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Sedimentology of an ice lobe margin esker with implications for the deglacial dynamics of the Finnish Lake District lobe trunk

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Abstract

We provide evidence for the subglacial to ice-marginal successive deposition of the Lohtaja−Kivijärvi ice lobe margin esker influenced by the changes in the meltwater delivery and proglacial water depth within the Finnish Lake District lobe trunk during the last deglaciation in Finland. The study is mostly based on the sedimentological data from the 100 km long esker chain with 15 logged sites. The long breaks in the lobe margin esker and the re-emerged deposition along the stable position of the subglacial meltwater route were related to the discontinuities and reappearances of the neighbouring eskers. This considerable variability in the meltwater discharge and debris transport under the described deglacial conditions cannot be explained by markedly decreased meltwater production due to palaeoclimatic factors or lack of debris within the trunk region. The primary control on the changes in meltwater availability and related esker deposition was thus due to the spatial and temporal changes in ice mass properties and shifting of the meltwater flow paths within the trunk. These changes were initiated by the topographically higher and partly supra-aquatic Suomenselkä watershed area with subsequent deepening of the proglacial water during the deglaciation. The understanding of the long-lived esker deposition along the former ice-stream trunk margin adds to the evaluation of palaeoglaciological reconstructions and geomorphologically based spatial models for ice-stream landscapes.

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