Mega-scale glacial lineations

groovepatch (small)Discovery of a new type of large-scale (10 –100 km) landform signature (mega-scale glacial lineations) in Canada, led me to predict that these were the specific record of high velocity ice flow (surges or ice streams). They have since been found elsewhere, and in the last few years, remarkable submarine finds have been made on the continental shelf surrounding Antarctica. These are significant in that their context in relation to fast flow features in the existing ice sheet validate my predictions. It is thus now well established that mega-scale glacial lineations are a reliable record of ice stream flow. Current research explores the formation of these landforms and their wide-reaching implications on the controls of ice stream flow.


Discovered and named the phenomena and argued they were an indicator of ice streams in:

  • Clark, C.D. (1993). Mega-scale glacial lineations and cross-cutting ice-flow landforms. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 18(1), 1-29.
    doi:10.1002/esp.3290180102

Their characteristics and possible formation mechanism:

  • Hillier, J.K., Smith, M.J., Clark, C.D., Stokes, C.R., Spagnolo, M. (2013). Subglacial bedforms reveal an exponential size-frequency distribution. Geomorphology, 190, 82-91.
  • 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. 99.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.036
  • 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.
    doi:10.3189/172756503781830719
  • 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.
    doi:10.1016/S1040-6182(01)00050-7
  • Clark, C.D. (1994). Large scale ice-moulded landforms and their glaciological significance. Sedimentary Geology, 91(1-4), 253-268.
    doi:10.1016/0037-0738(94)90133-3
  • Clark, C.D. (1990). Remote sensing scales related to the frequency of natural variation; an example from palaeo-ice flow in Canada. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 28(4), 503-508.
    doi:10.1109/TGRS.1990.572932