Sedimentology and origin of deposits from a small ice-dammed lake, Leirbreen, Norway



This paper describes recent proglacial lacustrine sediments exposed by the drainage of a small (probably never more than 0·03 km2) ice-dammed lake basin at Leirbreen, central Jotunheimen, Norway. The dominant facies include ripple-laminated, massive and horizontally-stratified sands, massive and horizontally-laminated silts, and irregularly-laminated fine sands and silts. The major control on lake circulation and the nature and distribution of these facies was an underflow driven by a subglacial meltwater stream which formed the major lake input. Although much of the sedimentary sequence indicates a pulsatory input, the proximal character of this small lake prevented the development of classic varved silts. Compressional deformation of shoreline sediments was due to winter lake ice push. Other deformational processes included the grounding of icebergs, water escape and syn-sedimentary downslope collapse. Observations from an adjacent small ice-marginal lake at Leirbreen provide support for several of the inferences drawn from the sediments of the former ice-dammed lake.