistocene Transition. Seismic geomorphology and facies analysis of the prograding clinoforms show repeated observations of debrites and gully systems. These features, when considered with other evidence of adjacent glacial landforms and strata, are taken to infer gravity-driven processes and the presence of meltwater-related hyperpycnal flows in areas proximal to the ice sheet on the outer shelf. Bottomset contourites at the base of the continental slope also provide insights into the evolution of the West Greenland Current in Baffin Bay through the Pleistocene, with deposition estimated to have started in the latest Calabrian, based on the current age model. Regional stratigraphic mapping shows that the MB-TMF can be summarised into four stages that were primarily controlled by variations in ice sheet erosion patterns, topographic forcing of ice flow, and changes in accommodation that are related to glacigenic deposition and tectonic subsidence. 

How to cite: Newton, A., Cox, D., Huuse, M., and Knutz, P.: Plio-Pleistocene glacial history of the Melville Bugt Ice Stream, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19312,, 2020