Late Cenozoic History of Rennick Glacier and Talos Dome, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica

  1. Edmund Stump
  1. G. H. Denton1,
  2. J. G. Bockheim2,
  3. S. C. Wilson2 and
  4. C. SchlüChter3

Published Online: 16 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118664957.ch16

Geological Investigations in Northern Victoria Land

Geological Investigations in Northern Victoria Land

How to Cite

Denton, G. H., Bockheim, J. G., Wilson, S. C. and SchlüChter, C. (1986) Late Cenozoic History of Rennick Glacier and Talos Dome, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, in Geological Investigations in Northern Victoria Land (ed E. Stump), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1002/9781118664957.ch16

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geological Sciences and Institute for Quaternary Studies University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469

  2. 2

    Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

  3. 3

    Institute of Foundation Engineering And Soil Mechanics, Eth-H-Nggerberg, Ch-8093 ZüRich, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901978

Online ISBN: 9781118664957



  • Geology—Antarctic regions—Victoria Land


Rennick Glacier, 380 km long and up to 35 km wide, flows northward from an elevation of 2200 m in the Mesa Range along Rennick Fault to the Pacific Ocean. It separates the mountains of northern Victoria Land from the peripheral Talos Dome of the East Antarctic ice sheet. Northern Victoria Land mountain glaciers and the Talos Dome both feed Rennick Glacier. The present-day grounding line is at the glacier midsection near Litell Rocks. Two major glacial erosional features characterize the Rennick Glacier area. First, exposed mountains show classic features of alpine glacial erosion, and the troughs beneath Rennick Glacier and its tributaries might well be glacially deepened. Second, a glacial trimline cut into this alpine topography slopes smoothly from 2830 m at the glacier head to 1120 m near Rennick Bay. Bedrock ridges above the trimline are commonly serrated, whereas those below the trimline lack serrations and some show glacial polish and striations. Drift patches and erratics occur below the trimline, and ice-cored moraines fringe modern blue-ice tongues. Soils of weathering stage 1 characterize the ice-cored moraines, whereas those of stages 1 and 2 occur on most drift patches. We infer that extensive alpine glacial erosion antedated partial inundation of the mountains on several occasions by a thicker Rennick Glacier and Talos Dome that reached the trimline. We propose two widely opposing age models for this expansion based on different criteria. In one model the expansion is late Wisconsin and subsequent recession late Wisconsin/Holocene in age; in the other model the expansion is pre-late Quaternary in age, corresponding to overriding of the Transantarctic Mountains in southern Victoria Land [Denton et al., 1984]. The ice-cored moraines are probably of late Holocene age and record an interval of warmth superimposed on overall Holocene expansion due to increased interglacial accumulation.