Palaeo ice streams

Ice stream (small)Ice stream structure (small)Ice streams are fast flowing corridors embedded within slower flowing ice sheets. For Antarctica they are responsible for around 90% of ice mass lost from the system, even though they occupy only a small part of the perimeter (12 %). Their activity largely determines the stability and response of ice sheets to climate perturbations, and accordingly their functioning receives intensive research activity, and constitutes the greatest challenge to knowledge within glaciology.

I have contributed to this field, by making theoretical advances with regard to the geomorphological and geological imprint that ice streams should leave behind, and using EO to search for them in former ice sheets.

We are currently searching and investigating the tracks of ice streams that drained ice sheets during the last glaciation. Once found and investigated their geomorphological signature provides information on ice stream basal characteristics that can be used for parameterising or testing numerical models. We can make inferences about the basal controls on ice stream functioning, which are relevant to both contemporary and palaeo glaciology. The first International sympoisum on palaeo-ice streams was held in Denmark in 2001. A special issue of Boreas (32(1), edited by myself and collegues) reported some of the key papers.

Contributions to palaeo ice streams

  • Chiverrell, R.C., Thrasher, I.M., Thomas, G.S.P., Lang, A., Scourse, J.D., Van Landeghem, K.J.J., McCarroll, D., Clark, C.D., Ó Cofaigh, C., Evans, D.J.A. and Ballantyne, C.K. (2013). Bayesian modelling the retreat of the Irish Sea Ice Stream. Journal of Quaternary Science, 28(2), 200-209
  • Ó Cofaigh, C., Stokes, C.R., Lian, O.B., Clark, C.D. and Tulacyzk, S. (2013). Formation of mega-scale glacial lineations on the Dubawnt Lake Ice Stream bed: 2. Sedimentology and stratigraphy. Quaternary Science Reviews. 77, 210 – 227.
  • Stokes, C.R., Spagnolo, M., Clark, C.D., O’Cofaigh, C., Lian, O.B. and Dunstone, R.B. (2013). Formation of Mega-Scale Glacial Lineations on the Dubawnt Lake Ice Stream Bed: 1. Size, Shape and Spacing from a Large Remote Sensing Dataset. Quaternary Science Reviews. 77, 190 – 209.
  • Bigg, G. R., Clark, C. D., Levine R. C., Greenwood, S. L., Haflidason, H., Hughes, A. L. C., Nygård, A. and Sejrup H. P. (2012). Sensitivity of the North Atlantic circulation to break-up of the marine sectors of the NW European ice sheets during the last Glacial: a synthesis of modelling and palaeoceanography. Global and Planetary Change. 98-99, 153-165.
  • Clark, C.D., Hughes, A.L.C., Greenwood, S.L., Jordan, C.J. and Sejrup, H.P. (2012). Pattern and timing of retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews, 44, 112-146.
  • Winsborrow, M.C.M., Clark, C.D. and Stokes, C.R. (2010). What controls the location of ice streams? Earth Science Reviews. 103(1-2), 45-49.
  • Bigg, G.R., Levine, R.C., Clark, C.D., Greenwood, S.L., Haflidason, H., Hughes, A.L.C., Nygård, A., and Sejrup, H.P. (2010). Last Glacial ice-rafted debris off south-western Europe: the role of the British-Irish Ice Sheet. Journal of Quaternary Science, 25(5), 689-699.
  • Ó Cofaigh, C., Dowdeswell, J.A., King, E.C., Anderson, J.B., Clark, C.D., Evans, D.J.A., Evans, J., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Larter, R.D., and Stokes, C.R. (2010). Comment on Shaw J., Pugin, A. and Young, R. (2008): "A meltwater origin for Antarctic shelf bedforms with special attention to megalineations". Geomorphology, 117(1-2), 195-198.
  • Greenwood, S.L. and Clark, C.D. (2009). Reconstructing the last Irish Ice Sheet 2: a geomorphologically-driven model of ice sheet growth, retreat and dynamics. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28(27-28), 3101-3123.
  • Stokes, C.R., Clark, C.D. and Storrar, R. (2009). Major changes in ice stream dynamics during deglaciation of the north-western margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28(7-8), 721-738.
  • Stokes, C.R., Lian, O.B., Tulaczyck, S. and Clark, C.D. (2008). Superimposition of ribbed moraines on a palaeo-ice-stream bed: implications for ice stream dynamics and shutdown. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33(4), 593-609.
  • Evans, D.J.A., Clark, C.D. and Rea, B.R. (2008). Landform and sediment imprints of fast glacier flow in the southwest Laurentide Ice Sheet. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23(3), 249-272.
  • Nygård, A., Sejrup, H.P., Haflidason, H., Lekens, W.A.H., Clark, C.D. and Bigg, G.R. (2007). Extreme sediment and ice delivery from marine Ice streams; new evidence from the northern North Sea. Geology, 35(5), 395-398.
  • Stokes, C.R., Clark, C.D., Lian, O.B., and Tulaczyk, S. (2007). Ice stream sticky spots: a review of their identification and influence beneath contemporary and palaeo-ice streams. Earth Science Reviews, 81(3-4), 217-249.
  • Stokes, C.R., Clark, C.D. and Winsborrow, M.C.M. (2006). Subglacial bedform evidence for a major palaeo-ice stream and its retreat phases in Amundsen Gulf, Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Journal of Quaternary Science, 21(4), 399-412.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2006). Influence of ice streaming on the ocean-climate system: examining the impact of the M'Clintock Channel Ice Stream, Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In: Knight, P.G. (ed.) Glacier Science and Environmental Change, Blackwell, Oxford. 135-136.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2006). What can the 'footprint' of a palaeo-ice stream tell us? Interpreting the bed of the Dubawnt Lake Ice Stream, Northern Keewatin, Canada. In: Knight, P.G. (ed.) Glacier Science and Environmental Change, Blackwell, Oxford. 208–209.
  • Clark, C.D., Greenwood, S.L. and Evans, D.J.A. (2006). Palaeo-glaciology of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet: challenges and some recent developments. In: Knight, P.G. (ed.) Glacier Science and Environmental Change, Blackwell, Oxford. 248-264.
  • Stokes, C.R., Clark, C.D., Darby, D.A. and Hodgson, D.A. (2005). Late Pleistocene ice export events into the Arctic Ocean from the M'Clure Strait Ice Stream, Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Global and Planetary Change, 49(3-4), 139-162.
  • Winsborrow, M.C.M., Clark, C.D. and Stokes, C.R. (2004). Ice streams of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Géographie Physique et Quaternaire, 58(2-3), 269-280.
    pdf icon Archived PDF version (open access)
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2004). Evolution of Late Glacial ice-marginal lakes on the north-western Canadian Shield and their influence on the location of the Dubawnt Lake Palaeo-Ice Stream. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 215(1-2), 155–171.
  • Clark, C.D., Tulaczyk, S. M., Stokes, C.R., and Canals, M. (2003). A groove-ploughing theory for the production of mega scale glacial lineations, and implications for ice-stream mechanics. Journal of Glaciology, 49(165), 240-256.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2003). The Dubawnt Lake Palaeo-Ice Stream: evidence for dynamic ice sheet behaviour on the Canadian Shield and insights regarding the controls on ice-stream location and vigour. Boreas, 32(1), 263-279.
  • Clark, C.D. Evans, D.J.A, and Piotrowski, J.A. (2003). Palaeo-ice streams: an introduction. Boreas, 32(1), 1-3.
    pdf icon SHERPA Archive version (open access)
  • Clark, C.D. and Stokes, C.R. (2003). The palaeo-Ice Stream Landsystem. In: Evans, D.J.A. (ed.) Glacial Landsystems, Arnold, London. 204-227.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2003). Laurentide ice streaming on the Canadian Shield: a conflict with the soft-bedded ice stream paradigm? Geology, 31(4), 347-350.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2002). Are long bedforms indicative of fast ice flow? Boreas, 31(3), 239-249.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2002) Ice stream shear margin moraines. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 27(5), 547-558.
  • Tulaczyk, S.M., Scherer, R.P. and Clark, C.D. (2001). A ploughing model for the origin of weak tills beneath ice streams: a qualitative treatment. Quaternary International, 86(1), 59 –70.
  • Clark, C.D. and Stokes, C.R. (2001). Extent and basal characteristics of the M'Clintock Channel Ice Stream. Quaternary International, 86(1), 81-101.
  • Stokes, C.R. and Clark, C.D. (2001). Palaeo-ice streams. Quaternary Science Reviews, 20(13), 1437-1457.
  • Stokes, C.R., and Clark, C.D. (1999). Geomorphological criteria for identifying Pleistocene ice streams. Annals of Glaciology, 28(1), 67- 74.
  • Clark, C.D. (1993). Mega-scale glacial lineations and cross-cutting ice-flow landforms. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 18(1), 1-29.