Types of Glaciers
Fig 1. Vatnajökull ice cap in Iceland (3)
Fig 2. Múlajökull piedmont glacier in Iceland (3)
Fig 3. Kambsjökull cirque glacier in Iceland (3)
Fig 4. Graphic showing the formation of glacial moraines (8)
Subglacial streams can carry sediments of several different sizes due to their high energy. When these sediments are deposited, they form long ridges of relatively poorly sorted sediments that trace the subglacial melt channels called eskers. Eskers in Iceland can be seen near the Brúarjökull glacier. (7)
Fig 5. Photo showing eskers near the Brúarjökull glacier (4)
When the ice at a glacial margin becomes weak and unsupported, it can break off in a process called calving. These chunks of ice then fall to the surface and are buried by glacial outwash sediments. Eventually, the climate warms to the point of melting the chunks of ice, leaving a depression in the landscape called a kettle hole. Kettle topography can be seen in the area surrounding the Skaftafellsjökull glacier in Iceland. (6)
Fig 6. Graphic showing the formation of kettle holes (6)
One famous proglacial lake in Iceland is Jökulsárlón. Icebergs that have calved from the Vatnajökull glacier float in this proglacial lake and are left on the shore when the lake empties to the Atlantic Ocean. However, because of this exchange with the ocean and the resulting salinity of the lake, varves that would normally form in a proglacial lake, as seen in the nearby proglacial lakes of the glacier Breidamerkurjökull, are not able to form. (1)
Carbon Capture and Storage section of this site.
Fig 7. Image of the proglacial lake Jökulsárlón in Iceland (5)
Fig 8. Sólheimajökull Glacier in Iceland photographed in 2009 (left) and 2011 (right) showing the extreme recent glacial retreat in Iceland (2)
(2) Ingber, Sasha. “Extreme Ice Survey chronicles melting glaciers.” ShareAmerica, 31 Mar. 2016, share.america.gov/extreme-ice-survey-chronicles-melting-glaciers/.
(3) Ingólfsson, Ólafur. “Icelandic Glaciers.” Ólafur Ingólfsson, notendur.hi.is/oi/icelandic_glaciers.htm.
(4) Ingólfsson, Ólafur. “Ólafur Ingólfsson.” Ólafur Ingólfsson, 11 May 2008, notendur.hi.is/oi/index.htm.
(5) Karsten, Matthew. “Iceland’s Amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.” Expert Vagabond, 27 Oct. 2017, expertvagabond.com/jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon/.
(6) “Kettle Hole.” Landforms, www.landforms.eu/cairngorms/kettle%20hole.htm.
(7) Knudsen, Óskar. “Concertina eskers, Brúarjökull, Iceland: An indicator of surge-Type glacier behaviour.” Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 14, no. 5, 1995, pp. 487–493., doi:10.1016/0277-3791(95)00018-k.
(8) Lukas, Sven. “Moraines – piles of dirt record glacier fluctuations.” Climatica, 11 Mar. 2014, climatica.org.uk/moraines-piles-dirt-record-glacier-fluctuations.
(9) Martha, Gale. “Why are Lakes and Rivers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains so Brilliantly Turquoise Blue?” Scientific Explorer, 26 Jan. 2016, sciexplorer.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-are-lakes-and-rivers-in-canadian.html.
By: Carter Boyd